Oklahoma Creationists Deny Their Creationism

The two creationism bills now pending in the Oklahoma legislature are old news to our readers. We’ve already discussed them here: Josh Brecheen’s Oklahoma Creationism Bill; and Sally Kern’s bill is here: Oklahoma’s 2nd Creationism Bill for 2011.

In Tulsa World of Tulsa, Oklahoma we read Two Oklahoma lawmakers file bills encouraging creationism. The only news is a few comments by Victor Hutchison of Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, plus a few odd comments by the creationist legislators, Brecheen and Kern. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, and Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, have filed legislation designed to undermine the teaching of a fundamental of modern science, the theory of evolution.

[…]

“[Brecheen’s bill is] very slickly written,” said Victor Hutchison, a retired University of Oklahoma zoology professor who tracks such legislation. “But it includes comments from the creationism crowd that you recognize if you’re familiar with these things.” The upshot, Hutchison said, is “criticism of evolution without any scientific basis.”

Tulsa World tried to get some input from Brecheen for this story, but first they say:

Brecheen does not really dispute that his bill is an attack on evolution. He promised such a measure after his election in November and said evolution is “a religion,” not science.

We wrote about that here: Oklahoma’s Senator Josh Brecheen: Totally Crazed. Let’s continue:

Brecheen would not agree to be interviewed for this story, but he said in an e-mail that “legislators have a responsibility to ensure state-supported classroom instruction is factual so, concerning evolution, … we must fully educate using all confirmed scientific discoveries.”

Yeah, his only interest is in teaching good science. All creationist legislators say that. Next, the paper tries to get something from Kern about her bill:

Kern did not respond to an interview request, but she issued a statement earlier this week denying that her bill is “anti-evolution.”

“Given the impact of the theory of evolution, it is important that students be familiar with it and able to discuss it,” she said. “At the same time, teachers and students should be free to discuss critiques of the theory, and no student should ever be penalized for personal views on this issue.”

That’s the standard creationist run-around. The only thing harder to find than an honest creationist is the wreck of Noah’s Ark. Let’s read on:

But Kern’s and Brecheen’s bills state that they are not intended to promote a religious viewpoint.

“That’s ridiculous,” Hutchison said. “These bills come primarily from people who are biblical literalists.”

There’s a bit more in the article, so check it out. But it seems to us that Tulsa World understands what’s going on, and they’re the second-biggest paper in that state. Stay tuned to this blog, because things are just getting warmed up.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Oklahoma Creationists Deny Their Creationism

  1. Got to teach the weaknesses of evolution, naturally. Like that you’ll go to hell for proper inferences in the area of life.

    Isn’t that an important thing to know (would be if true)?

  2. SC: The Tulsa World, known to be fairly conservative in the past, has in the past few years editorialized against creationist bills. It is a far better paper than The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City, known by critics as ‘The Daily Disappointment.”

    As usual in such articles, only a few of my comments were used. However, I have no complaints on the article. Given the upcoming battles on at least six anti-science bills there will likely be some heated comments. Some of these bills would make scientific research on fertilized human ova, etc., a felony, even punishable by up to life imprisonment and a big fine. We are being overrun by fundamentalists of the IDiot variety!

  3. vhutchison says:

    We are being overrun by fundamentalists of the IDiot variety!

    It sounds like a wonderful place. But the year is young and there are other states just getting started. I’m betting Oklahoma will be seen as only a mild case of crazy before the year’s over.

  4. Hopefully Louisiana has a large dose of sense this year

  5. I’m so tired of this. Really. My patience is at an end.

    I want solutions to this problem. I’m tired of the dumb*sses vocalizing their stupidity. I want to live in a country where religious nutjobs don’t have power.

    I really may have to move somewhere. I’m really starting to think that America is going down the sh*tter.

  6. LRA says:

    I want to live in a country where religious nutjobs don’t have power.

    There may be a handful of those in Europe, but things will get worse over there within a generation. I suggest you’ll be better off with our nutjobs.

  7. It is very depressing, but the US has one rule (the 1st one) that is a huge benefit to us. It has to be constantly applied and we really, really need the SCOTUS to hit one or two of these cases.

    We also need teachers to teach evolution and not let disgruntled parents scare teachers… of course, for that, we need principles that are willing to stand up for their teachers, which few are.

    Our entire education system needs a massive overhaul.

    I’m hoping that the Race to the Top consortium system will marginalize many of the wing nuts. Except in Texas who decided to do without federal money for education (thanks morons). We’ll see.

  8. . . . but did Kern and Brecheen deny creationism three times before the cock crowed?

  9. Gabriel Hanna

    LRA, it’s not like you’d have to leave the country. You could go live in some place like Oregon, you know, where the vast majority of people have views more in line with yours and they run things the way you think they should be run. That’s the beauty of federalism. One reason people like SC advocate a smaller national government is for that very reason, that people can live in places where they can govern themselves as they see fit, and the Federal representatives they elect won’t be such a problem for you.

    If you can’t tolerate living in a country where in any state people who have views different from yours are in charge, then federalism isn’t working for you. However, most English-speaking countries, and most European ones, have much stricter immigration rules than we have. (For a while I was hoping I might get to live and work outside of the US, which is why I looked into it. It’s doubly difficult if you are married to a foreigner, as I am.)

  10. Sorry folks! Just a moment of self-pitying weakness. I’ve got to stay and fight, fight, fight!!!! Eventually, Rick Perry will be out of office and hopefully we can clean house when that happens. We are the state that elected Ann Richards, after all!

    😀

  11. Come back to Austin. This is the part of the state where chrome Longhorns outnumber chrome Jesus fish by 50:1.

    (My car has a Flipnotics)

  12. LOL! When I can find a job in Austin, I might. But consider this– UT’s philosophy department no longer has philosophy of science program because one Rob Koons, Discovery Institute Member and tenured professor, destroyed it. Just sayin’.

  13. LRA: As an OU supporter , I still think the University of Texas has some very good biologists, including folks like David Hillis and his colleagues who have put up fierce opposition to the loonies in Baja Oklahoma. Join them in Austin and help with the fight for sanity – and help depose the current creationist Governor!

  14. LRA: Even as a Texas A&M alumni, I would second VHutchison on his point. There is a large community of people who think like you do in Austin, even (to my surprise) in the ‘burbs. I’m even getting used to the chrome longhorns. 🙂

    The Texas Freedom Network is quite active here and doing a great job in promoting solid science and history education.

  15. L (may I call you L?), speaking as someone who works for a UT biology professor (neurobiologist, as a matter of fact!), I can attest that there’s an excellent standard there. That you managed to get through it is a compliment to your intelligence and diligence- and proof of the general intelligence of Texans.

    Speaking as a free market guy, Perry is no worry to me. He says the magic words to the theocrats and does essentially nothing which transcends the symbolic. Meantime, business is growing, unemployment is low, and taxes ditto. Our school district does far better than the one I left behind in California.