Kentucky Creationism: First Bill for 2011

Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) report: Antievolution legislation in Kentucky. They say:

Kentucky’s House Bill 169 would, if enacted, allow teachers to “use, as permitted by the local school board, other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.” Dubbed the Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act, HB 169 was introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives on January 4, 2011; the sole sponsor of the bill is Tim Moore (R-District 26).

Kentucky can be proud. Not only are they the home of the mind-boggling Creation Museum, the brain child of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), but now they’ve got the first creationist bill of the year cooking in their legislature. Maybe they should change their state’s motto to: Kentucky — First in Creationism!

NCSE says the bill’s sponsor is Tim Moore. That’s a familiar name in the shabby world of anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism legislation. Here’s Tim Moore’s page at the Kentucky House of Representatives’ website. This creationist genius is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, which is certainly an embarrassment for that institution.

We wrote about him a year ago, when he introduced some other creationist legislation, which died in committee a few months later.

When Moore’s bill failed last year, we predicted that he’d be back again promoting the same old snake oil. We regret that we were correct. Here’s a link to his latest legislative wonder: HB169. The bill has four brief sections. Here they are, with bold added by us:

(1) Teachers, principals, and other school administrators are encouraged to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories being studied.

Ah yes, all the creationist code words. Continuing:

(2) After a teacher has taught the content related to scientific theories contained in textbooks and instructional materials included on the approved lists required under KRS 156.433 and 156.435, a teacher may use, as permitted by the local school board, other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.

“Other instructional materials,” like all the creationist trash they can get their hands on. Here’s more:

(3) This section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.

That section comes out of the Academic Freedom Act promoted by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). It’s nonsensical language. Everyone knows what’s going on, so there’s no reason to try to tell the courts how to construe it. If Moore were serious about teaching science, instead of trying to sneak creationism into the schools, his bill should say something like: “This bill does not authorize the teaching of religious doctrines like creationism or intelligent design.” That would do the job, but that’s the opposite of what Moore’s legislation is designed to accomplish. Here’s the last of his bill:

(4) This section may be cited as the Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act.

That’s nice, but in the interest of accuracy, it might be better named Tim Moore’s Annual Imbecile Bill.

The Kentucky legislature’s session is scheduled to start on January 4 and end on March 22, so we won’t have to wait very long to see how this little drama plays out.

As we’ve done with our posts about other states, we recommend that the rational members of the legislature should give serious consideration to The Curmudgeon’s Amendment. It’s designed to nullify legislation like this.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Kentucky Creationism: First Bill for 2011

  1. Don’t you dare construe it to be serving the interests of the theocrats pushing their wedge strategy.

    After all, it doesn’t look good to admit to being anti-science religidiots, especially not when it’s true.

  2. Well, As soon as someone points out a disadvantage to evolution, I suspect that people will teach it anyway.

    Of course, what else is there… oh wait. Nothing. Nevermind. Doesn’t Kentucky have criminals or a budget problem that needs to be addressed?

  3. retiredsciguy

    OgreMkV : “Doesn’t Kentucky have criminals or a budget problem that needs to be addressed?”

    Well, they do need to decide whether they will pony up for a new interstate exchange giving easy access to Hambo’s Ark Park. And whether to give him state funds in the form of an extra tax break.

  4. This question is for the Curmudgeon, or anyone who follows those who peddle “other instructional materials,” whether by introducing bills, writing edititorials, or just commenting online:

    Have any of these people ever recommended the one book that has every anti-evolution claim, every “critical analysis” of evolution, that any evolution-denier would ever want? I am talking about “The Counter Creationism Handbook” by Mark Isaak. It includes references to every creationist book and website that they would ever want.

  5. Frank J asks:

    Have any of these people ever recommended the one book …

    I never heard of it.

  6. We wrote about him a year ago, when he introduced some other creationist legislation, which died in committee a few months later. [Emphasis mine]

    It says something about a movement when their primary contribution to society is their DICs.

  7. Curmudgeoon: “I never heard of it.”

    You must know me well enough to know by now to know that it was a trick question. I have asked it several times since the book came out, and, combined with my own googling, have never had an affirmative answer. What does that mean? Only that, even if 99% of those who demand “supplemental materials” are completely clueless (90% seems more realistic), that means that the dozens to 100s who aren’t are deliberately censoring the one resource that has everything they would ever want. And they are censoring it because it dares to conduct a real critical analysis of their bogus, and often mutually contradictory, claims. Instead of the phony “critical analysis” of evolution that was specifically “designed” to promote unreasonable doubt, and reinforce dangerous misconceptions of science.

    That said, my complaint is actually directed more toward fellow “Darwinists” than to anti-evolution scam artists. When we allow the censorship “debate” to be about whether or not we censor anything, instead of whether or not they do, we are handing them a victory. One that we cannot afford.

  8. Creationism as explained in the historical books of the Bible which is part of our US Constitution…we have been ‘endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights’..should be taught as any other science to explain the beginning of mankind and this universe. I support the bill…it should be taught because it is in our US Constitution and helps to explain how we are free people under the US Constitution.

  9. Of course Dennis can provide a quote from the Constitution that mentions God or the Bible? He’s quoted the Declaration of Independence, but for someone so concerned about the Constitution it’s surprising that he’s never read the thing. I mean, it’s what, four pages?

  10. I am not at all surprised that he graduated from the Air Force Academy. During the Bush administration there were numerous scandals with evangelical Christian Air Force Academy chaplains lording over AFA students who did not follow the evangelical line. Promotions were denied, non-evangelicals were harassed in the dorms, gyms and eating halls. Focus on the Family HQ is within sight of the AFA gates.

  11. The only reference to religion I can recall in the constitution is an injunction to the government not to make any laws concerning it. Did I miss something?

  12. Ed says: “Did I miss something?”

    Article 6 says there shall be no religious tests for holding office in the US.