THIS IS going to be a busy year. First Oklahoma, then New Mexico, then Iowa. Now Alabama joins that blighted list of states that have had an “academic freedom” bill introduced into the legislature.
In Alabama it’s yet another of those anti-science, anti-evolution, creationism-friendly laws 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).
These new legislative efforts are added to the mess we have from last year’s creationism offensive. In 2008, an “academic freedom” bill became law in Louisiana, and there is the still-pending decision of the Texas State Board of Education to mandate creationism in that state’s schools.
As reported in this article: Antievolution legislation in Alabama at the site of the National Center for Science Education, House Bill 300 was introduced into the Alabama House of Representatives by David Grimes.
This link takes you to a list of bills sponsored by David Grimes, but it’s not easy. When you get there you’ll have to click on “bills,” then “by sponsor,” and then get “Grimes” in the “Representatives” window. It’s clumsy. But after that, if you scroll down, you’ll find HB 300. It’s now in the Education committee. We’re not certain, but that link should let you track the bill’s progress through the House.
This link takes you to the text of the bill. It’s similar to all the other “academic freedom” bills. The bill’s “Synopsis” says:
Existing law does not expressly provide a right nor does it expressly protect tenure and employment for a public school teacher or a teacher at an institution of higher education for presenting scientific information pertaining to the full range of scientific views. In addition, students are not expressly provided a right to positions on views. This bill would expressly provide rights and protection for teachers concerning scientific presentations on views and students concerning their positions on views.
It’s the same Discoveroid nonsense we’ve seen before. If this becomes law and then a mindless teacher babbles about the “science” of Noah’s Ark, there will be no repercussions — if the law survives an almost certain court challenge. Likewise for students. The bill applies to “any public school or institution of higher education.” Alabama’s state colleges and universities may become creationist academies.
The bill is sponsored by David Grimes. Who is this creationist genius? Here’s his page at the legislature’s website: David Grimes. We are informed that:
Representative Grimes is a graduate of Troy University and has been in the life insurance business since 1978. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church where he serves as a Deacon.
Besides being an insurance salesman, Grimes is making a political career out of being a persistent creationist. As reported by the National Center for Science Education in this article from last year, Grimes sponsored an “academic freedom” bill before, which failed to pass.
In case you’re getting worried about all these creationist bills, bear in mind that politics is the only thing the Discoveroids have going for them. They have their faith-based network of useful idiots in school boards, state legislatures, etc. But they’re nowhere in the scientific community, nowhere in industry, agriculture, or medicine, and nowhere in academia (other than bible colleges, where creationism is entirely appropriate). But they don’t care. Politics is all they need to realize their goal of establishing a theocracy, so vigilance and implacable resistance are imperative.
As we’ve been saying regarding other “academic freedom” bills, we recommend that pro-science lawmakers in Alabama should give serious consideration to The Curmudgeon’s Amendment. We think it will nullify David Grimes’ legislation.
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