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Thursday, October 7, 1999 Published at 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK


Evolution removed from school tests

'Evolution' has been replaced with 'change over time'

The theory of evolution has been removed from what pupils in Kentucky are expected to learn.

'Evolution' has been edited out of guidelines published by the state's education department on the subjects that schools should be teaching and testing.

The word "evolution" has been replaced with "change over time" in a move that has angered science teachers, who see the move as a further concession to religious fundamentalists who argue that the Biblical creation story should be given precedence over the theory of the evolution of species.

[ image: Kentucky education officials will not
Kentucky education officials will not "advocate a particular doctrine or a specific view" on evolution
"A lot of teachers are upset about this. They know it was done for political reasons. It's either a scientific theory or it's not. Why don't we just stop calling the sunrise the sunrise?" said Ken Rosenbaum, director of the Kentucky Science Teachers Association.

But the education department has rejected criticism, saying that avoiding the teaching of evolution was in line with regulations that prevent pupils from being forced to take a position on disputed moral positions.

The education department's deputy commissioner, Gene Wilhoit, said "we did not want to advocate a particular doctrine or a specific view".

Earlier this year, education authorities in Kansas made changes to their school tests which were seen as reducing the teaching of evolution.

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