We have good news from New Hampshire. As you recall, we’ve been writing about Creationist Madness in New Hampshire. Not one, but two creationism bills had been introduced into the state legislature.
Theory of Evolution. Require evolution to be taught in the public schools of this state as a theory, including the theorists’ political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism.
Scientific Inquiry. Require science teachers to instruct pupils that proper scientific inquire [sic] results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis, no matter how firmly it appears to be established, and that scientific and technological innovations based on new evidence can challenge accepted scientific theories or modes.
Now, as reported at the website of the Concord Monitor, House committee dismisses bills on evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The House Education Committee dismissed two bills this morning that would have dictated classroom lectures on evolution, saying the legislation stepped too far over the bounds of local control.
Ah, yes … the local school boards can do what they want, but let’s not impose lunacy at the state level. Let’s read on:
“In this committee, we’ve always taken the policy not to recommend what subjects the school teaches,” said Rep. Ralph Boehm, a Litchfield Republican and vice chairman of the education committee, discussing [Gary Hopper's] bill. “This bill is going a bit further and would recommend down to what they teach in a subject.”
In moving to dismiss the second bill, Rep. Joseph Pitre of Farmington said only “ditto.”
Regarding the preliminaries to today’s action, there’s an article in yesterday’s Union Leader of Manchester, New Hampshire titled Testimony heard on evolution education bill. It says, with our bold font for emphasis:
A hearing for a bill that would require the teaching of evolution as a theory, not scientific fact, drew heated testimony Tuesday. Bill sponsor Rep. Jerry Bergevin, R-Manchester, told the House Education Committee panel that his concerns about evolution went beyond its claimed unsoundness as a theory.
“Nations that supported atheism and evolution destroyed more human beings than any others in history,” Bergevin said, referring to the Nazis, Soviets and Chinese communists. “Evolution,” he added, “is the air supply of atheism.”
Quite a guy. For more on him, see Is New Hampshire’s Jerry Bergevin Insane? We continue with the Union Leader‘s story:
No one testified in support of Bergevin’s bill, however, it did face several opponents, including representatives from the New Hampshire Science Teachers Association and the N.H. School Administrators Association — as well as Jackson Hinkle, a 10-year-old student from Nashua.
There’s a lot about the testimony against Bergevin’s bill, which we’ll skip, and then the Union Leader discusses the other pending bill — the one sponsored by Gary Hopper and John Burt:
HB 1148 is the second bill to come before the Education Committee that could affect the teaching of evolution. House Bill 1457, heard by the committee last week, requires that science teachers instruct students that proper scientific inquiry “results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis, no matter how firmly it appears to be established.”
Members of the committee asked no questions and made almost no comments during the hearing, except to praise the students for participating.
Rather devastating. There’s also an article about this at the website of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE): New Hampshire antievolution bills dismissed.
For the moment, New Hampshire’s reputation is intact. But those creationists are still in the legislature, and there’s always next year.
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