Oklahoma Creationism: One Down, One To Go

Our intrepid Oklahoma operative, code-named “OO,” informed us of some new developments in that creationism-drenched state.

As you recall, Oklahoma is not only dealing with Josh Brecheen’s 2012 Creationism Bill, but also Sally Kern’s Bill.

This link to Brecheen’s bill, SB 1742, informs us of very little, but according to our operative, who is never wrong:

Brecheen’s academic freedom act bill, SB 1742, is now “dormant.” It did not get out of committee by the deadline of 1 March. Thus, it is presumably ‘dead’ for the year, but could remain as a possibility for next year, but not likely.

We can’t find any news stories to corroborate this, but we’ll go with what our operative says. Brecheen’s bill was based on Louisiana’s Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which permits unspecified “supplemental materials” — wink, wink — to be used in science classes. The Louisiana law was inspired by the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids).

That leaves Oklahoma with Kern’s bill: HB1551, revived from last year, which we described in detail last January. The legislature’s page for her bill doesn’t reveal much progress, but our operative informs us that it passed a vote in committee 9-7.

There’s plenty of time for Kern’s bill to make progress. Oklahoma’s legislative session isn’t scheduled to end until 26 May. Even if this one remaining bill doesn’t succeed this session, as long as Josh Brecheen and Sally Kern are members of the legislature, you can rely on similar efforts next year. Creationists never learn.

Hey, for what it’s worth — which ain’t much — the Discoveroids have a post with a survey of currently pending state legislation: Dear Education Reformers, Please Come Together to Support Academic Freedom — and Here’s How. Don’t spend too much time reading it, because it’ll fry your brain, but here’s what they say about Kern’s bill:

This bill is also an academic freedom bill. It would protect from administrative reprisal those teachers who would teach in an objective manner both sides of the scientific controversies. Still good.

The Discoveroids like it. That’s all you need to know.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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34 responses to “Oklahoma Creationism: One Down, One To Go

  1. mike00000000001

    One question. Have you ever studied genetics?

  2. mike00000000001

    Better still . . . do you have a major in biology?

  3. mike00000000001, don’t try to be subtle. If you have something to say, then say it. Otherwise, don’t waste our time.

  4. DI spin: “This bill is also an academic freedom bill. It would protect from administrative reprisal those teachers who would teach in an objective manner both sides of the scientific controversies.”

    Interesting that they said “contoversies” (plural). Without even getting into whether they are arbitrarily singling out areas of science near and dear to their radical authoritarian agenda, namely evolution, AGW, etc. (they are), I’ll just use evolution as an example. The DI knows know that few if any teachers would teach the real scientific controversies, e.g. selection vs. drift. But they know that many teachers share their radical authoritarian agenda, and are chomping at the bit to (1) teach the “side” that refuses to test its own hypotheses and falsely accuses real scientists of conducting a “conspiracy,” and (2) censor the side that includes 99+% of scientsts, whose self-correcting process usually weeds out cheaters quickly.

    Why else would teachers need any more “protection” than they already have?

  5. mike00000000001

    I just want to know how many people who say that believe in evolution have actually studied genetics in detail. . . . or whether they have even mastered biology. Very simple question .. . was hoping for a simple answer. So do you people have majors in biology and/or genetics or not?

  6. mike00000000001

    Or have you . . .at the very least . .. spent a few months studying the probability of genetic evolution.

  7. Tell you what, Mike. Let’s discuss an example from the professional literature. Since you’re implying that you’re a geneticist, you’ll have no trouble keeping with us on this one:

    Wang, Zhe et al. Adaptive Evolution of 5’HoxD Genes in the Origin and Diversification of the Cetacean Flipper.

  8. @Rubble:

    Don’t forget to ask him whether he agrees with the Discoveroid “Mike” who concedes ~4 billion years of common descent. Better hurry, because SC is one of the few “Darwinists” who, like the great majority of evolution-denying bloggers, bans commenters. Given that ratio, he’s certainly entitled. Besides, there’s always Talk.Origins, where there are many PhD Biologists, with many questions of their own.

  9. mike00000000001

    I never implied that I have a biology major myself. But alas you didn’t answer my question. I do know enough about genetics though to realize the probability calculation of a particular gene forming. That is one good reason why I have doubted evolution up to this point. I have read parts of this article that make me realize I still need to work on my understanding of probability.

