Caturday felid, part deux: Tuxedo cat earns high school diploma

August 15, 2009 • 5:14 am

Oreo C. Collins, a two-year-old rescue cat from Macon, Georgia, has earned a high school diploma from Jefferson High School Online.

Rescued from a ditch when she was no more than a teeny, tiny ball of fluff, Oreo C. Collins, a 2-year-old tuxedo cat from Macon, Ga., may be the very first in her family to obtain a ‘high school diploma’ — online or off. (Of course, we may never know for sure because, as she wrote in her “life experience essay” portion of the test, she’s adopted.) Kelvin Collins, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia and Oreo’s rescuer, encouraged Oreo to seek her “education,” by taking part in the BBB’s ongoing investigation of online diploma mills.

“Oreo’s a really smart cat,” Collins said in a telephone interview with So smart that Oreo garnered mostly As in the online test, with some of her credits earned from her aforementioned life experience essay about her adoption into the Collins family. No doubt that’s why Collins solicited Oreo’s help in the Better Business Bureau’s experiment to expose Internet diploma mills.

Noting her humble beginnings by the side of the road where Collins found her during his son Brennan’s football practice, Oreo’s benefactor said he “is tickled pink to give her an opportunity to get an education.” Following a test and a $200 fee Collins paid for out of his own pocket, the young cat received her diploma from Jefferson High School Online.

090814-OreoNewspaper.239.standardFig. 1.  Oreo C. Collins, ready for Harvard

9 thoughts on “Caturday felid, part deux: Tuxedo cat earns high school diploma

  1. Well, Ben Goldacre’s dead cat, Hettie, managed to become a registered nutritionist.

    She’d also have become a ph.d. if anyone’d cared to pay or it.

  2. I know of a truly sad example of a state university (well known for its football team) that I briefly attended for graduate studies where a person was awarded a PhD for drawing conclusions based on evidence that was statistically insignificant. I also know of a person who was awarded a MA at the same institution though their research consisted entirely of a sample pool that was too small to any statistically significant evidence. Sometimes, degree mills come in the forms of “distinguished” institutions with high price tags. Go figure.

  3. Jerry, sorry in advance for the off-topic comment but…

    did you know you’ve just been quoted by the Discovery Institute? They’re using a quote from you as an example of why evolution is not useful for understanding biology (yes, really).

    I understand if the general policy is to not dignify them with a response, but this is different, as they are specifically misrepresenting you and using you as an authority to make a point you clearly wouldn’t agree with.

      1. Hey Sean. I’ve tried posting several comments with a link, but they haven’t been showing up. Now I’m afraid they will suddenly all appear at once and I will look like an idiot for being so redundant.

        I won’t try posting a link this time. But if you go to their Evolution News & Views blog, Casey Luskin quotes Coyne in his latest post, saying this:

        “Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne likewise admitted in Nature that “if truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say.””

    1. I couldn’t find anything relevant to this on the DI website. Please give a link if you can. I have published a book review in Nature saying that the claim that evolution helps humans in a practical way (e.g., health improvement, making $$) is probably overrated.

    2. Ah, yes, my review of Mindell’s book, which you can find here:

      I did say that, trying to make the point that it’s probably not a good idea to sell evolution by pointing out its practical benefits, since there aren’t that many, and that the biggest benefit of evolution is in simply understanding where we come from and how we’re related to every other species.

      Since then, my friend David Hillis has pointed out to me several new medical applications of evolutionary biology, so I’ve tempered that claim. See this post: At the end of the post I admit that evolutionary biology is of more medical importance than I thought. But of course the Discovery Institute doesn’t quote that!

  4. Well she’s such a cute little critter I think she deserves her diploma. There’s no way in hell I’d hire her though.

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