AIG Supports Oklahoma’s Creationism Bill

When Answers in Genesis (AIG) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page — supports a bill pending in a state legislature, that’s a clue that there’s something seriously wrong with that bill.

As you know, one of two creationist bills in the Oklahoma legislature recently died in committee — see Oklahoma Creationism: One Down, One To Go. Unfortunately, the other was successfully reported out of committee and will now be considered by the entire House of Representatives. We wrote about the surviving bill here: Blackwell’s 2013 Creationism Bill, and in that post we also gave you the bill’s text.

It’s based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. We critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

But now, Blackwell’s bill and it’s Discoveroid authors have picked up AIG as an ally, and they probably wish that hadn’t happened. You can read about the endorsement in AIG’s News to Note, March 2, 2013 — “A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint.” It’s the fourth item at their news summary, titled Oklahoma House attempts to protect students’ freedom of thought and expression.

AIG describes the bill, which recently passed in committee by a narrow margin of 9 to 8, as if it were the most innocent piece of legislation ever drafted. They quote all the cunningly crafted Discoveroid code words, giving them their most innocuous meaning. For example:

The goal of the bill is: “to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues . . . “

Yes, it’s a wonderful bill. It’ll be great for science education. But if that were really so, then why would AIG support it? The whole world knows they despise science; they’re interested in promoting only raw, Genesis-based, young-Earth creationism. In a rational world, the fact that AIG favors this bill should be the ultimate kiss of death.

Then they say, with bold font added by us:

The usual railing from the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), the Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESC), and other opponents claims that a bill like this would “water down” or “undermine” science education. For instance, NCSE’s Eric Meikle says, “The problem with these bills is that they’re so open-ended; it’s a kind of code for people who are opposed to teaching climate change and evolution. . . . If every teacher, parent, and school board can decide what to teach on their own, you’re going to have chaos. You can’t deluge kids with every theory that’s ever been considered since the beginning of time.”

AIG rebuts that and finishes their little discussion with this:

On the contrary, academic freedom to discuss scientific ideas openly has historically been the way real scientific progress has been made. The medieval Roman Catholic church, many point out, impeded scientific progress by muzzling Galileo. Now the NCSE wishes to muzzle budding scientists before they are out of the proverbial cradle. Being afraid to let students learn how to discern, the National Center for Science Education is — ironically — standing in the way of genuine science education. [Itialics in AIG’s article.]

You gotta love it! Opposing a Discoveroid “academic freedom” bill is the equivalent of muzzling Galileo. Our suggestion to those working to oppose this bill in Oklahoma is that they should recognize that AIG’s endorsement is a gift! They should use it. Every legislator should be made aware that Blackwell’s bill is supported by Ken Ham! If that doesn’t kill the thing, nothing will.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “AIG Supports Oklahoma’s Creationism Bill

  1. So AIG says:
    On the contrary, academic freedom to discuss scientific ideas openly has historically been the way real scientific progress has been made. The medieval Roman Catholic church, many point out, impeded scientific progress by muzzling Galileo.
    What absolute hypocrites! Don’t they remember their own Statement of Faith?

    By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.

    Where’s the “academic freedom” in that? Are they truly that stupid that they can’t see this?

  2. Wonder what they would think of if academic freedom was supported in their churches and sunday schools?

  3. Reynold: “Are they truly that stupid that they can’t see this?”

    They can see it as clearly as you and I do. But their radical paranoid authoritarian agenda forces them to act otherwise, to fool as many people as possible. Not just the ~25% who won’t concede evolution under any circumstances, but the 25-50% of “fence-sitters” that either has vague doubts of evolution, or accepts it but still thinks it’s fair to “teach the controversy.” And yes I was once in the latter group.

    Remember that AiG hates the ID scam. That they will hold their nose and grudgingly support the DI’s “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when” strategy tells me that they’re running scared. They know that their young earth nonsense cannot withstand critical analysis, even by students.

  4. ‘The usual railing from the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), the Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESC), and other opponents claims that a bill like this would “water down” or “undermine” science education. For instance, NCSE’s Eric Meikle says, “The problem with these bills is that they’re so open-ended; it’s a kind of code for people who are opposed to teaching climate change and evolution. . . . If every teacher, parent, and school board can decide what to teach on their own, you’re going to have chaos. You can’t deluge kids with every theory that’s ever been considered since the beginning of time.’

    I’m on the same side Eric Meikle is. If I ever meet him, however, I am going to suggest that he never, ever again identify creationism/ID as a theory. It is not even a hypothesis, as it cannot be tested. Refer to it only as a mere claim, a crazy claim if you’re feeling mean that day, but never ever elevate it to theory when you speak, any time or any where.

    Every time someone like Meiklewho refers to crackpot belief claims like ID as actual theory often if not always results in yet another time the crackpot proponent goes “See? Goddidit is TOO a theory, he just said so!” Even if the crackpot advocate doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity every time, Joe and Jane Citizen who don’t know the difference between claim, hypothesis, and theory will hear how Meikle used theory and wonder, if ID and evolution are each theories that sorta seem to be about the same thing,
    why do educators refuse to teach both?

    Maybe educators really are godless commies. Maybe Rightie Teapublicans are correct when they say public schools and the Department of Education are godless and socialist. Maybe I should be afraid of that. Maybe it’s time to vote for distribution of public funds to charter (religious) schools, and turn this country away from socialiist public education.
    .
    The term theory is misused regularly, and people who respect science and fear the insinuation of ooga-booga into secular institutions still can’t figure out why the lay public constantly says “Evolution is only a theory, too, so teach ‘em both and let the kids decide.”

  5. A minor correction: HB 1674 must first go to a newly created House Calendar Committee that will decide which bills will go to a House floor vote. We have some Democratic legislators that will try to stop the bill in the Calendar Committee, but it is likely to pass to the floor where it will pass overwhelmingly, as has been the case for many years. However, when the bill gets to the Senate side, there is a good chance the bill can be killed. A similar academic freedom act, SB 758, has already died this year in the Senate Education Committee.

    Although Oklahoma has had the most (26) creationist bills in the past 13 years, none have made it into law, due in large part to the activities of Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE, http:/www.oklascienceorg/ ) that has served as an umbrella group to organize opposition from national (AAAS, AIBS, AU, etc.) and state organizations (Oklahoma Academy of Science, Oklahoma Science Teachers Association, Interfaith Alliances, ACLU, etc.) and many individuals.

    The work of OESE was described on a recent post on the NCSE web site. However, as the Legislature has become increasingly dominated by a super majority of Republicans, many of the far-right religious variety, it has become much tougher.

  6. Wow, comparing NCSE to the medieval Catholic Church! These people are a piece of work…

  7. @alpha079er — Saying “These people” when referring to AiG makes the expressed ideas seem more important than they really are, because the views of AiG are primarily the views of one man, Ken Ham. You are correct, though — Ken Ham is a piece of work.

  8. Thanks for the correction, Victor. You’ve really got your hands full with this one.

  9. @abandonwoo:

    It drives me nuts too when a critic of ID/creationism calls it a “theory.” That’s pure laziness, because they know it’s not. The least they could so is use quotes as I did. Another foot-shooting that annoys me is the careless use of the words “Darwinism,” “creationism” and especially “creationist(s).” They know that the scam artists constantly bait-and-switch different definitions to fool the fence-sitters. Why we constantly let them win that one is mind-boggling.