Creationism in Nebraska
Creationism in NebraskaBalanced treatment act of 1981, A visit to Union College, Standards keep focus on evolutionCreationism caused havoc in our neighbor, Kansas. The Creation Science Association of Mid-America played a prominent role in manipulating the Kansas school board and the Intelligent Design Network, based in KS, took over that role. KS suffered from "creeping pseudoscience". Creationists were less active here.
Concerned Citizens for Objective Science Education (CCOSE) began in Omaha in 1999 to promote teaching the controversy. In 2002 it circulated a petition promoting the Santorum amendment in state science standards. Susan Darst Williams took up the anti-evolution cause, eventually publishing online Show 'n Tell on Evolution which is now offline. This handbook of Christian apologetics encouraged fundamentalists to avoid modern biology.
In June 2002, the state board of education rejected the amendments; two of three board members who supported the amendments were defeated in 2002 elections. The defeat of Kathy Wilmot, the most active creationist, surprised Nebraskans since she represented Nebraska's conservative panhandle. The CCOSE website is now offline and internet references to creationism have largely disappeared.
Creationism could easily reappear. State science standards promote teaching evolution, but leave freedom to local school systems. Family First actively promoted anti-evolution and convinced the governor to request the state commissioner of education to promote anti-evolution. (see response) The national group Focus on the Family supported this position. Family First has removed anti-evolution material from it's site, but this may reflect change in strategy rather than attitude. We anticipate local challenges to teaching evolution. Presently the issue is dormant.
The current State Board of Education is pro-science.
The Creation Instruction Association seems to be the only strictly creationist organization active in Nebraska. We now have a creation museum in Broken Bow (See media report.) Guyla Mills, who led the fight for the Defense of Marriage Amendment in Nebraska is now an active creationist albeit in Virginia.
To support modern science education in Nebraska, contact the Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education or Nebraska Citizens for Science.