IT’S time, dear reader, for a mid-year status report on the evolution-creationism controversy. Our last big-picture report was here: Events to Watch For (29 Apr ‘09).
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 litigation unless some parents oppose the teaching of creationism in their kids’ school. From what we’ve seen of public opinion in Louisiana, there may never be any opposition.
In Texas, there’s ICR v. Paredes, in which the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) 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. We’re waiting for developments, but news has been non-existent.
The John Freshwater hearing in Ohio drags on interminably. It’s being covered over at Panda’s Thumb, but it’s going slowly, and at this point everyone is starting to lose interest. We’ll report the conclusion, if there ever is one.
The unfortunate case involving California teacher James “Jesus Glasses” Corbett seems to have run its course, unless there’s an appeal of which we’re unaware.
And then there’s ACSI v. Stearns, an appeal by some creationist homeschoolers and private schools after they lost their suit against the University of California system. They want recognition of their high school level creationist courses when UC evaluates applicants for admission.
The coming GOP nomination contest for next year’s Florida Senate race should be interesting. It’s between Charlie Crist, the current governor, and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who has a history of supporting creationism. See Crist, Rubio & Creationism. Crist may also be a creationist, although our evidence is minimal (he said he wouldn’t oppose religious license plates). If Crist and Rubio are both creationists then there won’t be any fireworks — until, perhaps, the general election.
In Texas, that vast land of creationism, two of the most outrageously creationist members of the state’s Board of Education, Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy, have drawn opponents, but those elections will be next year. The Board of Education is currently engaged in ideological madness, but it’s mostly beyond the scope of our concerns.
We’re watching for other creationists who may surface. So far we’ve noticed only one, in a governor’s race: John Kasich of Ohio: Creationist.
And although it’s way too early, we’ve been wondering Which 2012 Presidential Challengers Are Creationists?
Louisiana has a peculiar bill pending in the state legislature. It proposes an amendment to the state Constitution that might have creationist consequences; but nothing seems to be happening with it at the moment. See: First Creationism, Now Theocracy. [Update: One of our clandestine operatives advises us that this bill has failed to pass, but we expect still more mischief in the coming legislative session.]
There’s still a Creationist Bill Filed in South Carolina, but it’s not likely to be considered until the second year of that state’s legislative session, which begins in 2010.
It’s impossible to know what’s really happening in the US Congress, because they keep passing 1,000-page bills and no one knows what’s in them. We’re not aware of anything at the moment that affects the Controversy, but we keep an eye on especially goofy legislators. For example: Mark Souder Opposes National Science Standards.
We’re expecting some old-fashioned creationist nonsense in Spencer, Iowa; but it’s only a local matter and it has yet to reach the point where people are throwing chairs at each other. See Spencer Iowa School Board Update (18 Jul ‘09).
The neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids), have had a bad year so far, as we reported earlier. All the Discoveroid-sponsored “academic freedom” bills have failed to pass this year, except for the one mentioned above which is still pending in South Carolina.
They did achieve a few media breakthroughs, placing creationist propaganda in Forbes, getting a creationist speaking engagement at the Heritage Foundation, and arranging an appearance on Fox for Casey Luskin.
Lately the Discoveroids have been embarrassing themselves (more than usual) by quote-mining Thomas Jefferson, claiming that he would have rejected Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution (published decades after Jefferson’s death), and that Jefferson would have preferred Intelligent Design creationism, as expounded by the Discoveroids. Even your Curmudgeon has limits as to how much we can write about such things. See: Another July 4th Hijacking.
From our secret underground control room, we’ve been occupying our time with philosophical speculations, such as The Theory of Abominable Befuddlement and the Fallacy of Retrospective Astonishment. We’ve also initiated the Dear Mentor series, but it may not continue. Otherwise, we’ve been cruising the websites of ICR and AIG, seeking material for our Creationist Wisdom series.
That’s always amusing, but we prefer news. It’s coming. The Controversy will never end.
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