Mississippi Creationism Update (27 Jan ’09)

BACKGROUND: As we reported here: Mississippi Creationism: Textbook Sticker Law, state representative Gary Chism, an insurance agent, introduced a bill into the Mississippi legislature which provides: “The State Board of Education shall require every textbook that includes the teaching of evolution in its contents” to have a warning label affixed to the book’s inside front cover. Chism’s bill is House Bill 25, and it specifies the contents of the warning label, the full text of which is included in our earlier post.

You’ve been wondering what happened to that creationist legislation, haven’t you? Your Curmudgeon has been tirelessly searching for news, and now we have some. At the website of OneNewsNow, which describes itself as part of the American Family News Network, a Christian news service, we read: Legislative challenge to evolution in Miss. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us.

They begin by describing Chism’s bill, and then they quote the brilliant legislator:

“You know the Supreme Court has already ruled that you cannot teach creationism alongside evolution,” the legislator notes. “So this is just a way of letting [those] kids who take these subjects know that there may be another explanation of how we all got here.”

How very helpful. It’s for the children! Let’s read on:

The bill is currently in committee, but Chism says it has been met with a lot of opposition. “I am confident that this bill is…dead on arrival,” he laments. “…I don’t think the [committee] chairman will even take the bill up.”

How disappointing that must be. Here’s the last of the article:

Chism told OneNewsNow he would consider drafting another bill next year supporting the teaching of the strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory in public school classrooms — and House Bill 25, he believes, is a good way to test the water as to what opposition they might encounter.

Chism is so hopelessly out of the loop that he’s not in the network of useful idiots who get talking points memos from the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). If he did, he’d know that since the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the operative code is now “analyze and evaluate.”

However, even if Chism is correct about his bill’s being dead, there’s always the possibility that another legislator will introduce an “academic freedom” bill into the Mississippi legislature. So stay tuned to this blog.

[Update: Chism’s bill died in committee on 03 February.]

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3 responses to “Mississippi Creationism Update (27 Jan ’09)

  1. Crackerjack reporting, S.C. This brought a smile to my face. And as a scientist, I can’t help but be fascinated by the evolution of the language of these bills.

  2. James says: “… I can’t help but be fascinated by the evolution of the language of these bills.”

    Creationists aren’t alone in continuously shifting their terminology. Politicians on the left have gone from being liberals (itself a source of confusion with respect to “classical liberals”), to moderates, to progressives, to populists, to whatever the current term may be — something like “really nice people with compassion.” Some racial groups change their self-identification terminology every 5 or 10 years, or so it seems. Other groups and ideologies do the same, and the motives differ. To remain politically correct in one’s speech requires keeping up with these ever-shifting labels. It’s easier to be a Curmudgeon and ignore the lot.

    But the creationists are probably unique in doing this in the hope of slipping past the latest court decisions which have slammed their prior nomenclature. Very strange.

  3. (sigh) … Happy New Year???