A month ago we wrote Montana Creationism: A Bill for 2013. That was about a bill being introduced into the Montana legislature for 2013 that would require the teaching of intelligent design along with evolution.
That effort, about which we learned from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), is the handiwork of newly-elected state House member, Clayton Fiscus (Republican), a rising star in the world of creationism.
Since then we’ve been scanning for news, but Montana is almost off the grid and events in that state aren’t easy to detect. A search on Fiscus’ name produces one — one! — item on the subject in the past month, and that was a sane letter-to-the-editor which appeared in the Billings Gazette on 11 December: Intelligent design won’t pass test. Other than that … nothing. All we can report is that the Montana legislature convenes on 07 January and is scheduled to adjourn on 27 April.
But somehow, NCSE has been able to watch events in Montana, and now they report: Montana bill mutates. They say:
The draft bill now produced in response to Fiscus’s request contains a preamble, which invokes “academic freedom,” the lack of scientific agreement, and “critical thinking” in support of the bill’s provisions, and five sections, of which the first is the most substantive.
How did they know that? We can’t find anything. The Montana legislature’s website doesn’t even mention Fiscus yet. But somehow, NCSE has provided a link to the new draft of the bill: UNAPPROVED DRAFT BILL. Those NCSE guys are really wired in! Hey — we have something to add. We found a link where the bill’s progress can be monitored: Bill Draft Number: LC0599.
It appears to us that the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page — have contacted Fiscus to offer their expertise, and they’ve twisted his thinking into their mold. The proposed bill has all the Discoveroid code-words: “academic freedom” (see Abuse of the Language of Rights), and “critical thinking” (see What Is “Critical Thinking”?), and “strengths and weaknesses” (the only “weakness” of evolution is that it doesn’t rely on Oogity Boogity). It’s even got one of those “may not be construed” provisions, attempting to tell the courts that the bill isn’t what it obviously is.
The Discoveroids’ fingerprints are all over this bill. The only cure for this kind of junk legislation is The Curmudgeon’s Amendment. That’s our legislative doomsday machine, but no state has deployed it yet.
Things should get interesting now. Clayton Fiscus is no longer alone in the Big Sky Country. He’s got the Discoveroids to help him draft his bill. They’ll also be able to scrounge up creationist witnesses for the expected legislative hearings, who will testify falsely that there’s a big scientific controversy over evolution and this bill is necessary to protect creationist teachers from being Expelled! You know the routine. We’ve all seen this before, and now the shabby show has come to Montana.
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