Evolution has been a favorite target of conservative Republicans for a very long time now. In the last few years alone, Republicans have made every effort to push for teaching the Biblical story of creation in science classrooms in states such as Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Indiana, and elsewhere. Republicans in Kentucky, apparently feeling left out, are now jumping into the fray to fight against real science as well.
The Lexington Herald-Ledger reports that several Republican lawmakers raised the issue of teaching evolution and testing students knowledge of it on the ACT standardized test during a meeting of the Committee on Education.
State senator David Givens was the first to chime in on the topic, announcing to those in attendance that he wants creationism taught in science class. “I would hope that creationism is presented as a theory in the classroom, in a science classroom, alongside evolution,” Givens said.
State Representative Ben Waite went even further than his colleague, calling for an end to teaching evolutionary theory entirely. Why you ask? Because according to Waite, evolution is totally “made up” and isn’t based on real science.
“The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science — Darwin made it up,” Waite declared. “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.”
As you can imagine, this didn’t sit too well with the academic community, which fervently defended evolution. Professor Vincent Cassone is the chair of the biology department at the University of Kentucky and he made perhaps the best defense of evolution when asked about the issue by the Herald-Ledger.
“The theory of evolution is the fundamental backbone of all biological research,” Cassone said. “There is more evidence for evolution than there is for the theory of gravity, than the idea that things are made up of atoms, or Einstein’s theory of relativity. It is the finest scientific theory ever devised.”
The Biblical story of creation is not supported by scientific evidence, but merely by sheer faith alone, which is perfectly fine if you value religion and attend church. But creationism is a religious doctrine that has no place in science class. These Republicans claim that teaching evolution to students is a way to indoctrinate them, but it seems lost to them that forcing students to learn Christian doctrine, whether they are Christian or not, is the true definition of indoctrination. Evolution has been proven time and time again as a valid biological process. But one political party in this country has taken it upon itself to decry fact, knowledge, and science and have called for replacing these things with religion. It’s bad enough American science students are already struggling to compete with the rest of the world. Adding religious doctrine that has no place in education to the science curricula would only signal our total surrender.