Creationism Runs Wild in Alaska

This news was found in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, located in Wasilla, Alaska. You’ve heard of that town — Sarah Palin was once mayor.

The headline is Gattis to resign from school board to chair House Education Committee. We know what you’re thinking: Oh no, another boring tale about a boring politician in a far away boring place. Yes, that’s often true, but this time you’re wrong. There can be hidden nuggets buried in such stories, so stay with us, dear reader. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added for emphasis:

WASILLA — Lynn Gattis, the incoming state representative from greater Wasilla, will serve as chair of the House Education Committee when the Legislature convenes in Juneau.

You’re still bored, right? Hold on, it gets better:

Gattis, a Republican, says she favors school vouchers. She said she backs equal time in the classroom for creationism and evolution. And she’s open to the idea of regional schools for rural areas.

Aha! She’s a creationist state legislator. Let’s read on:

Gattis has served on the Mat-Su School Board since 2010, but said that she plans to resign from the board in mid-January. Originally, Gattis told other school board members she hoped to remain on the school board even if elected. It’s legal in Alaska to serve on local boards while serving in the Legislature.

It’s good that a creationist is resigning from the local school board, right? Well, not necessarily. The story continues:

But, Gattis said, she decided over the weekend to resign from the board after she learned of her appointment as Education chair; a plum position in the Legislature for an incoming freshman.

Aaaargh!! She’s a brand-new state legislator — and a creationist! — and they’re making her the chairman of the House Education Committee. A creationist chairman!

The rest of the story is about her decision to resign from the local school board and how the resulting vacancy will be filled. That really is boring, so this is where we’ll quit. But now we know — Alaska’s House of Representatives is run by idiots!

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

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8 responses to “Creationism Runs Wild in Alaska

  1. “…the incoming state representative from greater Wasilla…”

    Wasilla: 2010 population 7,831

    I can’t find the population for the Greater Wasilla Metro Conurbation…

  2. Ceteris Paribus

    Maybe they should also appoint Gattis to the Environment and Hhealth committees There must be something seeping into the Wasilla public water supply that affects the brain.

  3. Seems as though creationists are drawn to school boards like moths to a candle. Then she saw the huge searchlight of the state legislature…

  4. @retiredsciguy:
    That is because, having lost every scientific battle, and every legal battle, the only way they have to try to foist their nonsense on to everyone else is via the battlefield of politics. Hopefully there will be enough sane people in Alaska to minimize her potential impact on education there.

  5. When I was teaching Earth Sciences in a middle school in Ohio, we did have some people running for school board with a creationist agenda — both in the district where I taught as well as the district in which we lived. Luckily for my own kids’ education, they didn’t get very far in our home district. We did have one get elected where I taught, but the rest of the board pretty much ignored her.

    On the other hand, we just elected a very religion-driven governor in the state where I live now (Mike Pence; Indiana), and although I don’t know for a fact that Pence is a creationist, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he is. Put that together with a bill introduced last year in the R-controlled Indiana legislature that would require the teaching of creationism in Indiana’s public schools (not just allow it, but require it!), and I foresee bad things happening over the next couple of years.

    Indiana already has the nation’s largest voucher program, which has been channeling state funds to religious schools for two years now. There is a lawsuit filed challenging that law, and it’s scheduled to be heard by the Indiana Supreme Court this month (last I heard. I’m out-of-state at the moment, and haven’t seen Indiana news.). I hope the reading comprehension level of the judges is higher than the legislature’s (and Gov. Mitch Daniels’) when it comes to understanding the state and U.S. constitutions.

    Keep your eye on Indiana, Curmy. It’s bound to be entertaining.

  6. retiredsciguy notes:

    …although I don’t know for a fact that Pence is a creationist, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he is

    Indeed, but the omens are not good: Hardball: Mike Pence Won’t Say Whether He Believes in Evolution

  7. Charley Horse

    Let’s all chip in and send Gattis a case of Curmudgeonite.
    I suspect the stores there don’t stock it.

  8. @Megalonyx: Thanks for the video clip re: Pence. He should be on Dancing With the Stars!

    I have to agree with you, Meg — “the omens are not good”.