Kentucky Republicans Are Trying to Ruin Science Education

This is David Givens:

“I would hope that creationism is presented as a theory in the classroom, in a science classroom, alongside evolution.”

“I think we are very committed to being able to take Kentucky students and put them on a report card beside students across the nation,” Givens said. “We’re simply saying to the ACT people we don’t want what is a theory to be taught as a fact in such a way it may damage students’ ability to do critical thinking.”

This is Ben Waide:

The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science — Darwin made it up,” Waide said. “My objection is they should ensure whatever scientific material is being put forth as a standard should at least stand up to scientific method. Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny.”

This is Ricky Line:

“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.”

Givens is a Kentucky State Senator. (Republican.)

Waide is a Kentucky State Representative. (Also Republican.)

Line is a school superintendent in the state. (I don’t know about him, but I’m gonna take a guess.)

And they’re all trying to ruin science education standards in their state because it emphasizes evolution too much, hurting the Baby Jesus’ feelings.

Meanwhile, the people who actually know things about science must be banging their heads against a wall:

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.”

Damn elitist and his “theories”…

The state standards haven’t changed… yet. But if you live in the state, contact your representatives and tell them to listen to the scientific experts and not the GOP-wing-of-the-Church.

Or else your state will be the Usain Bolt in a race to the bottom.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/47IDX2QAR6VU6ZAILFU6I23ACQ Joseph

    “Stupidity has a certain charm; ignorance does not.” — Frank Zappa

  • LesterBallard

    Now, are they really that fucking stupid? Or is it that they just don’t like the idea of evolution? A combo?

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I think they really are that stupid

       In an exchange with officials from ACT, the company that prepares Kentucky’s new state testing program, those lawmakers discussed whether evolution was a fact and whether the biblical account of creationism also should be taught in Kentucky classrooms.

       
      They’re not even pretending to be sciency with ID.  They’re pushing flat out ‘Creationism’ which they assume is ‘Biblical Creationism’.  ‘Cause, you know, all them other stories is just myths.

    • Gus Snarp

      Monumentally ignorant, or willing to blatantly lie in order to ensure the ignorance of children. Which is worse?

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    “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.”

    But… relativity and gravity are not science- Einstein made them up.

    And FWIW, evolution is not a theory at all. Evolution is an observation. An observation first explained by Darwin using his theory of natural selection, and since explained in greater depth by a variety of additional theories. Evolution is no more a theory than the observation that the Sun rises once each day is a theory.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      To be more precise, there is the observation of evolution, and then there is the theory of evolution, which explains how evolution occurs. Just like seeing the Sun rise and set everyday is the observation, while the heliocentric model of our solar system is the theory. :)

      • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

        Exactly… although the issue is confused in speaking of the theory of evolution, since there is no single theory, and the wording makes it sound as if evolution itself is the theory. Which is why I prefer to speak of “theories which seek to explain evolution”.

        Evolution itself, as an observation, is essentially a fact- an input into the theory building process.

        • Ken

          Sometimes I do wish a word other than “theory” had been used.  Or we can start referring to the “theory of the Bible.”  This semantic warfare really does hurt communications.

          • B_R_Deadite99

             Only to those too stupid to look up the scientific definition of “theory”.

    • jdm8

      “But… relativity and gravity are not science- Einstein made them up.”

      Can you explain what you mean there?

      • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

        It was a satirical response to Ben Waide’s inane comment,

        “The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science — Darwin made it up.”

      • Wild Rumpus

        jdm8 – you gotta take your saracsm detector in for servicing, it’s obviously broken.

        • jdm8

           I suppose so.  C Peterson has often taken apparently contrarian positions in other issues, I didn’t know what was going on.

  • Deb Fohringer

    As my bumpersticker says, “You can teach Creationism in my school district if I can teach Evolutionism in your Sunday School”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    Are we surprised  from the state with the creation “museum” and future home of the ark park? Politicians seem to think Science is democratic. You can’t vote for the facts.  

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      Religion has been voting for the facts (that is, inventing “facts” to be compliant with philosophical views) since the beginning, and continues to do so today. And there’s not doubt at all that this move in Kentucky (and other backward states) is driven entirely by religion… not by respect for science, not by respect for education, not by any intellectual honesty. It’s a Christian effort, pure and simple.

  • A3Kr0n

    With all the evidence for evolution today it’s not wrong to say the majority of people living in Kentucky are idiots. How else could those people get elected?

  • Judith Bandsma

    I scream it from the rooftops but these idiots never even bother to listen…

    In science, the word ‘theory’ does NOT equal “wild ass guess”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/47IDX2QAR6VU6ZAILFU6I23ACQ Joseph

    I always feel a bit of relief when another state acts more ignorant and backwards than my own (Texas); but that relief is fleeting when I realize that we’re all part of the same ignorant and backwards country.

