The state of Indiana seems doomed to experience a legislative struggle over creationism soon. As recently reported by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), there is Antievolution legislation on the horizon in Indiana. NCSE says:
Efforts to undermine the teaching of evolution are likely to be revived in the Indiana legislature, according to a columnist for the Lafayette Journal and Courier (November 10, 2012). At the center of the efforts is state senator Dennis Kruse (R-District 14), who told the newspaper that he plans to introduce a bill drafted by the Discovery Institute, presumably along the lines of the bills adopted, despite the protests of the scientific and educational communities, in Tennessee in 2012 and Louisiana in 2008.
This is the brilliant legislator’s page at the Indiana Senate’s website: Dennis Kruse. He pulled the same stunt in 2012, and of course we wrote about it. That adventure starts here: Creationist Legislation for Indiana in 2012? and ends here: Indiana’s 2012 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead. But the bill passed in the Senate before dying in the House.
We weren’t going to write about the 2013 effort until it got introduced into the legislature, but the Discoveroids are already climbing on board (they’re described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page). They have this new article at their blog: In Indiana, Academic Freedom on the Horizon, and it’s by David Klinghoffer. Note his oh-so-clever title, which is intended as a spoof of NCSE’s title (Antievolution legislation on the horizon). Here are some excerpts, with his links omitted and bold font added by us:
Joshua Youngkin, Center for Science & Culture program officer in public policy and legal affairs [i.e., he’s a Discoveroid lobbyist], has an excellent op-ed in the Journal & Courier in Lafayette, Indiana (“The case for academic freedom on evolution and in science class”). The Darwin Brigade is gearing up for a fight in the state, hoping to stamp out interest in academic freedom before it gets out of control and a kid happens to learn something dangerous.
Then he quotes what the Discoveroid lobbyist wrote in that newspaper:
You’ll hear that Discovery Institute, the education policy think tank where I’m a staff attorney, and its local allies seek to introduce “creationism” and “religion” in the science classroom. You will hear that this would cripple science education in the state — if it weren’t for the certainty that the law, if passed, would be struck down as unconstitutional.
I know you’ll hear these things because that is always what opponents of academic freedom say when the issue comes before state lawmakers.
Did you get that? We’re the “opponents of academic freedom.” The Discoveroids’ use of “academic freedom” as a propaganda phrase is a clever tactic because everyone is for freedom. But the word can be abused. For example, the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) uses the word “freedom” in defense of their policies. Their website says: “Our membership is open to all individuals sympathetic to man/boy love in particular and sexual freedom in general.”
To be fair, even though the Discoveroids sling the most outrageous slurs and constantly blame Darwin for Hitler, Mao, Manson, etc., using NAMBLA in this context is a bit rough. Nevertheless, our point is that the word “freedom” can be abused, and the Discoveroids are abusing it. That point is more politely expressed in this old post: Creationism: Abuse of the Language of Rights.
Okay, back to the Discoveroid article. Klinghoffer is still quoting from what the lobbyist wrote:
What’s the truth? Discovery and innovation, in scientific and other fields, depend on academic freedom.
Such a policy, protecting teachers who introduce cutting-edge science — not religion — in their teaching, may come up for a vote by Indiana lawmakers in 2013. If the law passes, Indiana would join other states that have taken legislative action to guarantee academic freedom in public schools.
Ah yes, “cutting-edge science” — like the Discoveroids’ “theory” of a magic designer. That’s right on the cutting-edge of the flat Earth. Then the lobbyist’s article mentions what he considers two educationally-advanced states that are on that scientific cutting-edge — Louisiana and Tennessee. The educational excellence of those two states is generally unnoticed, but the Discoveroids claim they’re way ahead of the other states because they’ve passed versions of the Discoveroids’ Academic Freedom Act.
That’s all there is to the Discoveroid blog article. It isn’t much, but it informs us that the Discoveroids are committed to the madness in Indiana, so 2013 should be an interesting year. The state’s legislature is scheduled to convene on 07 January. We’ll be watching as they flirt with that cutting edge.
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