Creationism Legislation Roundup (24 Apr ’11)

This is Easter Sunday (we extend Curmudgeonly good wishes to all) so there probably won’t be any news of The Controversy between evolution and creationism today. Therefore, let’s sit back and consider the current status of anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism legislation for the year. We’ll start with the states that have already rejected this year’s bills.

Creationism bills have failed in Kentucky, in New Mexico, in Oklahoma (Kern’s bill, but two others are still pending), and in Tennessee. (maybe — it passed in the House, but the companion bill is “on hold” in the Senate).

Now for the states that have not yet determined the fate of the bills with which they’re dealing:

Missouri: Their legislative session is scheduled to end on 30 May. The creationism bill is House Bill 195, which we first discussed here. You can track the progress of HB 195 here. It’s still sitting in the House’s Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. There’s been no activity and none is scheduled.

Florida: Their legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on 06 May. The creationism bill is SB 1854: Required Instruction in the Public Schools, which we first discussed here. It’s still sitting in the Senate’s Budget and also the Education Pre-K – 12 Committees. There’s been no activity, and none is scheduled.

Oklahoma: Their legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on 27 May. They’re still considering Josh Brecheen’s SENATE BILL 554 (that’s just a download link), which we first wrote about here. Our clandestine operative (code name “OO”) says that both Brecheen’s mess and yet another crazy bill (HB 1001) seem to be going nowhere.

Texas: Their legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on 30 May. They’re considering Bill Zedler’s HB 2454 , which we first discussed here. It’s sitting in the House Higher Education Committee, and nothing has happened with it yet.

So there you are, dear reader. For the moment, things aren’t going well for the three groups that like to propose such legislation year after year. They are: (1) the apparently unaffiliated, religiously primitive creationists — as in Oklahoma; (2) theocratic activists in or controlled by various “Family Values” lobbies; and (3) the puppet-masters behind almost all of these efforts — neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

Why do we care? If you don’t yet know, see The Infinite Evil of Creationism. We care — and so should you — because these bills are more than an expression of ignorance and stupidity. That’s often all that motivates the legislators who promote and vote for them, but such politicians are merely pawns. They think it’s about religion, but that’s not it at all. These bills portend nothing less than a war against Western Civilization.

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

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8 responses to “Creationism Legislation Roundup (24 Apr ’11)

  1. comradebillyboy

    Your last paragraph sums up the situation nicely. Too bad for our dear country.

  2. comradebillyboy says: “Your last paragraph sums up the situation nicely”

    It almost did. I just tweaked it. Now my paranoia is on full display.

  3. I was under the impression that Breechen’s bill in OK was also dead.

    2011 is looking like another big goose egg for the DI. Delightful.

  4. James F says:

    I was under the impression that Breechen’s bill in OK was also dead.

    That’s what they say at NCSE, and they know what they’re doing. But the legislature is still in session and the status info I looked at doesn’t give that impression. I really don’t know. NCSE is probably right.

  5. Oklahoma: We consider all three bills to be essentially dead. My legislators confirm this. The two bills that were not considered are now listed as ‘dormant,’ since they did not get considered by the appropriate deadlines. In fact, the leadership made these decisions and did not place them on the agenda. SB 554 was not considered by the Senate Education Committee; the chair would not place it on the agenda by the deadline. HB 1001 (I was given two minutes to oppose the bill at the Committee hearing) passed 9-7 but the Speaker of the House would not place it on the House agenda for consideration. There is always the possibility that they could re-emerge as amendments on other bills, but this is very unlikely, since the amendments would have to be germane to the basic bill being amended and there appears to be no such bills. More details are on the Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education web site. It seems clear that all three are dead for this session, but this Legislature sometimes breaks their own rules! We have now ‘killed’ creationist bills for the past 11 years, but the fight will surely continue next session. As in most states the Silly Sally, Krazy Kerns keep trolling for their fundie constituents.
    One thing that worked in our favor is the split between the tea partiers and older Republicans. Thus, Sally Kern’s bills got some Republican opponents and the Speaker may have killed her HB 1001 for that reason. Of the 101 Representatives in the House 30+ identify with the tea baggers, including most of those newly elected. This split in Oklahoma appears to be somewhat more severe than nationally.

  6. Thanks, Victor. Am I correct in assuming that the Tea Party gang are not in favor of this legislation? It’s been my impression that they’re less “family values” oriented than the usual party base.

  7. Vic, it’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Thanks so much for the work you do!

  8. Curmudgeon: NO, the ‘tea partiers’ here include Brecheen, Kern, and others and all appear to be far right religious fanatics of the John Birch Society type, of which Sally Kern is a member. It was at a Bircher meeting that Kern said gays were worse than terrorists.