The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted this news: Antiscience bill in Oklahoma. They say:
Senate Bill 1765 (document), styled the Oklahoma Science Education Act, is the second antiscience bill of the year. As is increasingly common with antiscience legislation, SB 1765 would, if enacted, in effect encourage science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach anything they pleased — proponents of creationism and climate change denial are the usual intended beneficiaries of such bills — and discourage responsible educational authorities from intervening. No scientific topics are specifically identified as controversial, but the fact that the sole sponsor of SB 1765 is Josh Brecheen (R-District 6), who introduced similar legislation that directly targeted evolution in two previous legislative sessions, is suggestive.
Josh Brecheen? We’ve run into him before. He tried the same thing last year, and the year before — see Oklahoma: Josh Brecheen’s 2013 Creationism Bill. When we first started writing about Brecheen’s creationist activity, his occupation was tractor salesman. That’s been changed. His official page at the Senate’s website — Senator Josh Brecheen – District 6 — indicates that his occupation is now Motivational Speaker.
This is a link to the text of Brecheen’s new bill: text of SB 1765 , but you’ll have to read it in Microsoft Word. It’s very similar to his bill from last year. We won’t copy the whole thing, but here are a few key excerpts, with the creationist code-words put in bold font:
We’ve seen several such bills before. It’s loosely based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discoveroids — who are 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.
Hey, Brecheen: If you’re serious about drafting a non-religious bill, then stop tap-dancing around with that bogus “shall not be construed” nonsense and include language that says: “This bill doesn’t authorize teaching creationism or intelligent design.” But of course, that’s the last thing you want, isn’t it?
The bill was introduced today, and it’s scheduled for its first reading on 03 February. It doesn’t seem to have any co-sponsors so far, and it’s not yet assigned to any committee. Maybe it’ll die, like all of Brecheen’s previous efforts. You can follow the bill’s progress here. The Oklahoma legislature is scheduled to adjourn on 30 May.
Even if this bill fails, Brecheen will try again next year. He’s a fanatical creationist, and he’ll never stop until he’s out of office. Want to see how fanatical? We wrote this about him back in December of 2010: Oklahoma’s Senator Josh Brecheen: Totally Crazed.
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