This blog, written by Thomas E. Rutledge, focuses primarily on business entity law in Kentucky. Postings on contract law, contractual and statutory construction, and the entity law of other jurisdictions appear as well. There may as well be some random discussions of classical, medieval and renaissance history.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Kentucky Has Some Strange Laws – Biblical Genesis Is Just As Good as Scientific Evolution
Kentucky Has Some Strange Laws –
Biblical Genesis Is Just As Good as Scientific
Kentucky has some strange laws,
for example those defining the official drink (milk) and the official dance
(clogging) of Kentucky.Kentucky has
other strange laws such as that prohibiting the renting of a room to an
unmarried man and woman. But perhaps the
most curious of these laws is one which, by statute, seeks to impose an
alternative world view from that of science and specifically the theory of
KRS § 158.177, which it titled
evolution -- Right to include Bible theory of creation,” provides:
(1) In any public school instruction concerning
the theories of the creation of man and the earth, and which involves the
theory thereon commonly known as evolution, any teacher so desiring may include
as a portion of such instruction the theory of creation as presented in the
Bible, and may accordingly read such passages in the Bible as are deemed
necessary for instruction on the theory of creation, thereby affording students
a choice as to which such theory to accept.
(2) For those students receiving such instruction,
and who accept the Bible theory of creation, credit shall be permitted on any
examination in which adherence to such theory is propounded, provided the
response is correct according to the instruction received.
(3) No teacher in a public school may stress any
particular denominational religious belief.
(4) This section is not to be construed as being
adverse to any decision which has been rendered by any court of competent
Lets break this down, shall
we.A student is in a “science” class
when the scientific method of systematic observation, measurement and experimentation
for the purpose of formulating and modifying a hypothesis, and they are being
told that a non-observable, non-measureable and not subject to experimentation
story may be substituted as an answer.The consequent negative impact upon scientific literacy is obvious.
does a teacher both “read such passages from the Bible” while not “stress[ing]
any particular religious belief.The
Bible is about a particular religious belief.Reading from the Bible (and only the Bible) necessary excludes all
religions not based thereon.Why isn’t
the Enûma Eliš, a Babylonian creation myth, given equal weight? The Zoroastrians are being given short treatment.
Third, the standard of
“provided the response is correct according to the instruction given” may be
inconsistent with the view of the students “who accept the Bible theory of
creation.”The teacher will be called
upon to grade a student’s application of the instruction given even if that
instruction departs from the student’s interpretation.
Last (at least for now), the
assertion that this statute “is not to be construed as being adverse to any
[court] decision” is little more than wasted ink – the courts decide whether a
statute is inconsistent with the law.
Ultimately it does not matter;
this statute violates the Establishment Clause of the Federal Constitution and
is a dead letter.