    I’m not an expert. Just a laymen. I know for example that genes can overlap and that a single organ in the body can be coded by over 100,000 different genes. I also know that most mutations are either negative or neutral.

    I have a more general understanding of data flow. I know, for example, that the mind can only ever comprehend a small segment of all data that exists given even a thousand life times and that science is constantly revising its older models. I would be happy to look at that article.

    Perhaps my question was a bit overbearing after all. Lots of people just trust scientists and I should have understood that.

    Yet my question remains unanswered . .. I still don’t know if any of you are biologists.

  10. Like Reagan said about the Disco Tute, “Distrust and verify.”

    HB 1551 doesn’t protect teachers from anything. Teachers are “permitted” to help students become dumb clods but makes no statement about the consequences of so doing. The bill, however, does protect students against penalization for any crazy, stupid, dumb clod belief they care to hold.

    It’s really a dumbing down of Oklahoma students bill.

    Finally, the bill does not address nor could it the inevitability of a teacher or district getting sued in federal court for violation of the establishment clause. No bill can do that. It’s a Dover Trap using children as a shield. Disgraceful but totally in keeping with the execrable Kern.

  11. Hey, Mikey-0, since your time is very short here ’cause Little Bunny Foo Foo is right behind you, I’m a biology major, studied genetics and biochemistry and I have a PhD. Hence the “Doc” which you thought meant that Sleeping Beauty was my favorite film. Alas, no. However, what I have forgotten dwarfs all that you will ever know.

    The genetic probability of you having evolved into a moron is 1. That’s a fact, Jack, er, Mikey-0. What you wrote only demonstrates that you’re a dumb as a bag of hammers. But, I’m sure it plays well in Peoria or wherever you laymen people hang out.

  12. mike00000000001

    I think your article “Creationisms fallacy or retrospective Astonishment” was very interesting. I’m still trying to deal with the paradox it presents with probability.

  13. mike00000000001, if you’re curious about probabilities, I wrote a whole series of posts to assist the layman on precisely that issue. It starts here: The Inevitability of Evolution (Part I). Don’t worry about our credentials. Creationists take great pride in opposing the whole world of professional scientists, so if that’s your position, you have lots of company.

  14. Mike…, first, (did that fix the italics thing?) I do have a degree in biology and I think many commenters here are better educated than I.
    What I think we are all noticing is that you are spreading innuendo without making any actual claims.
    I join you in suggesting you learn more about probability. – see how that worked? I snarkily suggested a problem in your position without offering any concrete details.

  15. Darn that Frank J! For future reference in my own future posting, how do you fix the italics? “” did not work. What if I open new italics and type, then close them?

  16. Digression: I believe that the italics for all of the posts is due to the fact that after the word “censor” in Frank J’s post, either he mistyped the ending tag or WordPress had a flub. It’s supposed to be open angle – slash – letter i – close angle. However, looking at the code, it’s written as open angle- letter i – space – slash – close angle. I’m guessing that WordPress is having a hard time with it. I put the proper closing tag at the beginning of my post. Hopefully, it will (temporarily) fix it until SC can reach his Deity-like Hand upon the comments and fix it.

  17. Nope. That didn’t fix it. This will definitely require SC’s beneficence to correct.

  18. Tomato Addict

    Oh Mike-of-many-zeros, do you really think it that easy? All historical sequences, when viewed retrospectively, look determined.

  19. Tomato Addict

    @Gary: Maybe if you spill some Mt. Dew on it?

  20. Gary says: “until SC can reach his Deity-like Hand upon the comments and fix it.”


  21. @TA: Nice try. Did I mention that I put down my Mt Dew as soon as I see your avatar and before I read anything you write? I’ve learned. Oh, I’ve learned.

  22. Mike: I recognze many commenters on this blog and they are biologists or know a lot of biology. I have a Ph.D. in biology and have been involved in research and teaching for more than 40 years. If you were familiar with this blog, you would know that if ANYONE (including the host!) makes a mistake in terms of biological facts or knowledge, they will quickly be corrected.
    Despite you responses, I suspect that you are just a troll, with little biological knowledge to contribute, although I could be wrong?

