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Education Science

Kentucky Lawmakers Shocked To Find Evolution In Biology Tests 1218

Posted by Soulskill
from the other-states-shocked-that-kentucky-has-biology-tests dept.
bbianca127 writes "Kentucky mandated that schools include tests that are based on national standards, and contracted test maker ACT to handle them. Legislators were then shocked that evolution was so prominently featured, even though evolution is well-supported and a central tenet of modern biology. One KY Senator said he wanted creationism taught alongside evolution, even though the Supreme Court has ruled that teaching creationism in science classes is a violation of the establishment clause. Representative Ben Wade stated that evolution is just a theory, and that Darwin made it all up. Legislators want ACT to make a Kentucky-specific ACT test, though the test makers say that would be prohibitively expensive. This is just the latest in a round of states' fight against evolution — Louisiana and Tennessee have recently passed laws directed against teaching evolution."
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Kentucky Lawmakers Shocked To Find Evolution In Biology Tests

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  • Re:States (Score:5, Informative)

    by crazyjj (2598719) * on Friday August 17, 2012 @12:33PM (#41024949)

    The last time I checked, the ACT wasn't administered by the U.S. government.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday August 17, 2012 @12:33PM (#41024953)

    Kentucky was a Union state. You're stuck with them either way.

    Kentucky was claimed by both the Union and the Confederacy. Parts of the state actively supported the Union, other parts actively supported the Confederacy. Similar story when you get to individuals. Kentucky being considered a Union state is literally one of those instances where the victor gets to write history.

    Missouri had a similar split and the results were particularly bloody guerilla raids by small local groups. Similar problems may have occurred in Kentucky, I'm not familiar with what happened there.

    Virginia split in two, West Virginia exists because locals went Union.

  • by Latentius (2557506) on Friday August 17, 2012 @12:37PM (#41024999)

    Not definitive proof, like video of it being said, but here's the original quote, straight from the Kentucky Lexington Herald:

    http://www.kentucky.com/2012/08/15/2299629/kentuckys-gop-lawmakers-question.html [kentucky.com]

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday August 17, 2012 @12:43PM (#41025101) Homepage

    Also important to point out: Yes, Thomas Jefferson really supported religious freedom. As did John Adams, Sam Adams, Thomas Paine, James Madison, George Washington, Ben Franklin, and most of the rest of that crowd. They did so in part because they wanted to avoid all the religious wars which were common in Europe at the time. 20 years later, they were still writing letters to each other about how great an idea it had turned out to be, and de Tocqueville commented that it had led to a flourishing of religion in the US, which statistically speaking has continued through to the present day.

    The reason I bring this up is that David Barton and others like him have been busily rewriting American history to convince these nutjobs that the Establishment Clause should be ignored and Christianity be given a privileged place in the United States.

  • Re::facepalm: (Score:5, Informative)

    by ClickOnThis (137803) on Friday August 17, 2012 @12:47PM (#41025179) Journal

    I think NASA is as much of a drain on the nation's resources as Kentucky.

    Setting aside how mind-numbingly asinine that remark is, I would like to introduce you to the concept of False Equivalence [wikipedia.org].

    Taxpayer money invested in NASA projects has delivered huge returns in science, technology and prestige for the USA. Hardly a drain. And as one of the Curiosity scientists put it recently, they didn't just send $2.6 B to Mars and drop it there. That money was spent here on Earth.

    Sure, they're stupid in Kentucky, but I didn't appreciate seeing all those tax-payer bought incredibly over priced apple laptops in mission control. Only the government would pay gobs of cash for a locked down version of BSD.

    Yet another logical fallacy [wikipedia.org].

    Apple products are generally more expensive than comparable products from other manufacturers, but not that much more expensive. Personally I don't use them, but I don't question the fiscal judgement of those who do. If you want to complain about overpriced tools bought with taxpayer money, I'd start with the military.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday August 17, 2012 @12:52PM (#41025235)

    if you are so all-fired to exclude scientific thought, send your kids to church school ...

    Some church schools excel in science, surpassing most public schools. Some very large churches also have no problem with evolution and have publicly stated that scientific observations and finding are not in conflict with faith. The astronomer and physics professor who developed the big bang theory was also a priest.

  • Re::facepalm: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Carnivore (103106) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:03PM (#41025429)

    Re: Apple laptops
    I work for astronomers and physicists, so I have an informed opinion on the Mac prefrence:
    It's an OS that comes, supported, on good hardware. Generally there aren't scrabbles to find drivers for hardware or other problems that you Just Don't Want if you travel a lot or have (literally) mission-critical duties. It also runs all of the software that astronomers have been running for decades. They still write FORTRAN. They will riot if you take away the command line.

    The labor cost of buying Dells, for example, and throwing Linux on them can end up being higher than just spending extra for the Mac. It's especially true when something goes wrong and you can take it to any Apple store and get parts or software help, no admin needed.

    Yes, they all love being in the Apple club, too.

  • by Antipater (2053064) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:10PM (#41025535)

    Kentucky was much less of a bloody affair than Missouri was. There were pro-South guerillas, but not in significant numbers. In fact, when Confederate general Bragg invaded Tennessee and Kentucky in mid-1862, he brought along tens of thousands of rifles, hoping to arm thousands of Kentuckians who would rise up alongside him when they saw gray troops in their streets. He ended up carting nearly all of them back South three months later, an Army of Kentucky having never materialized.

