Legislating Creationism in Science Classrooms?

As we prepare for the 2013 session of the Texas Legislature — a session that could be one of the most difficult ever for supporters of public schools — it appears that creationists are redoubling their efforts to promote creationism in our nation’s science classrooms. This month a Montana legislator officially requested the drafting of a bill that would require “intelligent design” — creationism dressed up in a lab coat — be taught alongside evolution in his state’s public schools. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education have more about this development here. And read how the creationists’ war on science education is playing out in Louisiana. Publicly funded private school vouchers are playing a big role in the Louisiana battle.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that teaching creationism or so-called “creation science” in public school science classrooms is unconstitutional. A federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled in 2005 (Kitzmiller v. Dover) that “intelligent design” is essentially the same thing as creationism, making instruction about that concept in public schools also unconstitutional. But creationists keep trying.

The Texas Freedom Network is currently monitoring the filing of legislation in Texas for the 2013 session. We haven’t seen a similar “intelligent design” bill filed here yet. But we are already seeing proposed legislation establishing private school voucher schemes in Texas. Moreover, the State Board of Education is scheduled to adopt new science textbooks for Texas public schools next year. Creationists on the state board are hoping flawed science curriculum standards they approved in 2009 will force publishers to include anti-evolution propaganda in their new textbooks. We will get our first look at the proposed new textbooks in April.

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6 Comments

  1. William Swanback
    Posted November 30, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    If creationists are of the opinion that creationism should be taught along side evolution, in the public schools, are they prepared to have evolution taught along side the Genesis version of creation in their Sunday schools? I think not. So they need to abandon their cockeyed, insidious quest to get religion into the science classroom.

  2. Posted November 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    What I meant when I said, ” The idiotic blatherings of people who simply cannot get it through their heads that the bible is a nice book but it is NOT a science book.” was that the blatherings of those people need to be put in context of who they are and what they are attempting to do. The entire object is to get financing for Christian schools. Those people simply cannot get it through their heads that this is NOT a Christian nation nor is this a Christian state.

    This year is going to be fun.

  3. Posted November 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    As far as I am concerned, those of us who have brains in our heads should bring up the FACT that “creationism” is a religious idea and since it is strictly a RELIGIOUS matter, it should be prohibited on the basis of the separation of church and state.

    I’m tickled to see that Pat Robertson has even come over to the side of science. The idiotic blatherings of people who simply cannot get it through their heads that the bible is a nice book but it is NOT a science book.

    Being a theist myself, I read the bible for what it is. When it is factual, I accept it as such, but when it tries to explain where and how we got here it is a FAIRY TALE that was told to try to explain to a relatively primitive people what they thought happened.

    Adam and Eve is a nice story, but it is just that, a story that could have started “Once upon a time.” Non-funnymental religious leaders agree that anyone who takes the story literally is in serious need of mental help.

  4. doodlebugger
    Posted November 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Dan,
    Our buddies , the theocrats and public relations intelligent design proponents at the marketing center the Discovery Institute
    have a standardized ID bill they float to gullible state legislators around the country. we can bet that some of the less, shall we say, “intelligunt” (or less ethical) members of the
    State Legislature will be proposing such bills here this year. Governor Perry backs these efforts as we all know.
    So reason, logic, scince and the Constitution be darned. I’ll be surprised if they don’t run one up the flag pole this year.
    The good news is, the YECs have a new opponent theologically. Pat Robertson.
    He came out strongly against the YECs like McLeRoy earlier this week.

  5. Charles
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Message for Dapper Dan at TFN:

    Which idiot Texas legislator would be most likely to actually introduce a “Teach the Controversy” bill in the Texas legislature? I would like to send him a copy of the Tennessee bill that was actually passed into law this year and quote it to him as a “to be emulated” model for the other states to use in drafting their own—and tell him that state lawyers who are “Top Men” have already reviewed it and signed onto the conclusion that it is federal-judge-proof legislation.

    I look at it this way. If we can get several other states to pass this one thing, a federal court test will arise sooner rather than later, and all of them will be ruled unconstitutional. Attun air izz called killin them thar birds with a singlerock…ur sumpin’ like that thar.

  6. Rubin Sunset
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Of all the “hot button issues” that have lit a fire under me in Texas — this one is number one. Forcing taxpayer funded schools to teach ID/Creationism is clearly irresponsible — and I mean that in the strongest sense of the word. It is an egregious insult to the hard work and achievements of biologists, archaeologists and many other scientific disciplines over many years. The people w/ “serious money” who are behind all this have a very dark agenda in mind, & it ain’t pretty! Let’s all stand tall, be courageous, and “fight the good fight,” as, I believe, Kathy Miller said.

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