In the English language, the word "canard" refers to "an
unfounded or false, deliberately misleading story."
This website was created to address a particularly disingenuous
canard regarding a supposed "memo" by a member of
Kansas Citizens for
The story is being
passed around by Intelligent Design (ID) proponents who are
actively campaigning for "conservative" candidates in the 2006
Kansas Board of Education elections.
On February 8th, 2005, Kansas Attorney General
Phill Kline met with the six "conservative" members of the Kansas
Board of Education (KBOE) to discuss school finance litigation and
to offer his help if the KBOE decided to put "evolution is a theory not
a fact" disclaimer stickers on science textbooks in Kansas.
Kline did not meet with the four moderate members of the board.
Because Kline held two meetings with three members each, he was
accused of violating the spirit of the Kansas Open Meetings Act
(KOMA). The law requires that meetings involving a quorum of the KBOE
(6 of the 10 members) take place in public.
In response to this action by the six "conservative" members of the KBOE, a poster known as "Red State Rabble" wrote the following post on the "Public
Discussion" forum hosted by
Kansas Citizens for Science.
Shock -- Time for a Counter Punch?
I know some of
us are disappointed about the board's actions. I think
they've over-reached and the time is ripe for a strong
counterpunch. My proposal is this:
1. Publically demand that the board members who
participated in the meetings with Phill Kline resign
from the board. If we can find a prominent individual or
group to join us in this call it would maximize the
2. We should ask,"What are Phill Kline and the board
conservatives teaching our children? That it's okay to
break/skirt the law?"
By meeting in two groups of three, the board and Kline
demonstrated that they were aware of the requirements of
They nevertheless went ahead in an "attempt" to skirt
As always, they were inept. The law includes serial
meetings on the same subject.
Is this what we want our children to learn from the
people who run the schools in this state and from the
man who is responsible for enforcing the law?
"Red State Rabble's" opening post, February 10, 2005
In response to Red State Rabble's opening post, Liz Craig submitted the following
post later that day.
I admire your attitude. I feel the same way. However, the BOE answers to no one. They have no reason to resign. They are in the cat-bird seat, they have all the power, and they will do what they want to do.
My strategy at this point is the same as it was in 1999: notify the national and local media about what's going on and portray them in the harshest light possible, as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc.
There may no way to head off another science standards debacle, but we can sure make them look like asses as they do what they do.
Our target is the moderates who are not that well educated about the issues, most of whom probably are theistic evolutionists. There is no way to convert the creationists.
The solution is really political. And unfortunately, the creationists on the BOE are making their power grab so early in the game, it's far away from the 2006 elections. Think they didn't plan it that way?
In the meantime, let's shine a light on them and their motives, and let the press and public know what's really going on.
Liz Craig's Original Post on the KCFS Public Discussion Form, February 10, 2005
There are a few important points to make
about this post:
- The post represented the
personal opinion of Ms. Craig and no one else.
- The specific focus of the post was
clearly identified as the KBOE majority, often called the
- At the time of the post, Liz Craig
was listed as "Secretary" and a "Media / PR Contact" on the
"KCFS Board of Directors" page of the
KCFS website (archived).
Because of continued confusion
about the relationship between KCFS and the discussion forum the
hosts, Jack Krebs, current KCFS President and administrator
of the discussion forums, has since posted the following:
note the relationship between this discussion forum and
This forum is provided to the general public as an
opportunity to discuss topics broadly related to science
and science education. Beside science itself this can
include religion, philosophy, education, politics,
social issues, law and so on. However, as with any host,
we reserve the right to exclude people from the forum if
their behavior warrants.
None of the ideas or comments presented here represent
the position of KCFS on any of these subjects. Some
posters may be KCFS members, but many are not; and even
those that are speak for themselves and not as
representatives of KCFS. Exceptions to this (such as
this post) will be clearly identified.
In general, the KCFS main website (www.kcfs.org) and
KCFS News and Resources (www.kcfs.org/kcfsnews) are the
homes of material officially realted to KCFS.
Comments on how to improve or add to this statement are
Jack Krebs - admin, for KCFS
Jack Krebs, "Relationship of this forum to KCFS," June 19, 2006
Now that you are familiar with the
background, it is time to examine the evidence.
Continue to "The Natural History of an ID Canard" >