Iowa Creationism: Another “Freedom” Bill

ANOTHER STATE enters the conflict. This time it’s Iowa, which joins New Mexico and Oklahoma in this year’s list of states facing the prospect of passing an anti-science, anti-evolution, creationism-friendly law inspired by the misleadingly-named Academic Freedom Act, promoted by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids).

Elsewhere in the US, Mississippi is considering a “warning label” type of bill for biology books, but the bill’s sponsor has said it’s unlikely to become law. Left over from last year’s creationism offensive is an “Academic Freedom” bill that became law in Louisiana, and the still-pending decision of the Texas State Board of Education to mandate creationism in that state’s schools.

[Update: the Mississippi “warning label” bill died in committee on 03 Feb.]

As reported in this article: Antievolution legislation in Iowa at the site of the National Center for Science Education, House File 183 was introduced into the Iowa House of Representatives by Rod A. Roberts.

This link should let you track the bill’s progress through the House. It’s been referred to the Education committee.

The proposed Iowa legislation is similar to the other “Academic Freedom” bills. In it’s “explanation” section it says:

Pursuant to the bill, the general assembly finds and declares that current law does not expressly protect the right of instructors to objectively present scientific information; that instructors have experienced or feared discipline, discrimination, or other adverse consequences as a result of presenting the full range of scientific views regarding chemical and biological evolution; that existing law does not expressly protect students from discrimination due to their positions or views regarding biological or chemical evolution; and that the topic has generated intense controversy about the rights of instructors and students to hold differing views.

In other words, it’s the typical Discoveroid cover story for slipping creationism into science class in the guise of protecting teachers and students from discrimination. The bill’s sponsor and all those who will support it understand quite well that it’s intended to allow creationism and intelligent design “theory” to be taught in science class, but they’ll never acknowledge that. If the question is put to them, they’ll deny it. But no one will be fooled. It’s an utterly dishonest enterprise.

Who is Rod A. Roberts? Here’s his page at the legislature’s website: Rod A. Roberts. Other than a cheerful photograph, it doesn’t provide much information.

In the Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa, we read: Rod Roberts mulls bid for Iowa governor. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

A five-term Republican from a Democratic oasis in western Iowa is giving consideration to making a bid for the GOP nomination for governor in 2010.

Ambitious fellow, and he thinks creationism is his ticket to the big time. Let’s read on:

Roberts, an ordained minister who now works on development for Christian Churches-Church of Christ in Iowa, has developed a reputation as a social conservative who reaches out to others, including Democrats.

We already guessed that he wasn’t a scientist. Here’s more:

I think I bring a different kind of philosophy as a candidate, one that might separate me from others and would be helpful to the Republican party now,” Roberts said. The party has “distinct points of view of the values of the Republican party and the direction it should take.”

He certainly does have “a different kind of philosophy” than that which is required by the US Constitution. One more excerpt:

He’s a fiscal conservative, pro-life and an opponent of expanded gambling.

And a full-blown, flaming creationist. Just what the world needs.

As we recently said regarding the New Mexico legislature, we recommend that lawmakers in Iowa should give serious consideration to The Curmudgeon’s Amendment. It should nullify Rod Robert’s legislation.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

5 responses to “Iowa Creationism: Another “Freedom” Bill

  1. Sensuous,

    Happily, the anti-evolution sticker Mississippi HB 25 is dead, as of 3 Feb 09:

    http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2009/pdf/history/HB/HB0025.xml

  2. So it seems. Thanks for the tip. I may not post about this, as the last time I mentioned it the bill’s sponsor had predicted this. Maybe I’ll just let it die, but with a quick update in the current post.

  3. And now one has popped up in Alabama. Care to make a gentleman’s bet that one will be introduced in South Carolina?

  4. Alabama? Darn, it’s an avalanche! I’ll write it up and schedule it to appear in the morning. I’ve got the format for such posts pretty well worked out, so it won’t take too much effort.

  5. FYI – the Alabama and Iowa bills extend the faux-academic freedom arguments into higher education (moving it beyond just K-12 that previous bills solely focused on).