Senate Passes Oklahoma’s 2017 Creationism Bill

Josh Brecheen

We’ve written before about the latest creationism bill in Oklahoma, most recently Oklahoma Creationism Bill for 2017 — Update, in which we learned that the thing passed by a 13-1 vote in the Senate Education Committee on February 27, 2017.

As you know, the bill is Senate Bill 393, sponsored by Josh Brecheen (that’s his official photo above this post) who promotes bills like this every year. This one is essentially the same bill he promoted last year and the year before, and the year before that. We posted its text in Oklahoma Creationism Bill for 2015.

The thing is loosely based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discovery Institute. We’ve critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

We’ve just been informed by Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education:

Senator Josh Brecheen’s SB 393. Vote: 34-10 passed despite a rather massive effort to convince the House Leadership not to place bill on floor. We now move to fight the bill on the House side.

We checked our link where one can follow the progress of Brecheen’s bill: Bill Information for SB 393. Sure enough, it says that it passed on 22 March by a vote of 34 to 10.

Interestingly, the Discovery Institute had a post yesterday urging passage of the bill: We Urge Oklahoma Residents to Weigh In and Support Senate Bill 393 , written by Sarah Chaffee (Savvy Sarah to us). It repeats the usual misinformation:

Contrary to misleading reports [Hee hee!], academic freedom bills such as SB 393 do not authorize teaching creationism (which is unconstitutional to teach in public schools). Nor do they sanction teaching intelligent design, as they apply only to theories already in the curriculum (and ID isn’t in a public school curriculum anywhere in the U.S.). And yes, scientific controversy exists over evolution — indeed at the very highest levels of science.


This legislation would protect teachers who want to engage their classes in scientific inquiry and critical thinking on theories in the curriculum. Examining the evidence for and against propositions is good pedagogy, and good science!

Will the bill pass the House? Will the Governor sign it? We’re talking about Oklahoma, so it’s impossible to predict. The legislature doesn’t adjourn until 26 May. Stay tuned to this blog!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Discoveroids: We’re Still Alone in the Universe

Everybody knows about the recent astronomical discovery which PhysOrg wrote about here: Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system (Update).

The discovery has had a depressing effect on creationists, who still cling to the Genesis model of the universe, in which Earth is the only habitable world, and there is no life — certainly no intelligent life — anywhere else.

The Discovery Institute has been especially negative in their reactions — see Discoveroids: A Means Not-A. They insist that the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — made Earth as The Privileged Planet to be a home for us (whom he also created), and there’s nothing else of any importance out there, anywhere.

It’s not surprising that their outlook is consistent with that of the more traditional creationists, who cling to the concept of the universe described in the bible — a cozy arrangement, with the Earth created as the only world in existence, in the center of what seemed to be a rather limited universe, consisting of the Sun and the Moon, with the stars as lights set in a presumably solid firmament rotating around us, just below the glorious realm of Yahweh.

The more planets we discover orbiting other stars, the more depressed they get, but they’re temporarily comforted by the the fact that we can’t yet examine the atmospheres of those worlds, so we don’t yet know if there’s any life out there. They hope there isn’t, because if there is, then something’s wrong with their Earth-centered cosmos, and — gasp! — maybe those secular Darwinists are right.

The Discoveroids imagine that they’ve just received some good news, and it’s reported at their creationist blog by Klinghoffer. His headline is Remember Those Exciting “Earth-Like” Planets of the TRAPPIST-1 System? The Honeymoon Is Over . Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Do you recall the hubbub only one month ago about TRAPPIST-1, a dim red dwarf star some 40 light years from Earth? This star has seven planet [sic], three of which, roughly Earth-sized, were announced as being potentially habitable. This led to excited speculation about alien evolution: [list of headlines].

Those were depressing times for creationists. But maybe the crisis is over. Klinghoffer says:

Well, not so fast. Much of the breathlessness about the system stemmed from a thoroughly imaginative artist’s rendering courtesy of NASA. … Today, the TRAPPIST-1 bubble looks to have popped, with 3D computer climate modeling showing major problems with the system.

Whoopie — except for Earth, the universe is a lifeless desert! Klinghoffer is thrilled! He tells us:

According to Eric T. Wolf of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, the inner three planets would be barren, the outer three frozen. And the middle, planet e? In NASA’s rendering, it looks the most Earth-like. However, in a system like this centering on a dim red dwarf, planet e would need to have been stocked, to start, with seven times the volume of Earth’s oceans.

He refers to this article which discusses Wolf’s work: Trappist-1: Hopes for life dwindle. It says:

At least three of the planets looked like they were within the star’s “habitable zone” – the region in which water will remain liquid. On that level, at least, the trio seemed like very good candidates for hosting life.

Now, however, 3D climate modelling is dampening expectations, suggesting that at most only one of Trappist-1’s satellites could support life. The modelling has been completed by Eric Wolf from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In doing so, he made the assumption that the seven planets are – or had once been – ocean-covered, with atmospheres comprising nitrogen, carbon-dioxide and water vapour. Orbital and geophysical properties were derived or deduced from collected data. When Wolf ran the numbers, the results were rather depressing.

This is what Klinghoffer quotes from that article:

However, even one habitable planet may turn out to be a forlorn hope. Ultracool dwarf stars, Wolf says, may take as long as one billion years to settle into a stable system, during which orbiting planets are exposed to intense solar radiation, producing extreme greenhouse conditions. If this was the case with Trappist-1, then for the middle planet to retain abundant water today it would have to originally held seven times the ocean volume of Earth.

