"Referring to biological evolution as a theory for the purpose of contesting it would be counterproductive, since scientists only grant the status of theory to well-tested ideas," Holliday wrote.
Line said Tuesday that he still hadn't seen any change to the standards.
"When it says evolution as if there is no other option, then over time our students are going to assume that is the only option when there are other options out there," Line said.
The proposed science standards would require students to complete such tasks as:
■ Explain the biological definition of evolution.
■ Differentiate among chemical evolution, organic evolution and the evolutionary steps along the way to aerobic heterotrophs and photosynthetic autotrophs.
■ Discuss Darwin's principle of survival of the fittest and explain what Darwin meant by natural selection.
Vincent Cassone, chairman of the University of Kentucky biology department, served on the committee that developed the standards.
"The theory of evolution is the fundamental backbone of all biological research," he said. "There is more evidence for evolution than there is for the theory of gravity, than the idea that things are made up of atoms, or Einstein's theory of relativity. It is the finest scientific theory ever devised."
David Helm, president of the Kentucky Science Teachers Association, declined to comment, other than the official statement of the national group, which says:
"The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) strongly supports the position that evolution is a major unifying concept in science and should be included in the K-12 science education frameworks and curricula ... NSTA also recognizes that evolution has not been emphasized in science curricula in a manner commensurate to its importance because of official policies, intimidation of science teachers, the general public's misunderstanding of evolutionary theory, and a century of controversy. In addition, teachers are being pressured to introduce creationism, 'creation science,' and other nonscientific views, which are intended to weaken or eliminate the teaching of evolution."