Florida Creationism: Stealth Bill Filed

AS HE PROMISED a few weeks ago, which we reported here: Florida Creationism: “Freedom” Bill Is Coming, State Senator Stephen Wise has filed a bill to accomplish his anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism purposes.

But unless you’ve been following these events, Wise’s bill seems to be less than we were expecting. S2396 says this:

Senate 2396: Relating to Educational Instruction
Educational Instruction; Requires that the instructional staff of a public school teach a thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution and certain governmental, legal, and civic-related principles. EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2009.

But that’s just the bill’s description. The full bill shows that Wise is trying to amend an existing law which details what should be taught regarding some civics topics Wise’s additions are shown underscored in this pdf file. The first page has Wise’s evolution provision, which is the only one that matters. On the second page Wise has added some window dressing about the Declaration of Independence and a few other apple pie items.

But no one should be confused. We already know, and a future court presiding over the inevitable litigation will most definitely know, exactly what Senator Wise means by the cryptic language “thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution.” We know because he told us his intentions when he announced his plans weeks a go. As we reported in our earlier article, quoting the Jacksonville-based Florida Times-Union:

State Sen. Stephen Wise, a Jacksonville Republican, said he plans to introduce a bill to require teachers who teach evolution to also discuss the idea of intelligent design.


He said its intent is simple: “If you’re going to teach evolution, then you have to teach the other side so you can have critical thinking.”

Senator Wise probably regrets that unguarded moment, and now he imagines he can slip his creationist bill past everyone by wrapping it in the flag. Brilliant. Here’s his page at the Florida legislature’s website: Senator Stephen R. Wise.

Although Wise thinks he’s being clever by burying this thing in a bill about civics instruction, he’s wildly mistaken. The website of Florida Citizens for Science is already well aware of the situation. See: Press Release: “Critical Analysis” bill.

There’s also an excellent report about this bill at the National Center for Science Education: Antievolution legislation in Florida.

With so many outstanding people keeping an eye on things, what’s left for us to do? As we’ve been doing with our reports about creationist legislation in other states, we recommend that the rational members of the Florida legislature should give serious consideration to The Curmudgeon’s Amendment. It’s designed to nullify legislation like this.

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

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4 responses to “Florida Creationism: Stealth Bill Filed

  1. Carl N Steeg, MD

    I found it so very ironic that this battle to label creationism as a science is being led by a man whose name happens to be “Wise.” How inappropriate!

  2. Dr. Steeg is right; Senator ‘Wise’ is as oxymoronic as the celebrated cleric, Cardinal Sin

  3. “Senator ‘Wise’ is as oxymoronic as the celebrated cleric, Cardinal Sin.”

    There’s a rumor that the family changed their name. It used to be Bonehead.

  4. megalonyx // 28-February-2009 at 10:53 am

    Dr. Steeg is right; Senator ‘Wise’ is as oxymoronic as the celebrated cleric, Cardinal Sin

    At least it’s not as redundant as that famous Roman military commander, Gen. Consensus….