We’re mid-way through May, so let’s take a look at how the year is going for the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids).
Obedient to their intellectual masters in Seattle, moronic members of several state legislatures introduced anti-science, anti-evolution, creationism-friendly laws inspired by the misleadingly-named Academic Freedom Act, which is being promoted by the Discoveroids. Such bills were filed in Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
It’s difficult to stand out as being special among the brain-dead, but we must mention Mississippi’s Gary Chism — a creationist legislator who hadn’t realized that old style creationist legislation had been abandoned. Due to his quaint efforts, Mississippi had a nostalgic fling with a textbook warning label bill. It died in committee.
In fact, all of those creationist bills have died — with one exception. The only state with anti-evolution legislation still pending is Texas.
Texas, as you know, has several bills pending in its legislature that relate to the creationism issue. We last reported on a bunch of them here: Texas Creationism Legislative Update (16 Apr ‘09). Many of those are aimed at removing authority from the Texas Board of Education, but this one, HB4224 is a typical “academic freedom” bill. It’s still in committee and so far has no companion bill in the Senate.
Texas has other problems, of course, both administrative and in court. We’ve discussed them elsewhere. But regarding their legislature, the other anti-science bill still remaining is this clunker: HB 2800, which would exempt creationist outfits from the state’s academic requirements that are applicable to other degree-granting institutions. This one is also stuck in committee, and it has no companion bill in the Senate. [Court case on the same topic: ICR v. Paredes.]
The Texas legislative session adjourns 01 June, so we’ll soon know what mischief will emerge from there.
As a result of last year’s legislative activity, Louisiana is the only state — thus far — to have enacted an “academic freedom” law. We have this image in our mind that everyone in Louisiana is dancing around like the happy dwarves of Munchkin Land. The fortunate people of that creationist state will all be virtuous, prosperous, and wise — until Louisiana’s creationism law is challenged in court.
So where does all this leave the Discoveroids? It’s difficult to say. Clearly, their legislative program is a failure. They’re not done with it, but the momentum they had hoped would result from Ben Stein’s cinematic efforts that accompanied last year’s legislative effort never really materialized. Their followers don’t realize this — or anything else — because they’re totally divorced from reality. Meanwhile, our would-be puppet masters in Seattle are huddled, working out a new wave of initiatives.
We’ll be watching.
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