Kentucky Republican Legislators: “The Theory of Evolution Is Not Science - Darwin Made It Up”
The headline for this article from the Lexington Herald-Leader tells you everything you need to know about America’s Republican Party in the year 2012: GOP Lawmakers Question Standards for Teaching Evolution in Kentucky.
Kentucky’s Senate Republicans pushed successfully in 2009 to tie the state’s testing program to national education standards, but three years later, they’re questioning the results.
Several GOP lawmakers questioned new proposed student standards and tests that delve deeply into biological evolution during a Monday meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education.
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 theory of creationism also should be taught in Kentucky classrooms.
Anti-science Tennessee Rep. David Givens“I would hope that creationism is presented as a theory in the classroom, in a science classroom, alongside evolution,” Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, said Tuesday in an interview.
Givens said he and other legislators have been contacted by a number of educators with concerns about Kentucky’s proposed new science standards, which are tied to ACT testing and are scheduled to be adopted this fall.
[…] “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.”
Givens said he asked the ACT representatives about possibly returning to a test personalized for Kentucky, but he was told that option was very expensive and time-consuming.
Anti-Science Tennessee Rep. Ben WaideAnother committee member, Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville, said he had a problem with evolution being an important part of biology standards.
“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.”
Givens said he was satisfied with the response by ACT officials and state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday that evolution was being taught as a theory.
Last year, Holliday wrote a much-publicized letter to Hart County school superintendent Ricky Line, who complained that the new standards did not identify evolution as a theory.
“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.
I’m actually grateful to Republicans like Givens and Waide, because they’re being honest. They’re doing rational people a service by making the alternative very, very clear.