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.
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