Events to Watch For (29 Apr ’09)

AS your Curmudgeon reports on The Controversy from our secret underground control room, it sometimes happens that we get so tangled up in the news of the day that we don’t keep an eye on the big picture. This post is a summary of all the events that we’re tracking, with links to our earlier posts in case you need some additional information.

For previous “big picture” posts, see our year-end Intelligence Briefing: The State of the Creosphere, and also Events to Watch For (Jan 2009).

Litigation watch:

We’re waiting for something to happen in Louisiana, now that they’ve got the nation’s only “academic freedom” bill on the books. There are ample precedents that a competent judge can follow to nullify the law, but there won’t be any case unless some parents have both the intelligence and courage to oppose the teaching of creationism in their kids’ school. From what we’ve seen, we’re not certain that such opposition will ever appear. We’d be delighted to be wrong about this, but here’s our report about a poll indicating that over 57% of Louisianans support teaching creationism in the public schools.

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has an excellent report on the case of ACSI v. Stearns. This is an appeal of a trial that made some news a few years ago, and we haven’t yet posted about it. The case involves the Association of Christian Schools International and a few other plaintiffs, suing the University of California system over UC’s refusal to recognize various high school level creationist courses, taught by homeschoolers and some private schools, when UC is evaluating the qualifications of applicants for admission. The creationists lost the earlier round, so this may be their last gasp in seeking recognition for their mode of education. Appeals aren’t as interesting as trials, but all the documents are available at the NCSE’s link, so dig in if you enjoy such things.

In Texas, there’s ICR v. Paredes, in which the Institute for Creation Research has sued the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. ICR wants the Board to be ordered to give ICR’s graduate school a Certificate of Authority to grant Master of Science degrees in Science Education. This one just started, so we’ll be reporting developments as they occur.

Legislation Watch:

Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist who is currently chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, is up for confirmation by the state Senate. See: our latest post here.

01 May — the Florida legislative session ends. We’ve already predicted that Senator Stephen Wise’s creationism bill will die. Perhaps the same fate will come to Ronda Storms’ religious license plate legislation.

18 May — the Alabama legislative session ends. That state’s academic freedom bill seems stalled in committee.

30 May — the Missouri legislative session ends. Things don’t look promising for passage of that state’s academic freedom bill.

01 June — the Texas legislative session ends. They have a lot going on. We took a look at some of it two weeks ago. We have no idea what will emerge from that bubbling cauldron.

That’s the current agenda. But we’re not worried about running out of topics. Reason’s enemies aren’t going on vacation, and neither are we.

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

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