Kentucky, Darwin, Pluto, and Uranus

Everybody is already all over this one. PZ has written about it and so has Panda’s Thumb. We don’t know why we’re late, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

The Lexington Herald-Leader of Lexington, Kentucky has this amazing story: Hart schools chief: Evolution is viewed as fact in state test. Lexington is known as the “Horse Capital of the World.” That description may need to be slightly modified after this news becomes generally known. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Hart County’s school superintendent is arguing that a new test that Kentucky high school students will take for the first time next spring will treat evolution as fact, not theory, and will require schools to teach that way.

Superintendent Ricky D. Line raised the issue in recent letters and email messages to state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and Kentucky Board of Education members. Line wants them to reconsider the “Blueprint” for Kentucky’s new end-of-course test in biology.

Gasp — evolution in Kentucky? How horrible! Good ol’ Ricky Line is gonna save the day. The tale continues:

Line contends that the Blueprint essentially would “require students to believe that humans … evolved from primates such as apes and … were not created by God.”

“I have a very difficult time believing that we have come to a point … that we are teaching evolution … as a factual occurrence, while totally omitting the creation story by a God who is bigger than all of us,” he wrote. “My feeling is if the Commonwealth’s site-based councils, school board members, superintendents and parents were questioned … one would find this teaching contradictory to the majority’s belief systems.”

Hey, genius — that’s why Kentucky needs to teach this in the schools! Here’s another quote from Ricky:

“My argument is, do we want our children to be taught these things as facts? Personally, I don’t,” Line said. “I don’t think life on earth began as a one-celled organism. I don’t think that all of us came from a common ancestor … I don’t think the Big Bang theory describes the explanation of the origin of the universe.”

The man does his own thinking. We’d give him an “F+” to reward him for trying. Ricky was told that: “The vast majority of scientists contend that evolution is an accepted cornerstone of modern science, and that there is no real scientific debate over the concept.”

But they can’t fool ol’ Ricky. This was his response:

Line counters that “it’s interesting that the great majority of scientists felt Pluto was a planet until a short time ago, and now they have totally changed that. There are scientists who don’t believe that evolution happened.”

See there? Those infernal scientists were wrong about Pluto, and they’re wrong about evolution too! Tell ’em, Ricky baby!

Okay now, we know what you’re thinking: We’ve discussed everything in our title except Uranus, and you’re wondering where the fabled Seventh Planet fits into the big picture. You’ll have to ask Ricky. We suspect that anyone who uses the reclassification of Pluto as an argument against science has thought deeply about Uranus.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Kentucky, Darwin, Pluto, and Uranus

  1. Ceteris Paribus

    Morning’s at seven;
    The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
    The lark’s on the wing;
    The snail’s on the thorn;
    God’s in his Heaven—
    All’s right with the world!

    Robert Browning – 1841; before an astronomer discovered Pluto was even a temporary planet or Darwin had published ‘Origin’. Damn those scientists!

  2. SC said:

    We don’t know why we’re late, but that’s now it goes sometimes.

    Did you mean “how it goes sometimes.”?

  3. Once again, Gary, you’re right. I thank you for your keen eye.

  4. This scary thing is that this is a school superintendent, not an elected school board member.

    On the other hand, it is a tiny school district. Maybe he’s angling for a job with the new Ark Park.

  5. As I pointed out on this board last February, Kentucky apparently is the only state that has a law permitting the teaching of creationism in public schools.

    https://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/kentucky-considers-public-school-bible-classes/

  6. vhutchison says: “Kentucky apparently is the only state that has a law permitting the teaching of creationism in public schools.”

    Ken Ham knew where to locate his operation.

  7. Why are creationists always so closely associated with proctology?

  8. Why are creationists always so closely associated with proctology?

    Some straight lines are just too easy.

  9. scary how a school superintendent could be so confused by the difference b/w the semantics question of Pluto’s status vs. the science question of evolution vs. creationism. And I though Missooruh was backwards.

  10. Some ~90 minutes later, my mind focused on the task at hand, I went to paste some copied text into an email, with the results of …

    Why are creationists always so closely associated with proctology?

    … and I nearly fell out of my chair, laughing. 🙂

  11. Down there in horse country Ricky D. and his fellow-travellers prove one of my father’s favorite aphorisms: “There are more horse’s asses than there are horses.”

  12. I had just finished typing my post (above) concerning how the ark park would further damage Kentucky’s ability to compete for jobs requiring highly-educated people to re-locate to Kentucky, when I read this article.

    Kentucky seems determined to stay mired with Alabama and Mississippi in the stagnant swamp of economic woe.

  13. So this guy Line really thinks that you can alter reality by coming up with different labels? It’s really sad. He seems to know as little about astronomy as he does about evolution. Surely he has no idea why Pluto was even “demoted” in the first place.

    I’m glad to live in a state where at a recent “Science Night” at my daughter’s school (3rd grade), one of the four sessions focused on evolution. It described Darwin’s discovery of the Galapagos finches and demonstrated how different beaks helped the animals accomplish different tasks. And to my knowledge not a single person complained.

  14. They have to answer that evolution is fact, I am in a Catholic school and I am forced to answer that the true author and inspiration for the bible was god not man.