It was only yesterday that we reported Oklahoma’s 2nd 2012 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead. Our post was accurate, because that particular bill had been killed. But one should never underestimate the determination of creationists.
Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have this new story: A renewed assault on science in Oklahoma. They say, with bold font added by us:
The attack on the teaching of evolution and of climate change in Oklahoma continues, despite the failure of House Bill 1551 and Senate Bill 1742.
How could the attack continue? Well, it seems that what had heretofore been a totally unrelated bill has suddenly been amended to become a creationism bill. One might think of it as a freakish mutation. NCSE explains:
As introduced, House Bill 2341 would, if enacted, have extended by two years a deadline by which local school districts are required to meet certain standards for media, equipment, and textbooks. The bill passed the House on a 81-8 vote on March 7, 2012, and proceeded to the Senate Education Committee, where it passed on March 26, 2012.
See? It had nothing to do with evolution — until now. NCSE continues:
But on March 28, 2012, Steve Russell (R-District 45) proposed to amend HB 2341 with the addition of a new section containing the language of HB 1551 [the creationism bill that just died].
Who is Steve Russell? Here’s his page at the Senate’s website: Senator Steve Russell – District 45. All we’re told about him is that he’s a retired Army officer. There’s no information about his education or his current occupation. We can confidently infer, however, that he’s a flaming creationist.
Here’s a link to the bill in question: HB 2341. If you click on “amendments” you’ll get a downloadable file of Russell’s brilliant addition. We won’t bother with it, because NCSE says it contains the language of the bill that was just defeated, and you can read that in our earlier post. It’s the basic nonsense that immunizes teachers who present the “strengths and [alleged] weaknesses” of allegedly controversial theories like evolution.
NCSE concludes with this:
The proposal will be considered when the bill comes to a floor vote in the Senate; it is currently on the Senate calendar, but not on the Senate agenda, for April 3, 2012.
We have also heard from “OO,” our clandestine operative. He informs us that the forces of rationality have “little time for any meaningful response.” That’s understandable. This sudden and totally unexpected maneuver suggests that the creationists are borrowing their tactics from terrorists. If the bill passes, the usual websites will praise Russell as “brilliant.” We can think of a few other adjectives.
Some states have a constitutional provision that requires bills to deal with only one subject. We don’t know the Oklahoma rules that apply to a sleazy amendment like this, but we’ll keep you advised. The current legislative session isn’t scheduled to end until 25 May.
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