Mississippi Creationism Bill: Editorial Appraisal

WHEN we recently wrote Mississippi Creationism Bill: It’s Dead, Jim, about the ignominious demise of the latest creationism bill filed by legislator-insurance salesman Representative Gary Chism, District 37, Republican, we assumed we’d hear no more about the matter until Chism’s next effort in some future legislative session.

However, we’ve come across an editorial which provides a post-script to the subject. It’s titled Stick to the budget, published in Mississippi’s Desoto Times Tribune, a weekly newspaper published in DeSoto County, Mississippi, the third most populous county in that state. Here it is, with bold font added by us:

The theory of evolution and whether it should be taught in Mississippi schools has long been a point of contention.

Yes, and that’s not something a state should brag about. Let’s read on:

So, it’s no surprise one state lawmaker saw fit to introduce a bill that, if passed, would settle the dispute.

“Settle the dispute”? Not quite. Legislation certainly wouldn’t settle the scientific status of evolution. Perhaps the editorial writer should become acquainted with the infamous Indiana Pi Bill. Nor would passing such a law settle the question of the law’s constitutionality. The only dispute such a law could settle is the question of the legislature’s sanity.

The editorial continues:

The problem is any bill regarding evolution education has the potential to create heated discussions among legislators and in the community, and Mississippi quite frankly has larger issues to be concerned with at the moment.

That’s the problem with an anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism bill? Are we reading this correctly? Here’s more:

A state with an estimated $400 million budget shortfall should be focusing on how best to save dollars. For sure, one way to default on that mission is to keep legislators in Jackson for an extended session or call them back later because they ran out of time to address crucial issues.

There’s no misunderstanding. The editorialist’s only objection to Chism’s bill is that it would distract the legislature from budgetary considerations. Moving along:

Now, we’re not saying legislators should never consider evolution education. We simply understand many would want to pay the matter close attention, as it deserves, and this just may not be the right time.

Right. Keep evolution on the agenda. Good thinking! Here’s the end of the editorial:

Our kudos to the Education Committee for letting House Bill 586 from Rep. Gary Chism (Dist. 37-Columbus) die earlier this month.

So there you are. The Desoto Times Tribune‘s only objection to Chism’s idiocy is that it would be too distracting at this time. But there’s always next year.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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