By Louisville Courier Journal
Clearly, it was inappropriate for state Sen. Kathy Stein, a Lexington Democrat, to refer to the Senate Education Committee’s new chairman as a “narrow-minded nimrod.”
Sen. Stein apologized, as she should, for the comment she said inadvertantly appeared on her Facebook page.
But there are some troubling questions about the recent appointment of Republican Mike Wilson of Bowling Green to head one of the most important committees in the Kentucky General Assembly – in particular, his argument that “intelligent design” should be included in public school science education.
Outgoing education chairman Sen. Ken Winters, a retired educator and former college president, had the credentials – if not always the courage – for the job.
But overall, Sen. Winters, a Murray Republican, exhibited a respect for the state’s mission to provide a sound education to its children.
Sen. Wilson, general manager of Christian radio station, has not.
He was among several lawmakers at an August meeting of the joint House-Senate Education Committee calling on state officials to include in science curriculum the notion of intelligent design, a belief similar to creationism that the world was created by God or a supreme being.
Intelligent design, generally an evangelical religious belief, is not to be confused with evolution, the well-established scientific explanation that human life developed from a common ancestor and has evolved over time by natural selection.
Sen. Wilson, however, does not accept the scientific explanation.
Kentucky is already suffering from a paucity of educated, skilled citizens and the last thing the legislature needs to do is water down science instruction.
Religious ideology has no place in public education.
Sen. Wilson needs to park his personal beliefs outside the committee room if he truly wants to use his new chairmanship to make a difference in Kentucky.
Louisville Courier Journal