WE’VE REPORTED earlier that creationist legislation — motivated by creationists and aimed at preventing evolution from being taught in science classes — is currently pending in South Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. And we’ve also reported that two similar legislative attempts failed to pass in Alabama and Florida.
Now you can scratch Missouri off the list of science-endangered states.
When the Missouri legislative session ended on May 16, 2008, House Bill 2554 died, although it was passed by the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education on April 30, 2008. If enacted, the bill would have called on state and local education administrators to “endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues, including such subjects as the teaching of biological and chemical evolution,” [and so on, that is, the usual creationism blather].
In other words, it was typical of bills introduced in other states that are all coordinated (or at least actively encouraged) by the Discovery Institute, because the bills are modeled after their so-called Academic Freedom Act.
The National Center for Science Education also informs us that:
Cooper [Rep. Robert Wayne Cooper, R-Camdenton] sponsored a total of three antievolution bills: HB 911 and HB 1722, calling for equal time for “intelligent design” in Missouri’s public schools, in 2004, and HB 1266, calling for “critical analysis” of any “theory or hypothesis of biological origins,” in 2006. All three of these bills died, although HB 1266, like HB 2554, was passed by the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education.
It’s been a bad year for creationism, but they’ve all been bad since 1859, the year Darwin published Origin of Species.