The Oklahoma legislature adjourned for the year on May 25, 2012, and all three legislative attempts to force the teaching of the nonexistent “scientific controversies” in evolution and climate change. The first antievolution bill was SB 1742 died in committee in March. The second science denialist bill, HB 1551, died in the Senate Education committee in April. The third attempt, which was an amendment to a school funding bill, HB 2341, died because the amendment could not be added in time.
Once again, Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education led the charge to kill these bills. If Oklahoma citizens can do it, it should be possible everywhere.
As discussed before, Republicans in the Oklahoma legislature undertook a last-ditch attempt to push evolution- and climate change-denialism into the Oklahoma educational system. The two original anti-science bills, HB 1551 and SB 1742, died in committee in March, 2012. Republican Oklahoma Senator Steve Russell then attempted to amend HB 2341, a bill originally intended to extend by two years a deadline for local school districts to meet standards for media, equipment and textbooks, to add language from HB 1551. The amendment “encouraged” teachers to present “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of controversial” topics such as biological evolution and global warming.
(more…) «Creationism legislation–Oklahoma update 5»
An antievolution Republican Oklahoma legislator has introduced another anti-science bill in Oklahoma House of Representatives. The bill, if passed by both houses and signed by the governor, encourages teachers to teach the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of “controversial” topics such as “biological evolution” and “global warming”. This is actually a slight modification to an original bill that was rejected by the House Education Committee last month, but the full house can ignore that vote and vote on it as a whole.
Not only is the sixth evolution denialist bill proposed by state legislatures since the beginning of the year (which is about 3 weeks long so far), it throws in climate change denialism for good measure.
Josh Brecheen, the sole sponsor of the bill, states that:
“Renowned scientists now asserting that evolution is laden with errors are being ignored. … Using your tax dollars to teach the unknown, without disclosing the entire scientific findings[,] is incomplete and unacceptable.”
Which renowned scientists? Are there any? Almost every scientist (renowned or otherwise) accepts evolution as a virtual fact. Academic freedom means that a teacher teaches science (or history or whatever the discipline) without interference from government. So, does the Department of Biology at the University of Oklahoma teach Intelligent design as a scientific theory? It isn’t.
Glad I live in California. This stuff just doesn’t happen here.