He was careful not to quote the very next paragraph, which says:

Wolf, however, is not the only scientist investigating the possibility of life in the Trappist-1 system. Also lodged on arxiv during March was a paper by Harvard astrophysicists Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb, in which they explore the idea that life may have arisen on a single planet orbiting the star, then spread to “multiple” others by a process known as panspermia.


Lingham and Loeb contend that because the seven planets in Trappist-1 are very close together – the distance between adjacent ones being far less than the distance between Earth and Mars – then microbial panspermia is likely to be robust.

After his quote-mining — or model-mining — Klinghoffer continues:

Materialists must have alien life, to assure themselves that Earth’s biology is nothing special, easily replicable by unguided evolutionary processes many other places in the cosmos. It seems unlikely the planets around TRAPPIST-1 support life, which means they cannot support evolutionary speculation, either.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Darwin is doomed again! Klinghoffer smugly ends his little essay with this:

Now it’s time to sit back and wait for the next half-baked “Earth-like” exoplanet to be wheeled out onstage by the popular science media. Don’t worry, it won’t be long.

So there you are. The cozy creationist universe seems secure — for the moment. But they’re worried. Very worried. As they should be.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Ken Ham Is a Victim of ‘Fake News’

You may recall a couple of months ago when we wrote Klinghoffer Says Evolution Is ‘Fake News’. Although we thought Klinghoffer’s little essay was singularly silly, it did have an impact.

He made a big impression on Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, who ceaselessly promotes himself as the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. The title of Hambo’s latest is The Real Fake News. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “fake news.” Well, regarding all that talk, remember that the two greatest fake news items permeating the culture are molecules-to-man evolution and millions of years. The claim that the universe and life arose by natural processes is a fake news story!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then he says:

Here’s a definition of fake news: the belief that watching TV or reading news reports gives a true account of what is happening in politics across the nation and the world. Where do you find authentic news? God’s Word!

Right. That’s where the real news is. After that he tells us:

The media is missing the real battle: “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” [scripture reference]. Do you ever see most of the media reporting on the real battle raging in this nation?

Actually, no, we never see that reported. Hambo continues:

There’s also been talk about the media being dishonest to push their own agenda. I agree that much of the media is dishonest — they’ve been publishing misinformation about Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter for years. When much of secular media interview us, I believe they’ve already written their anti-Christian, agenda-driven articles before the interview.

Then he claims to be in the same position as Trump:

The left-wing, secular media is doing to President Trump what they’ve done to us for years — spreading false accusations, lies, misinformation, censorship, and more.

It’s not quite the same. The media disagree with Trump on political and economic issues, but Hambo’s claim that he and Trump are both victims of fake news should stir up some commentary. One last excerpt:

Yes, there’s a civil war of ideas going on in America. It’s a culture war that’s actually a spiritual war.


America is suffering the consequence of generations not being taught how to think critically but being indoctrinated in the religion of naturalism. America is on the precipice of catastrophic change because generations were brainwashed by secularists in their anti-God religion.

Okay, that’s enough. And so we leave ol’ Hambo, standing on the deck of his replica of Noah’s Ark. He’s raging at the world, but especially at you, dear reader — because you’re foolish enough to believe the fake news of evolution.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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The Ten-Day Countdown Begins

Get ready for some astounding news, dear reader, which we are revealing to the world for the first time today, ten days from 01 April. We wouldn’t try to fool you — [*cough, cough*] — about something as important as this.

For years, your Curmudgeon has been engaged in cutting-edge research in his superbly-equipped, secret, underground la-BOR-a-tory, located far beneath the CITADEL — the Curmudgeonly Institute for Tactics, Advocacy, and Defense of the Enlightenment Legacy — the secret global nerve center for monitoring events throughout the Creosphere, where your Curmudgeon is headquartered in his luxurious underground control room.

Everyone is wondering: What has the Curmudgeon been working on? All right, brace yourselves. We are ten days away from launching — and piloting — the Curmudgeon’s space craft, which will boldly go where no man has gone before.

As you know, the problem with all the other space missions launched by various nations is their propulsion system. Chemical rockets are inadequate, and the reason is obvious — they’re based on sinful secular science. So we’ve been secretly developing a faith-based propulsion system. It’s divinely driven, so its power is unlimited!

Another problem with previous space missions is that they’ve been so unimaginatively named — Apollo, Mercury, Pioneer, Voyager, etc. We want a name for our ship that will be remembered for millennia!

What we’ll be doing in these final days before launch is loading the ship with supplies to sustain us — and our dogs — during the mission. But we haven’t yet selected a destination. For that, we thought we’d turn to you, our dear readers. What would be an appropriate destination for our ship’s maiden voyage?

You can play a vital part in this historic occasion. We welcome your suggestions regrading two vital questions:

1. What will be the name of the ship?

2. Where should we go?

Remember, there are only ten days remaining until the launch date — April first. This is your opportunity to play a part in history’s greatest adventure. We welcome your input.

We conclude with our traditional guarantee of quality:

Self-Proving Truth Certificate

Everything written by the Curmudgeon in this blog is true. The presence of this Certificate is your proof. Our logic is undeniable.

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