The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has a new post about Antiscience legislation in Colorado, which informs us:
House Bill 13-1089 (PDF), introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives on January 16, 2013, and assigned to the House Committees on Education and Appropriations, would create “Academic Freedom Acts” for both K-12 public schools and institutes of higher education in the state of Colorado.
It’s been three years since that state had to deal with the madness of creationism. We posted about that earlier incident here: Colorado’s Creationism & Theocracy Bill. It was the work of state senator Dave Schultheis and it died in committee, as did a similar bill he proposed in 2007.
Okay, let’s take a look at House Bill 13-1089. There are two parts to this thing. The first is titled “Academic Freedom Act.” The annoying all-caps style is a gift from the Colorado legislature, and the bold font was added by us:
What can we say? The “legislative declaration” is all lies — there is no scientific “controversy” over evolution, and certainly none about cloning. Does any school teach cloning? Nor is any teacher confused about how to teach evolution. This bill is about none of those things. It’s based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. We’ve already critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws. In that same post we also recommended countermeasures.
There is a second part to this Colorado bill. It’s called the “Higher Education Academic Freedom Act.” It essentially repeats all of the above, but it has some wording changes referring to “institutions of higher education in Colorado.”
You can follow the progress of this bill at this link: Summarized History for Bill Number HB13-1089, but it’s clumsy. First you have to select the “bill range” to House Bills 1051-1100 and then click the “GO” button. After that, scroll down to 13-1089 and click on “History.” You’ll learn that this bill was introduced on 16 January and has been referred the House Education and Appropriations committees.
Who are the geniuses behind this mess? In the House the bill is sponsored by Humphrey, Buck, Everett, Holbert, Joshi, Nordberg, Saine, and Wilson. Since Humphrey’s name is first, we assume that this thing is primarily his responsibility. Here’s his page at the legislature’s website: Stephen Humphrey.
There’s no information about him there, so we found the About Steve section of his campaign website. He’s a former cop who is currently a mental health counselor and a marriage and family therapist. We’re also told “First and foremost Steve Humphrey is a Christian committed to the timeless and eternal principles that honor the God who created us equal and make for a good life and thriving communities.”
In the Senate (yes, the bill seems to be there too) the thing is sponsored by Renfroe, Grantham, Harvey, and Hill. We haven’t looked up anyone but Humphrey, but we assume all the others are equally qualified to guide their state’s science education.
The Colorado legislature convened on 09 January and is scheduled to adjourn on 08 May.
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