Anti-Science Legislation in Michigan

MICHIGAN IS ONE of those states currently dealing with a nationwide outbreak of anti-science, anti-evolution, anti-rational legislation, mostly modeled on the Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discovery Institute, a collection of anti-science cranks located in Seattle who call themselves a think tank.

So what’s the current situation in Michigan? In the Toledo Blade we read: Avoid ‘anti-science’ tag in quest for future prosperity. Excerpts (bold added for emphasis):

State Sen. Bill Hardiman (R., Grand Rapids) and State Rep. John Moolenaar (R., Midland) have introduced so-called “academic freedom” legislation that would require teachers and students to explore the “strengths and weakness” of evolutionary theory.

This is about science and helping prepare the best scientists of the future for our state and country,” said Mr. Moolenaar. He added that he wants students to have the “academic freedom to explore and critically examine scientific theories.”

We have never yet encountered a creationist who would straight-out tell the truth about these anti-science bills. You might think that — with all their holy motivations — at least one of them, somewhere, would hold a press conference and admit that his proposed legislation is designed to teach the bible as science. But no, they all “piously” deny that, and they go on to lie about their earnest wish to promote “good” science. Yeah, real good.

What do these people expect to say when they stand at the Pearly Gates and are asked to account for their lives? That’s the time to tell the truth. We can almost hear one of them now: “I lied my fat, drunken butt off to get some creationist legislation passed; and I did it for the Lord!” What happens then? Do the Gates swing open and admit him into Paradise? Or does a trap door open beneath him, sending him down to his true reward? Your Curmudgeon isn’t a theologian, and we have no answer — only questions.

Continuing with the article:

What is really going on is one more attempt by the religious right to drag in “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution. Nor is this something limited to Michigan. The bills introduced in Lansing are very similar to those introduced in half-a-dozen other states.

All of them closely follow a template prepared by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, the leading center for anti-evolution strategy. Federal and state courts have repeatedly ruled against laws mandating teaching of “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution. This appears to be a clever attempt to do the same.

Nice to see that somebody in Michigan understands the issues. Okay, one more excerpt (bold added for emphasis):

The odds of the bills passing in Michigan are, fortunately, probably small. Democrats control the House, and the governor is unlikely to be sympathetic. Frankly, Republicans ought to oppose this bill on purely economic grounds. Michigan is in a struggle to compete for a highly educated work force and the jobs of the future.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, or even an evolutionary biologist, to know that positioning Michigan as America’s leading anti-science state isn’t exactly likely to be good for business.

It’s good news that the legislation may not pass — this year — but why does science have to be a partisan issue?

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