As you know, there are two creationist bills pending in the Missouri legislature. The first one is sponsored by Andrew Koenig — it’s a typical “academic freedom” bill like the model promoted by the Discovery Institute. There hasn’t been anything happening with it — no hearings, nothing.
We wrote about the second bill here. It’s the craziest of all such bills we’ve seen since we started this humble blog, and it’s the work of Rick Brattin, a high school graduate who owns and operates Brattin Drywall Company.
His bill is House Bill 291. You can track the bill’s progress at that link (nothing’s happened yet, and no hearings are scheduled). He proposed the same bill last year, which went nowhere. Here’s where you can read the bill: Text of HB 291, and Koenig is a co-sponsor. In for a penny, in for a pound.
Although nothing’s happened in the legislature so far, there’s plenty of time — they’re not scheduled to adjourn until 30 May. Meanwhile, we found some news about Brattin and his bill. We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from Rick Brattin, Who Wants Anti-Evolution Lessons In Missouri Schools: “I’m A Science Enthusiast”, which appears in the Riverfront Times (RFT), a newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. The bold font was added by us:
Missouri Representative Rick Brattin, a Republican, has introduced a bill that would mandate schools across the state give “equal treatment” to the theory of evolution and so-called “intelligent design,” which is similar to creationism. Why?
“I’m a science enthusiast,” he tells Daily RFT. “I’m a huge science buff.“
Ah, that explains it. Because you already know about his bill, we’ll just skip around and give you some quotes from Brattin. They’re very illuminating. Here we go:
Brattin explains to us, “I just believe that there are more theories than one in science.” What the bill does, he says, is mandate that teachers and instructional material “distinguish what is, in fact, theory and what is, in fact, empirical data…. There’s so much of the theory of evolution that is being taught as fact … things like the primordial ooze.“
Yeah, the Ooze Theory needs to be knocked off its pedestal. Here’s more:
He adds, “With theories, they need to have equal treatment, objective treatment, not one brushed aside.” The one he doesn’t want brushed aside is intelligent design, an alternative theory of life to natural selection.
It’s inspiring to see someone so dedicated to the cult of the intelligent designer. Missouri is fortunate to have Brattin in the legislature. Moving along:
[H]is bill has nothing to do with religion, Brattin says. In fact — it is the opponents who are being religious in their stubborn support of evolution.
“This is like their religion,” he says. “They believe this wholeheartedly … . They believe you are attacking what is absolutely one hundred percent true. I’ve had numerous college professors within biology, school science teachers…who say they are not allowed to teach any type of theory [like intelligent design]…. They are banned from the science community.”
He’s had “numerous college professors” tell him that? Or has he merely seen Ben Stein’s sleazy propaganda film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed? Let’s read on:
Brattin argues that he is motivated to put forward this bill because he believes in science. “This isn’t preaching that God designed this,” he says. “This is saying, it had to come from some sort of intelligence.”
Oh. It’s not God, it’s “some sort of intelligence.” Right. One last excerpt:
“The naysayers keep involving religion,” says Brattin, who also introduced this bill last year. “This has to do with science. This is about testable data in today’s world.”
So there you are. You know about the bill, and now you know the motivation of its sponsor. There’s not much else to know except the fate of the bill. For that, we’ll just have to wait.
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