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New Science Standards In Kentucky Called 'Necessary' By Some, 'Fascist' By Others

Called the "Next Generation Science Standards", the new guidelines proposed by the state Department of Education seek to revamp science education standards throughout grades K-12 in accordance with an improvement law passed in 2009. The department hosted a hearing earlier today in Frankfort, during which supporters and opponents could meet, discuss, and debate the newly-proposed standards. As was noted by the Courier-Journal:

"The majority of comments during the two-hour hearing came from critics who questioned the validity of evolution and climate change and railed against the standards as a threat to religious liberty, at times drawing comparisons to Soviet-style communism."

Blaine Ferrell, a representative from the Kentucky Academy of Sciences, was one of the few who attended that day who expressed his support of the Next Generation Science Standards. "Students in the commonwealth both need and deserve 21st-century science education grounded in inquiry, rich in content and internationally benchmarked." Another advocate, a biology professor named David Robinson, explained how Kentucky frquently gets overlooked by biotechnology companies, and cautoned that a lack of contemporary science education could potentially cause the state to be "left behind" when it comes to industrial development. 

New KDE logoAccording to The Spectrum, Kentucky's Department of Education did just that. "The standards, which incorporate all areas of science, were developed through a consortium of 25 other states and input from educators and scientists across the nation." Unfortunately, many community members reamined unconvinced. One was Matt Singleton, a Baptist minister and internet radio host from Louisville, who said:

"Outsiders are telling public school families that we must follow the rich man’s elitist religion of evolution, that we no longer have what the Kentucky Constitution says is the right to worship almighty God. Instead, this fascist method teaches that our children are the property of the state."

Another, Dena Stewart-Gore of Louisville, claimed that the new standards would single out students with religious beliefs. She subsequently speculated as to the potential consequences:

"The way socialism works is it takes anybody that doesn’t fit the mold and discards them...we are even talking genocide and murder here, folks."

Daniel Phelps, an environmental geologist who attended the hearing, fired back:

"I’ve actually read this, unlike many of the people who have commented today. Everything is actually based on evidence — arguments from evidence are actually given priority in the Next Generation Science Standards."

As was noted by the Huffington Post, states like Kansas, Maryland, and Vermont have already adopted the Next Generation Science Standards. While today's hearing was the only one conduncted in person, the state Department of Education will also be accepting written testimonies until tomorrow, July 31st. 

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  1. Kev C,

    You know absolutely nothing about science or how it works. You can't even define the term theory properly. Your opinions on the theory of evolution are about as meaningful as a carpenter's opinions on cardiac surgery.

    Speciation is widely understood and accepted in the scientific community. With advances in genetics, scientists have been able to find further proof of exactly how species are related and how new species evolve.

    Mutation in the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism can be observed from one generation to the next. These mutations can be beneficial, deleterious or have no effect. Over time, such mutations can lead to major changes in phenotypes. This has all been observed and proven. Anyone who says otherwise is a creationist nut who knows little to nothing about science.

    I understand if science is too complicated for you to understand. But you really should trust the experts in their respective fields.

    Posted by: shawnthesheep | Jul 31, 2013 10:59:31 AM

  2. Sharon: Seriously? Why are you even here commenting on an article on a gay website that is by gay people for gay people? Go clown on the fox website or some crazy fundie web site. Just go away.

    Posted by: Liam | Jul 31, 2013 11:23:24 AM

  3. Scientific theories are just that, theories that are either proven or unproven. Proving theories requires and is backed by rigorous, time-consuming research, and scientists will be the first to admit that a theory could also be wrong, or the outcome different from what they had previously expected. This is also why science is "real", that the conjectures aligned with fact are equal to reality as we can understand it. On the other hand, religion in general is purely a question of belief. The proof therein is "theoretically" unprovable. Religion provided the balm for savaged souls when science was but a very youthful practice (a long, long, long time ago). This is 2013. One would hope that people today had enough respect for human intelligence and capability to consider science as the more reliable explanation of the Earth's and our existence. Religion serves well (for some) as a spiritual escape, but should remain in the spiritual realm, like meditation. Also, explain why many, maybe most, scientists are also people of faith?

    Otherwise, hard to read the article, I really hate stupid.

    Posted by: tinkerbelle | Jul 31, 2013 1:40:28 PM

  4. @Kev C Nomenclature seems to be a problem here. Scientific theories are not in any way speculative, they are as close to facts as we can get. That does not mean that science is never questioning. It is always asking questions.

    I doubt that you would question gravitation, as you see its effects around you at all times. Nevertheless, scientists are still examining it and finding strange quirks. But that does not mean that gravitation does not exist.

    We see the effects of evolution in medicine frequently. That's how bugs become resistant to our drugs. Survival of the fittest is a proven fact, and the linchpin of evolutionary theory. That scientists are still examining the theory and finding quirks does not negate the basic ideas which are universally accepted in the world of science.

    To say that mutation is unproven is simply untrue. Ask anyone whose anti-HIV drugs have stopped working.

    Posted by: David | Jul 31, 2013 2:45:47 PM

  5. if you need to ignore facts, and empirical scientific evidence in order to protect and maintain your "religious beliefs" then you're pretty much admitting that your beliefs are a farce.

    if you ignore the realities of climate change, and evolution, then YES - you are a complete f***ing idiot and raising your children with your brand of non-reality is only going to doom them to be social pariahs.


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 31, 2013 3:00:37 PM

  6. Religious beliefs can also be called theories. While atheists think they are excluding the teaching of religion, in fact they are making a case for teaching religion, because they are arguing for teaching non-evidential, non-proven scientific theories, and that borders on religion, on faith.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 31, 2013 3:45:00 PM

  7. Kev C, i'm not sure if you were homeschooled, inbred, or both, but that last comment of yours puts you squarely in the "please get kicked between the legs and never breed" demographic.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 31, 2013 3:54:16 PM

  8. There is a difference between Physics and Theoretical Physics. I would hope some would know that difference. Gullibility, the willingness to believe in something not proven. That's what many theists and atheists have in common.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 31, 2013 4:18:07 PM

  9. I think Kev C is trying to punk us. He's gotta be joking. His satire of an ill-informed, irrational ideologue is spot-on. We need to laugh with him, not at him.

    Posted by: ajax2828 | Jul 31, 2013 5:19:04 PM

  10. This is why we need to teach manners and etiquette in public schools. Because too many children grow up to be uncouth slobs. The world would be a better place if we taught these slobs some manners.

    Forget about teaching evolution or creationism ... teach manners.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 31, 2013 5:26:27 PM

  11. then we get more Kev C's running around saying things like "when my parents told me i was going to hell for being a filthy sodomite, i was really happy that they had the proper manners to not refer to me as a f@ggot."

    :D hehehe

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 31, 2013 5:27:41 PM

  12. The texts that make up the Bible were selected from the writings of people who believed that the Planet Earth was flat; That the Sun rotated around the Earth; That the Earth was the center of the Universe; Had no knowledge of the peoples we now call "Chinese" who were further advanced scientifically than the area in which Jesus lived. Also, until the invention of the printing press, only hand written copies (With or without editorial changes)were available for scholars to read; as the general population was uneducated and could not read.

    With that as prolog, some people actually believe that the Bible nonsense is FACT!

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Aug 3, 2013 4:17:04 PM

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