  23. Tomato Addict

    The probabilities Mike-zero refers to are what statisticians call likelihoods, and it isn’t a bit unusual for them to be very very small. This is simply a function of the sample size. The likelihood of a sample is the product of the probabilities of each event, all the event probabilities are between zero and one, so the likelihood gets smaller and smaller as the sample gets larger. That’s not a shocking surprise, that’s just arithmetic.

    It’s getting too late for me to finish this properly, but here is the outline:

    Likeihood (did that already)
    Likelihood Ratio Test (proper statistical inference)
    Complex specified information (Dembski reinvents the LRT)
    Still can’t define the designer, so there is no test. (Oops)
    Boo Hoo. (William Dembski is very sad.)

  24. Gary: “…either he mistyped the ending tag …”

    Pretty sure that’s what I did. Apologies to all.

  25. Tomato Addict

    Congratulations Frank J, you broke the internet! 😉

  26. do you have a major in

    “A major” – that’s a reference to an undergraduate degree, right?

    Anyway, let’s not discuss personalities, OK?

    You mention probabilities.

    How about discussing the probability that intelligent designers (whatever they may be) would intelligently design (whatever process that might be) something or other? For example, how likely is it that they would design the human eye to be so much like the generic vertebrate eye, rather than like the eye of an insect or an octopus?

  27. TA said:

    Congratulations Frank J, you broke the internet! 😉

    Beware your power, Frank J. Use it only for good, and not for evil.

  28. tooooooo funny.
    2 +2 is more than 3 and less than 5.
    Geoscientifically speaking.
    Unless God does some magic somewhere.
    Then its still more than 3 and less than 5.

  29. Gary: “Beware your power, Frank J. Use it only for good, and not for evil.”

    I promise. And since “Darwinism” is the root of all evil, it is officially banned. But don’t you old-style YECs and OECs rejoice just yet, also effective immediately is a strict “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding “what the designer did when, where and how.”

  30. mike00000000001

    I find it so odd really . . . that this darwinism has been elevated to such high degree that people demand it be taught in almost every class room, that people refuse to question at least parts of it, that people who question it are called beyond any shadow of a doubt a moron and a believer in unicorns.

    So . .. . . If I did not do the same for say physics 101 . .. demanding that it be taught in every subject . . .calling everyone who did not understand physics 101 a moron and a believer in unicorns . . .and mocking anyone who chooses to question or doubt any aspect of physics 101 . . . does this make me a moron concerning physics 101? Should I now be banished from society because I either question some of the physics or do not fully understand it?

    Clearly Darwinism is not treated the same way as physics 101.

  31. mike00000000001

    Try to imagine some of the great minds of our time . . .like Einstein . . . going around telling everyone not to question the understanding of his day and calling everyone who dares to question those ideas a believer in unicorns . . and demanding that nothing new ever be taught in any class room.

    You honestly believe at this point that I am a Bible thumper. If we are ever to resolve this great debate, which will not go away even of you deny it exists, we need to stop putting a label on EVERYONE that disagrees with darwinism. So who disagrees? Deists, Christians, New agers, Muslims, Some wiccans, and many many other people who simply believe in a God even though they may not be religious. This is not merely an issue of religion. I am presently skeptical of some aspects of my own religion, Christianity. I freely admit that some of these things would be impossible to prove even if I did believe them. I DO CARE about proving my beliefs with reason. That said I do not like being lumped into a single stereotype of being a hard shelled stubborn unquestioning believer in religion. In my mind both religion and atheism have things they cannot answer. My concern was and IS the probability of genetic drift creating new genes . . .let alone the same genes over and over again. No one seems to have an answer for this. I frankly do not care what your theology is . . . be it theism or nontheism. What sir . . .is your scientific case for genetic drift creating new genes.

  32. Okay, mike00000000001. That’s enough. Goodbye.

  33. Tomato Addict


    I DO CARE about proving my beliefs with reason.

    Have you considered consulting the good book? And by that, I mean a dictionary. Religious beliefs cannot be proven by methods of reason (and vice-versa). That not an argument, it the very definition of faith and reason. It’s that simple. Any resulting contradictions in your (or my) world view aren’t going to go away now matter what the argument.

    That said, I hope you are happy in your beliefs – that’s what they are for after all. If you don’t care to be lumped into the stereotype, then stop behaving like an ID poster boy. Be honest to yourself and others about what you are really asking.


  34. Tomato Addict

    Too slow. Oh well.