"When photosynthesis is mentioned only 19 times and climate is mentioned 72 times, we've got a problem," said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst with the group.
"If we had only Kentucky's science standards to judge by," said Cothran, "we would have to conclude that climate and weather issues are more important than gravity, photosynthesis, electricity, genetics, radiation, and quantum mechanics."
Cothran said that a simple word search of the document reveals the inordinate emphasis that the state's academic standards have on climate issues. "Genes are mentioned 38 times; the solar system 23 times; DNA 16 times; oxygen 16 times; mutation 11 times; chromosomes 9 times ; electrons 6 times; bacteria 4 times; and mitosis 3 times. Meanwhile the terms 'climate' and 'weather' together are mentioned over 130 times."
The group listed the terms that are completely absent from the standards. They include: 'hormone', 'kinesis', 'lymph' (or 'lymphatic'), 'neuron', 'nucleotide', 'osmosis', 'phenotype', 'Celsius', 'Farenheit', 'plasma', 'RNA', 'somatic', 'vaccine', 'microscope', 'half-life', 'protozoa', and 'enzyme'.
"The Greenhouse Effect is mentioned twice, but the theory of relativity doesn't warrant a single mention," said Cothran. "What are we to think of science standards that talk about climate change, but don't even bother to mention mammals, reptiles or birds?"
He also asked why the standards don't mention a single famous scientist. "You would think students ought to know about Euclid, Einstein, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Alva Edison, and Marie Curie. In fact, despite all the controversy over the emphasis on evolution in the standards, Charles Darwin isn't mentioned once."
"It is a testimony to the lack of scientific reasoning skills students will receive that the word 'hypothesis' appears only once in the entire document."