    It also would have been impossible for the Union to simply have allowed Kentucky to split off. Militarily, the state was the key to the Ohio River valley. Had it seceded, it would have basically been a knife in the Union's armpit, poised to slice off the entire Midwest. Lincoln himself (paraphrase) said "I hope to have God on my side, but what I really need is Kentucky."

  • Re::facepalm: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:40PM (#41026111)

    I think NASA is as much of a drain on the nation's resources as Kentucky. Sure, they're stupid in Kentucky, but I didn't appreciate seeing all those tax-payer bought incredibly over priced apple laptops in mission control. Only the government would pay gobs of cash for a locked down version of BSD.

    So what you're saying is basically "WTF has NASA done for me?" [wtfnasa.com]
    I'm curious what your impression is of the 2012 United States budget [wikipedia.org] overall, where if you total the enacted discretionary and mandatory budgets NASA ranks 15th among agencies out of 22. The Department of Agriculture's budget was almost eight times that of NASA and the Department of Defense budget was almost THIRTY-eight times that of NASA's.To put it another way, NASA's budget is just over 2.5% of the DOD's and about one half of one percent of the overall budget.
    IMO the United States does need to tighten its financial belt, but worrying about NASA's budget is like worrying about whether your rice cake is four inches in diameter or five ... right after you've eaten an entire Thanksgiving dinner.

  • by deKernel (65640) <timfbarber AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday August 17, 2012 @02:22PM (#41027073)

    Thinking I might have to disagree with you. When I talked with my grandparents when they were alive and my parents who are in their 80's now, the educational system back then was heavily based upon early memorization which gives you the fundamentals. Then in high school, they were opened up to the "think about it" model. Now days, kids aren't forced to memorize anything, and they are the ones that are hosed.

  • by hierofalcon (1233282) on Friday August 17, 2012 @02:30PM (#41027211)

    The US Constitution - as amended - just prevents requiring you to belong to a particular religion to hold elected office.

    It doesn't prevent teaching about religions. In practice, the education system doesn't prevent this either in most cases. You only face resistance if you teach about the predominant religion. You can teach about Greek and Roman mythology, American Indian beliefs, Mayan beliefs, Inca beliefs, Egyptian beliefs, and certainly Muslim, Hindu, or other far Eastern beliefs of the modern age. You can talk some about Mormons and their trek west. Just label it cultural diversity training or lump it in with geography and you're golden. Just don't teach about Christianity or someone will get you fired.

    That's an exaggeration - but not a very big one.

  • Re:Apologies (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbeaupre (752124) on Friday August 17, 2012 @02:58PM (#41027705)

    As someone also from Kentucky, I'm happy to point out that there don't seem to be very many of these guys. The article only mentions a couple.

    Everyone is getting upset that "Kentucky is demanding ..." No, just two whack jobs. The legislature hasn't done anything.

  • Re::facepalm: (Score:4, Informative)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday August 17, 2012 @03:03PM (#41027781) Homepage Journal

    Sure, they're stupid in Kentucky, but I didn't appreciate seeing all those tax-payer bought incredibly over priced apple laptops in mission control.

    Suppose average salary in mission control is $100,000 (probably low for high-tech jobs in the area, but we'll round) and that they're all contractors and don't get a penny worth of benefits. That Mac probably cost $1,000 more than the bare minimum Windows laptop that would run their apps (and that's making the rather huge assumption that those apps would be available on Windows, which has approximately zero market share in high level science, and that there would be zero training costs for them to switch to Windows). Finally, assume that the Macs will irreparably break the day after their three year warranty and deprecation schedules have expired.

    Congratulations. Your plan to stick them with Windows laptops, in the best case, would save $333 per year - or 0.3% of their salary - in the absolute best case scenario.

    Only the government would pay gobs of cash for a locked down version of BSD.

    ...and every major company I've been around, all of which seem to understand the concept of "penny wise, pound foolish" that eludes you.

  • by jpstanle (1604059) on Friday August 17, 2012 @03:44PM (#41028417)

    How the fuck is this modded +4 informative?

    The US Constitution - as amended - just prevents requiring you to belong to a particular religion to hold elected office.

    What are you smoking? The establishment clause of the first amendment pretty clearly prohibits preference of one religion over another.

    It doesn't prevent teaching about religions. In practice, the education system doesn't prevent this either in most cases. You only face resistance if you teach about the predominant religion. You can teach about Greek and Roman mythology, American Indian beliefs, Mayan beliefs, Inca beliefs, Egyptian beliefs, and certainly Muslim, Hindu, or other far Eastern beliefs of the modern age. You can talk some about Mormons and their trek west. Just label it cultural diversity training or lump it in with geography and you're golden. Just don't teach about Christianity or someone will get you fired.

    That's an exaggeration - but not a very big one.

    Uh, pretty much any high school curriculum for a European history class reads like fucking timeline of Christianity. You know, the late Roman empire and the Vatican, Martin Luther, the Anglican church, Puritans, and all that jazz?

  • by djp928 (516044) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:43PM (#41029421) Homepage

    Yup, doing what the majority wants is a democracy. It's also not the form of goverment the US has.

    Seriously, have you read the Constitution? Avoiding the tyranny of the majority was a big part of why it was written. Jesus, learn some civics.

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