Kansas USD 383: Kansas State University Letter

We, the undersigned faculty and professional staff of Kansas State University science departments, express our continued commitment to maintaining the highest quality science education for the children of USD 383 and Kansas. We are also concerned about the negative impact the Science Standards recently passed by the Kansas State Board of Education will have on our children, our community, and Kansas State University. We are especially concerned about the continued high quality of science teaching, and the continuing recruitment efforts to bring talented workers and educators to our community. We ask that you adopt the following resolution:

USD 383 endorses the following definition of science developed by the Kansas Science Education Standards Revision Committee on March 9, 2005, a definition consistent with that of all major professional science organizations in this country:

Science is a human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us. Throughout history people from many cultures have used the methods of science to contribute to scientific knowledge and technological innovations, making science a worldwide enterprise. Scientists test explanations against the natural world, logically integrating observations and tested hypotheses with accepted explanations to gradually build more reliable and accurate understandings of nature. Scientific explanations must be testable and repeatable, and findings must be confirmed through additional observation and experimentation. As it is practiced in the late 20th and early 27st century, science is restricted to explaining only the natural world, using only natural cause. This is because science currently has no tools to test explanations using non-natural (such as supernatural) causes.

The Science Standards that use this definition will be used in science curricula in all appropriate USD 383 K-12 science courses.

USD 383 does not support the redefinition of science included in the Science Standards passed by the Kansas State Board of Education on November 8, 2005; this document changed the definition of science to allow non-natural (including supernatural) explanations of natural phenomena.

The reasons we urge you not to support the Science Standards passed by the Kansas State School Board that redefine science include the following:

  1. Adoption of these standards will diminish the quality of science teaching in USD 383 and disadvantage our children relative to their peers in states that adhere to the standard practice of science.

  2. The Kansas State Board of Education standards have created enormous negative publicity, which threatens to compromise K-State and local business efforts to recruit and retain highly qualified professionals to the district.

  3. The Kansas State Board of Education standards singled out evolution for criticism while excluding other scientific theories from such criticism. We think this is unfair and suggests there may be ulterior motives at work, such as the introduction of a particular religious viewpoint into the curriculum. In Kitzmiller v. Dover, a federal district judge has ruled actions such as this to be unconstitutional.

  4. There is clear concern in all quarters that U.S students are falling farther and farther behind worldwide norms. It is highly predictable that students from other countries will gain even more on U.S. students, as measured by achievement, if we accept the modified definition of science recently adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education.

  5. The changes made to the science standards are based on the utterly false belief that evolutionary science, and the scientific method itself, is based on an atheistic philosophy. Promoting this false conflict between science and faith erects unnecessary barriers to student learning, discourages many students from pursuing careers in the sciences, and perpetuates public misunderstandings of the nature and conclusions of science.


Michael Herman Associate Professor Biology

Gary W. Conrad University Distinguished Professor Biology

Walter Dodds Professor Biology

Carolyn Ferguson Assistant Professor Biology

Anthony Jeorn Professor Biology

Loretta Johnson Associate Professor Biology

A. Lorena Passarelli Assistant Professor Biology

A. Spencer Tomb Associate Professor Biology

Mark Ungerer Assistant Professor Biology

John Staver Professor Education Center for Science Education

Ruth Douglas Miller Associate Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keith B. Miller Research Assistant Professor Geology

Bruce Glymour Associate Professor Philosophy Director, Center for Origins

Timothy Bolton Professor Physics

Bharat Ratra Professor Physics

Michel D. Ransom Professor Agronomy Assistant Head for Teaching

Charles W. Rice Professor Agronomy

James P. Shroyer Professor Agronomy

John Tatarko Adjunct Professor Agronomy

Paul White Research Assistant Agronomy

Kimberly Kramer Assistant Professor Architectural Engineering and Construction Science

Larry Davis Professor Biochemistry

Michael Kanost University Distinguished Professor and Mead Biochemistry

Karl Kramer Adjunct Professor Emeritus Biochemistry

S. Muthukrishnan Professor Biochemistry

Thomas Roche Professor Biochemistry

Qize Wei Assistant Professor Biochemistry

Anna Zolkiewska Associate Professor Biochemistry

Michal Zolkiewski Associate Professor Biochemistry

James K. Koelliker Professor Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Kyle R. Mankin Associate Professor Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Kasutra Asano Assistant Professor Biology

Susan Brown Associate Professor Biology

Stephen K Chapes Professor Biology

Rollie Clem Associate Professor Biology

Abigail Conrad Research Professor Biology

Jack Cully Associate Professor Biology

Robin Denell University Distinguished Professor Biology Director, Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research

Keith Gido Assistant Professor Biology

Lynn Hancock Assistant Professor Biology

David C. Hartnett University Distinguished Professor Biology

Helmut Hirt Assistant Professor Biology

Eva Horne Research Assistant Professor Biology

Ari Jumpponen Assistant Professor Biology

Donald Kaufman Professor Biology

George Marchin Associate Professor Biology

Mark Mayfield Research Assistant Professor Biology

Beth Montelone Professor Biology Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

David Rintoul Associate Professor Biology

Robert J. Robel Professor Emeritus Biology

Judith Sabah Research Associate Biology

Jyoti Shah Associate Professor Biology

Brian Spooner University Distinguished Professor Biology Director

Chris Thorpe Assistant Professor Biology

Larry Williams Associate Professor Biology Associate Director for Undergraduate Education

