Texas’ 2013 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead

Creationist bill, road kill

We just learned from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) that “Intelligent design” legislation in Texas dies. They say:

Texas’s House Bill 285 died in the House Committee on Higher Education on May 6, 2013, when the deadline for House committees to pass House bills expired.

We last wrote about that bill here: Texas Creationism: Zedler’s HB 285 Stalled. All the background information is there, but we’ll remind you that House Bill 285 (which is the same thing Zedler introduced unsuccessfully in 2011), would, if enacted, add a provision to the state’s education code providing:

An institution of higher education may not discriminate against or penalize in any manner, especially with regard to employment or academic support, a faculty member or student based on the faculty member’s or student’s conduct of research relating to the theory of intelligent design or other alternate theories of the origination and development of organisms.

Yes, dear reader, you’re right. The bill is crazy — utterly, totally, full-blown crazy. That’s to be expected, because it’s the work of Bill Zedler. In More about Bill Zedler, we described his bill to license exotic dancers and other workers in any “sexually oriented business”, including adult video stores and strip clubs. The man is obsessed with creationism and sexual issues. Oh, don’t forget his recently failed anti-LGBT bill (see Texas’ Bill Zedler: Pro Creationism, Anti LGBT).

If something is stupid, he’s for it; but if something is fun, he’s against it. While we’re ranting, we’ll remind you of this from two years ago: Is Bill Zedler the Dumbest Man in Texas? — a question that really answers itself. Okay, that’s enough about Zedler. NCSE also says:

HB 285 was scheduled for a committee hearing on April 17, 2013. In advance of the hearing, nineteen faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin wrote to the committee to express their opposition …

You can read their letter here. It’s good. Here’s an excerpt to encourage you to read it all:

While we strongly support academic freedom and protections for valid scientific research, we don’t think colleges and universities should be required to look the other way when faculty and students distort mainstream science.

That should get a response out of the Discoveroids. They hate it when those pesky “Darwinists” tell the truth.

So that’s the news. The only remaining creationist legislation, as we reported in our 01 April 2013 Update (yes, April Fool’s Day) are two bills in Missouri. Those are Andrew Koenig’s HB 179 (a typical “academic freedom” bill), and Rick Brattin’s totally crazed House Bill 291. Both are just sitting in committee, doing nothing. The legislature adjourns on 30 May.

In North Carolina there’s also Stan Bingham’s Bible Class Bill. That one is also just sitting in a committee, going nowhere, but the legislature won’t adjourn until early July.

It’s been a bad legislative year for the creationists. All they’ve managed to do is preserve their 2008 law in Louisiana with the help of the legislature’s Voodoo faction — see Victory for Creationism and Voodoo. We’re not too upset about that. It’s hard to deny that Louisiana is determined to be known as an intellectual sinkhole, so let ’em be happy.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Texas’ 2013 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead

  1. Now those proponents of those bills fit to be called bats**t crazy

  2. With apologies to Mencken, creationism is the fear that someone, somewhere, may be learning.

  3. Our Curmudgeon accurately notes

    It’s hard to deny that Louisiana is determined to be known as an intellectual sinkhole, so let ‘em be happy

    It’s a nasty job, but somebody has to make Mississippi look good…

  4. docbill1351

    Creationists are not only stupid but they are lazy. It’s easy to simply believe in stuff, but it’s difficult to actually learn about stuff.

    Pop quiz! Which is easier, learning calculus or saying “Calculus is stupid!” I’ve done both and the answer is clearly “B.”

    If there is any irony in Zedler’s stupid bill it’s that nobody is stopping creationists from being funded to do research. Let ’em do research, I say! What are they afraid of? Just dangle a few million dollars in front of the Tooters and they would jump at it, wouldn’t they?

    Or would they?

    In fact, that has already happened. The Templeton Foundation offered to fund research into ID with a nearly bottomless well of money. (Believe me, Templeton grants are money for nothing. Example: ” HOUSTON – (May 31, 2012) – A $1.08 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation will allow Rice University researchers to study how people of different religious traditions perceive science and interact with the scientific world around them, and how scientists perceive people of faith.”)

    All the DI has to do was submit a research proposal. Surly Behe, Dembski, Wells, Meyer, Berlinski, Marks, Gauger, Axe and the other doofuses could come up with SOMETHING.

    Or could they?

    Of course they couldn’t! Not a peep. Not a proposal. Not a notion. Nothing, nada, zip, zero, zilch.

    Lazy? Not really. All those folks scrape a living doing something.
    Stupid? Not really. They went to class and earned their degrees.
    There is no ID, it’s just a PR campaign; nothing to research? Bingo.

  5. docbill1351

    ID “research” part two.

    Old Dr. Dr. Dumbski wrangled a 2-book grant out of Templeton about 10 years ago. He wrote a book, OK, but Templeton was none too happy about it because it wasn’t on the subject matter Dembski proposed initially. He took their money and wrote the book he wanted to write. Then he had the temerity to ask for the second part of the grant. My memory is fuzzy on whether he got paid, but he never wrote the second book.

    Ed Brayton reported several years ago:

    (William Grassie who managed the grant program for Templeton) Why distance oneself from the Intelligent Design Movement? I cannot speak for the John Templeton Foundation, but we at Metanexus grew tired of the increasingly politicized debates about Intelligent Design Theory. Proponents were clearly engaged in a political campaign to change public education. While the erudite advocates were proposing what might be called “Intelligently Designed Evolution,” the core of the movement were mostly Young Earth Creationists. The genealogy of the movement was clearly motivated not by a technical scientific debate, but by a longstanding religious and ideological concern to overthrow evolution. The logic of the ID movement is essentially that evolution = Darwinism = materialism = atheism = immorality = nihilism. This is not a necessary correlation.

    Whatever the deficiencies in Darwinism, whether it is an exclusive or even most important mechanism in the transmutation of species, these scientific debates do not necessarily imply “intelligently designed complexity” as an alternative and certainly not the only alternative.

    This quote should be enshrined. Best summary I’ve ever read.

  6. docbill1351 says: “Creationists are not only stupid but they are lazy.”

    Now I’m convinced. I nominate you to succeed Genie Scott. You are manifestly qualified to wear the coveted Pearl Necklace.

  7. Whatever the deficiencies in Darwinism, whether it is an exclusive or even most important mechanism in the transmutation of species, these scientific debates do not necessarily imply “intelligently designed complexity” as an alternative and certainly not the only alternative.

    But the problem with that paragraph is the use of “Darwinism” whereas he should have said “modern evolutionary theory.”

  8. Thanks, Doug! So, Ham was the one in the background!