    • http://twitter.com/AchronTimeless Achron Timeless

      Being stuck in Kentucky, I usually look to Texas to make me feel better. =)

      • Joseph

        Yeah, I have to concede that we have most of the country beat for embarrassing behavior and attitudes.  That’s why it’s always nice when somebody else takes the spotlight off of us, even momentarily.

        OK… it’s your turn now, South Carolina!  :-)

        • Mommiest

           Native of Louisiana here– ya’ll have nothin’ to be ashamed of. You’re practically progressive.

  • DelAnaya

    Hilarious if it wasn’t so sad. They’re obviously all qualified scholars, so we should listen to them, right. 

    It’s easy (and a lot of fun) to disparage Kentucky as a backward religious State. But I’m sure that reality has a very large fraction (maybe not quite 1/2) who are disgusted by this knuckle-dragging. I know a few people in Kentucky who aren’t quite this regressive.

    • Ken

      I am going through a Masters degree at 60 years old, and I am perpetually appalled at what “qualified scholars” don’t know.  They have bought credentials, answered test questions properly, sucked up to authority, and now teach college.  I’ve seen rocks with more intellect, but they are the gatekeepers to students’ futures, that’s all.  And they are so smug and proud of their degrees, even though they could not pass their own classes, and would die in the professional world.  Not all, mind you, but way more than half.

  • jdm8

    I think it’s probably an election ploy. I would hope that they’re not so ignorant to the fact that “creationism” education has been specifically excluded from schools. Even the evolved term, Intelligent Design, mostly in a runaround to avoid saying creationism, has been struck down. Vote for one of these guys and you’re probably voting for them to waste public money on a losing lawsuit too.

  • Octoberfurst

     These people are as dumb as a bag of rocks. I recently had an email debate with a right-wing coworker of mine who was all for teaching creationism along side of evolution in the classroom so that kids could “see both sides.” I thought I had him when I asked if ALL creation stories should be taught–Norse, Native American, etc. I mean, you have to be fair right? To my surprise he responded “Yes. All theories should be taught.”  I told him that was insane and he accused me of being closed minded! After all, he said, were you THERE when the earth was formed? So how did I know for sure what theory was correct? I thought I was going to lose my mind. Stupidity should be painful! Seriously!  

  • Gus Snarp

    This makes me so angry I just can’t stand it. People can believe what they want, I just wish they’d stop outright lying.

    Granted, I don’t know if the people quoted above are lying, or just parroting lies, but someone is making this crap up and pushing it. Meanwhile, even Ray Comfort will admit that no amount of facts and reason matter, a person just has to have a “personal religious experience”. So why do he and the others keep lying to convince people the facts are wrong?

  • Aaron Scoggin

    So by their count, anything that can’t stand up to the scientific method shouldn’t be taught.

    Alright, fine. So don’t teach evolution nor creationism. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/gwydionfrost Daniel Parker

    A THEORY is a hypothesis that has been vetted out with SCIENTIFIC METHOD based experiments.

    A HYPOTHESIS is a guess from observations that is awaiting a SCIENTIFIC METHOD based experiment to give it VALIDITY and MERIT by proving the observation is true.

    Evolution is a THEORY.

    Creationism is a HYPOTHESIS.

    If you want to teach Creationism in the classroom, move over… because there are HUNDREDS of other Creation myths that are just as valid if the criteria is to teach HYPOTHESES instead of THEORIES. Personally, I LOVE Greek mythology!

    • Bender

       

      Creationism is a HYPOTHESIS.

      Creationism is a brain fart.

  • cipher

    Go read the comments beneath the article. Painful.

  • allein

    Why do these people think that evolution begins and ends with Darwin? I’m pretty sure one or two people have been working on it since then..

  • http://www.facebook.com/bodkinn Nick Bodkin

     I hate that i live in kentucky when things like this get said.  If not for the good job and family i have here i would of never come back from the corps.  I write my Reps and never get a response i live right down the street from where the ark park is set to go in.  Lexington, Louisville, and Northern Kentucky aren’t to bad but once you leave them it’s either bible thumpers or pill heads normally both at the same time.  I for one would like to apologize for the fundies that are running this state and dragging the rest of the country down w/ it.  One nation under educated one state at a time.

  • B_R_Deadite99

    Fuck Kentucky. Like Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and yes, my native Texas, it is a wretched hive of scum, villainy, and stupidity. There’s no reasoning with Far Right Retards anymore than you can argue with skinheads, flat earthers, Scientologists, etc. They’ve been trying to rail-road Cretinism into the schools for years, but thankfully have never succeeded… yet.

  • Raavynn

    I am from Kentucky, and completely unsurprised by this.

  • Mitzjob

    These religious zealot trolls wont be satisfied until we’re putting witches to the torch again…


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