There’s good news, modified with a bit of bad news, out of Oklahoma regarding the ongoing Republican legislative push for evolution and climate change denialist opinion to taught instead of real science. Oklahoma House Bill 1551, which passed the House, died in the Oklahoma Senate, since they were unable to report out of committee in time. Similarly, Senate Bill 1742 also died in the Oklahoma Senate. Both bills essentially required Oklahoma public schools to teach their students about the “debate” between creation and evolution, and about global warming.
Both bills died on a technicality rather than being voted down by the legislature, but we have to take what we can get these days.
Of course, the Republicans would try another tactic to get the anti-science legislation passed. House Bill 2341 was an innocuous bill that would have given school districts a two-year extension to meeting some standards on media and textbooks. It was a typical education bill that could be best considered “housekeeping.” But on March 28, Republican House member Steve Russell proposed an amendment to HB 2341 that utilizes nearly the exact language of HB 1551, which encourages teachers to present the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of “controversial” topics such as “biological evolution” and “global warming.”
In case it hasn’t been made clear on every single posting about these bills, let’s do it once more. There are no scientific controversies regarding evolution or global warming. There is science on one side, which is based upon mountains and years of evidence. And there is denialism on the anti-science side, that presents nothing. No evidence whatsoever.
Let’s hope that the Oklahoma legislature continues its level of incompetence in actually getting anything done.