Gail Wilson Research Assistant Professor Biology

Samantha M. Wisely Assistant Professor Biology

Peter P. Wong Professor Biology

Larry A. Glasgow Professor Chemical Engineering

Keith Hohn Associate Professor Chemical Engineering

Peter H. Pfromm Associate Professor Chemical Engineering

Mary Rezac Professor and Head Chemical Engineering

Christer B. Aakeroy Associate Professor Chemistry

Stefan H. Bossmann Professor Chemistry

Daniel A. Higgins Associate Professor Chemistry

Duy H. Hua Professor Chemistry

Ryszard Jankowiak Professor Chemistry

Kenneth J. Klabunde University Distinguished Professor Chemistry

Christopher J. Levy Assistant Professor Chemistry

Eric A. Maatta Professor and Head Chemistry

Maria K. Paukstelis Instructor Chemistry

Sundeep Rayat Assistant Professor Chemistry

Lou Wojcinski Instructor Chemistry

Maarten van Swaay Professor Emeritus Computing and Information Sciences

Alley Stoughton Associate Professor Computing and Information Sciences

Luba Roitman Application Developer Continuing Education

Larry Scharrnann Professor Education

Richard Beeman Adjunct Professor Entomology Research Entomologist, USDA-ARS

Ming-Shun Chen Adjunct Associate Professor Entomology Research Scientist USDA-ARS

J.P. Michaud Assistant Professor Entomology

James Nechols Professor and Interim Head Entomology

Brenda Oppert Adjunct Assistant Professor Entomology Research Molecular Biologist- USDA-ARS

John Reese Professor Entomology

Susan Romero Research Associate Entomology

Greg Zolnerowich Assistant Professor Entomology

Ludek Zurek Assistant Professor Entomology

George Clark Professor Geology

Robert Cullers Professor Geology

Mary Hubbard Professor and Head Geology

Kirsten Nicolaysen Assistant Professor Geology

Jack Oviatt Professor Geology

Iris Totten Assistant Professor Geology

Matf Totten Associate Professor Geology

Ron West Professor Geology

Bradford W. Seabourn Research Chemist and Adjunct Professor Grain Science

Paul Seib Professor Grain Science

Feng Xie Research Associate Grain Science

Zhikai Zhong Research Associate Grain Science

Chen-Yen Cochrane Research Associate Professor Human Nutrition

Margaret J. Rys Associate Professor Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Tom Barstow Professor Kinesiology

David Dzewaltowski Professor Kinesiology

Craig Harms Associate Professor Kinesiology

David C. Poole Professor Kinesiology Anatomy and Physiology

Stewart Trost Associate Professor Kinesiology

Maria Angeles Alfonseca Assistant Professor Mathematics

David Auckly Professor Mathematics

Andrew Bennett Professor Mathematics

Robert Burckel Professor Mathematics

Todd Cochrane Professor Mathematics

Marianne Korten Assistant Professor Mathematics

Zongzhu Lin Professor Mathematics

Genevra Neumann Instructor Mathematics

Michael Roitman Assistant Professor Mathematics

Yan Soileiman Professor Mathematics

William L. Stamey Professor Emeritus Mathematics Former Dean of Arts and Sciences

Huanan Yang Associate Professor Mathematics

Kevin Carnes Associate Research Professor Physics

C. Lewis Cocke University Distinguished Professor Physics

Brett DePaola Professor Physics

Glenn Horton-Smith Assistant Professor Physics

Hongxing Jiang University Distinguished Professor Physics

Tina Kahniashvili Associate Research Professor Physics

Jingyu Lin Professor Physics

lgor Litvinyuk Assistant Professor Physics

Yurii Maravin Assistant Professor Physics

Michael O’Shea Professor Physics

Carol Regehr Assistant Scientist Physics

Pat Richard University Distinguished Professor Physics

Chris Sorensen Professor Physics

Uwe Thumm Professor Physics

Larry Weaver Professor Physics

Dean Zollman University Distinguished Professor and Head Physics

Robert Bowden Adjunct Professor Plant Pathology

Bernd Friebe Research Professor Plant Pathology

Bikram Gill University Distinguished Professor Plant Pathology Director, Wheat Genetics Resource Center

Scot Hulbert Professor and interim Head Plant Pathology

Doug Jardine Professor Plant Pathology

Judy O’Mara Plant Pathology Instructor

Xiaoyan Tang Associate Professor Plant Pathology

John E. Boyer Professor and Head Statistics

Suzanne R. Dubnicka Assistant Professor Statistics

Paul St. Amand Research Geneticist USDA Agricultural Research Service

Rachel Allbaugh Ophthalmology Resident Veterinary Medicine

James Carpenter Professor Veterinary Medicine Clinical Sciences

Lisa Freeman Professor Veterinary Medicine Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs

George Kennedy Professor Emeritus Veterinary Medicine

Donald C. Robertson Professor Veterinary Medicine Diagnostic Medicine

Chris R Ross Professor Veterinary Medicine Anatomy and Physiology

Masaaki Tamura Associate Professor Veterinary Medicine Anatomy and Physiology

Mark L. Weiss Professor Veterinary Medicine Anatomy and Physiology Associate Director, Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research

Kimberly D. Douglas Director Women in Engineering & Science

John Blair Professor Biology

Brad Logan Research Associate Professor Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work

Donna C. Roper Research Associate Professor Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work

Timothy H. Parker Research Assistant Professor Biology

George Strecker Professor Mathematics