Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) report: Antievolution legislation in Kentucky. They say:
Kentucky’s House Bill 169 would, if enacted, allow teachers to “use, as permitted by the local school board, other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.” Dubbed the Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act, HB 169 was introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives on January 4, 2011; the sole sponsor of the bill is Tim Moore (R-District 26).
Kentucky can be proud. Not only are they the home of the mind-boggling Creation Museum, the brain child of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), but now they’ve got the first creationist bill of the year cooking in their legislature. Maybe they should change their state’s motto to: Kentucky — First in Creationism!
NCSE says the bill’s sponsor is Tim Moore. That’s a familiar name in the shabby world of anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism legislation. Here’s Tim Moore’s page at the Kentucky House of Representatives’ website. This creationist genius is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, which is certainly an embarrassment for that institution.
When Moore’s bill failed last year, we predicted that he’d be back again promoting the same old snake oil. We regret that we were correct. Here’s a link to his latest legislative wonder: HB169. The bill has four brief sections. Here they are, with bold added by us:
(1) Teachers, principals, and other school administrators are encouraged to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories being studied.
Ah yes, all the creationist code words. Continuing:
(2) After a teacher has taught the content related to scientific theories contained in textbooks and instructional materials included on the approved lists required under KRS 156.433 and 156.435, a teacher may use, as permitted by the local school board, other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.
“Other instructional materials,” like all the creationist trash they can get their hands on. Here’s more:
(3) This section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.
That section comes out of the Academic Freedom Act promoted by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). It’s nonsensical language. Everyone knows what’s going on, so there’s no reason to try to tell the courts how to construe it. If Moore were serious about teaching science, instead of trying to sneak creationism into the schools, his bill should say something like: “This bill does not authorize the teaching of religious doctrines like creationism or intelligent design.” That would do the job, but that’s the opposite of what Moore’s legislation is designed to accomplish. Here’s the last of his bill:
(4) This section may be cited as the Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act.
That’s nice, but in the interest of accuracy, it might be better named Tim Moore’s Annual Imbecile Bill.
The Kentucky legislature’s session is scheduled to start on January 4 and end on March 22, so we won’t have to wait very long to see how this little drama plays out.
As we’ve done with our posts about other states, we recommend that the rational members of the legislature should give serious consideration to The Curmudgeon’s Amendment. It’s designed to nullify legislation like this.
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