The Tennessee legislature adjourned on 21 May — perhaps so they could be home with their families when the Rapture hit — and that august body isn’t scheduled to convene again until 10 January 2012.
With that adjournment died the hopes of that state’s theocratic activists for the passage of a creationism bill, drafted by the Discoveroids in Seattle and supported by lobbyists with the word “Family” in the name of their organization. The effort seemed so well-orchestrated, we predicted that Tennessee’s Creationism Bill Will Become Law.
We’re speaking of HOUSE BILL 368 (2-page pdf file), drafted by the Discovery Institute and sponsored in the Tennessee legislature by Bill Dunn, a tree surgeon. That had been approved by the House in a vote of 70 to 23. In the Senate, Bo Watson, a physical therapist, sponsored the identical SENATE BILL 893, which seemed all but certain to pass. It looked so bad that we wrote:
To the genuine scientists who will testify against this legislation, we say this: Go ahead and testify, but don’t get your hopes up, The stars are aligned against you. The dice are loaded, the skids are greased, the deck is stacked, and the game is rigged. Science is going to lose this one, and the lights are going out in Tennessee.
Is there any hope? Yes, the rational side can win, but only if the creationists blunder badly, which is not likely to happen here. It’s time you learned one of life’s important lessons: Don’t bring a slide rule to a knife fight.
But then, to our delighted astonishment, we learned that the Tennessee Creationism Bill is “On Hold”. We’re still not clear as to what caused Watson’s bill to stall in the Senate, but we’ll gladly accept whatever good fortune the gods provide in a state we’ve called The Land that Time Forgot.
The good people of Tennessee still revere the memory of William Jennings Bryan. Bryan College, named in his honor and located in Dayton, is a respected and hallowed institution of learning where they are certain they ain’t no kin to no monkeys. For Tennesseans, this legislative glitch is a momentary setback. They’ll be back next year, Oook-Ooking and swinging from tree branches in anticipation of a legislative victory.
For the moment, Louisiana is still the only state in the US to have adopted one of the Discovery Institute’s anti-science bills. This year, the two remaining states where the legislature is still in session and a creationism bill is pending are Oklahoma (adjourning on 27 May) and Texas (adjourning on 30 May) — and in those states the chances of passage appear slim.
Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.