It was only yesterday that we wrote Missouri Madness: New Creationism Bill for 2012. Now, as we learn from the ever-vigilant National Center for Science Education (NCSE), there’s A second antievolution bill in Missouri.
This one is HOUSE BILL NO. 1276, sponsored by Andrew Koenig. He’s the owner of a paint company. In addition, he’s licensed to sell health and life insurance. Not only that, he received a B.A. in Business Administration from Lindenwood University in 2005. Impressive credentials!
Koenig’s bill has a large number of co-sponsors: BRATTIN, DAVIS, RICHARDSON, ALLEN, BAHR, LASATER, POLLOCK, FUNDERBURK, REIBOLDT, LANT, GUERNSEY, SCHARNHORST and CONWAY.
As you recall, Brattin is the sponsor of the bill about which we wrote yesterday, and Koenig, Allen and Pollock were co-sponsors. It’s rather sweet that Koenig is co-sponsoring Brattin’s bill, and Brattin is a co-sponsor of Koenig’s.
Also, Missouri’s failed creationism bill in 2010 had among its co-sponsors Funderburk and Davis, and now they’re attached their names to Koenig’s bill. The same clowns keep promoting the same nonsense, year after year.
Okay, let’s take a look at Koenig’s bill. It’s rather short, and if passed it would become a new section of an existing statute. Here’s the whole thing, with bold font added by us:
1. The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school governing authorities, superintendents of schools, school system administrators, and public elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues, including biological and chemical evolution. Such educational authorities in this state shall also endeavor to assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies. Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of the theory of biological and hypotheses of chemical evolution.
2. Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, superintendent of schools, or school system administrator, nor any public elementary or secondary school principal or administrator shall prohibit any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of biological or chemical evolution whenever these subjects are taught within the course curriculum schedule.
3. This section only protects the teaching of scientific information and this section shall not be construed to promote any religious or nonreligious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or nonbeliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion. Scientific information includes physical evidence and logical inferences based upon evidence.
4. No later than the start of the 2013-2014 school year, the department of elementary and secondary education shall notify all public school superintendents of the provisions of this section. Each superintendent shall then disseminate to all employees within his or her school system a copy of this section.
Does that look familiar? It should, because it’s not only a typical “strengths and [alleged] weaknesses” bill, with a “shall not be construed” clause attempting to tell the courts that it isn’t what it obviously is, but it’s virtually the same thing several of those geniuses tried to get passed in 2010. See Missouri Creationism: New Bill for 2010.
So there you are. Missouri has been called the “Show me” state, but if this foolishness continues they’ll soon be known as the “I’m an idiot!” state.
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