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The woeful state of Kentucky's public schools in recent years is no secret. That's why I was encouraged last month when the state Department of Education adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, which were developed in conjunction with 25 other states and many respected educators from around the country.
When implemented, these new standards will help bring us out of our scholastic doldrums and position our students – and our state – to compete more equitably in the economic arena. Unfortunately, some people oppose them, claiming their inclusion of evolution clashes with their religious beliefs in creationism. Some have even called the standards "atheistic" and "fascist," and insist they'll ultimately lead to genocide.
Well, I'm all for religious freedom, but that's nonsense. If you want to believe the earth is only 5,000 years old, have at it. But don't bar our students from access to the wealth of scientific evidence that says otherwise. I'm pretty sure the God I know is more than capable of having orchestrated the entire miracle of evolution.
These aren't the Dark Ages. And science isn't some newfangled fad. Kentucky can no longer afford to be viewed as a backwater of uneducated hillbillies and snake handlers, and these new standards deserve the support of everyone who cares about our future.