WE haven’t written much about Kentucky, except for things like this: Creation Museum is Flourishing, where we said:
A legendary saloon on the border of Kentucky and Ohio has long been the locale for jokes about bizarre encounters between residents of those states and their mutually incomprehensible folkways; but that region is now the site of the biggest joke of all — and it’s real. We’re speaking of the Creation Museum. It’s located in Petersburg, Kentucky and accessible from the Cincinnati airport.
The museum is for creationists what Roswell is for UFO buffs, the Himalayas for seekers of the Abominable Snowman, Loch Ness for monster hunters, Woodstock for aging hippies, and Lenin’s tomb for true believers.
Now, dear reader, Kentucky has joined the roster of states in the front lines of The Controversy between evolution and creationism. As we just learned from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE): Antievolution legislation in Kentucky. So we started to search.
House Bill 397 is sponsored by Representative Tim Moore (R) — that’s his page at the legislature’s website. He’s a graduate of the Air Force Academy, which is very impressive. He also has this website: About Tim Moore which informs us that he’s active in the Air National Guard and he’s a pilot for UPS (presumably United Parcel Service). His website also says:
Our family is actively involved at Northside Baptist Church, where I teach Sunday School, work with the children’s ministry, and serve as a Deacon.
We found his church’s website, where we looked around in search of something specific about creationism, such as a relationship with the Creation Museum. We didn’t find anything. From his legislative activity, however, we may safely assume that Deacon Moore is a full-blown creationist.
Let’s look at Moore’s bill, with bold font added by us:
You will note an eerie similarity to the creationism law recently passed in Louisiana, in that this Kentucky bill permits teachers to use “other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner, including but not limited to the study of evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” If this bill becomes law, we anticipate a hot market in Kentucky for creationist tracts. Well, such a market is probably thriving already.
The article at the NCSE website also informs us:
Kentucky is apparently unique in having a statute (PDF; Kentucky Revised Statutes 158.177) that authorizes teachers to teach “the theory of creation as presented in the Bible” and to “read such passages in the Bible as are deemed necessary for instruction on the theory of creation.” But it is unclear whether teachers take advantage of the opportunity.
The Kentucky legislature has a feature called Bill Watch where you can register and then receive updates about a bill’s progress. We don’t intend to take advantage of that facility.
Our sources tell us that this session of the Kentucky legislature is scheduled to adjourn on March 26, so Moore’s bill shouldn’t take very long to play itself out.
As we’ve done with our posts about other states, we recommend that the rational members of the legislature should give serious consideration to The Curmudgeon’s Amendment. It’s designed to nullify legislation like this.
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