Missouri Creationism: New Bill for 2014

This looks like it’s going to be an active year for creationist legislation. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) reports: Antievolution legislation in Missouri.

It’s House Bill 1472, which we find refreshing in its candor. It would forthrightly amend existing law “by adding thereto one new section relating to the teaching of the theory of evolution by natural selection.” There’s not much to it, at least regarding the number of words. It says, with our bold font:

1. Any school district or charter school which provides instruction relating to the theory of evolution by natural selection shall be required to have a policy on parental notification and a mechanism where a parent can choose to remove the student from any part of the district’s or school’s instruction on evolution. The policy shall require the school district or charter school to notify the parent or legal guardian of each student enrolled in the district of:

(1) The basic content of the district’s or school’s evolution instruction to be provided to the student; and

(2) The parent’s right to remove the student from any part of the district’s or school’s evolution instruction.

2. A school district or charter school shall make all curriculum materials used in the district’s or school’s evolution instruction available for public inspection under chapter 610 prior to the use of such materials in actual instruction.

Isn’t that sweet? Missouri parents will be able protect their children from even hearing about evolution. Opt-out provisions are typically available regarding sex education courses in state-run schools, but this is the first time we’ve seen the concept applied to evolution.

The bill is sponsored by a pair of familiar names: Rick Brattin, a high school graduate who operates Brattin Drywall Company, and Andy Koenig, who owns a paint company and who has a license to sell health and life insurance.

You can track the bill’s progress here. The bill was introduced yesterday, so nothing has happened yet — but there’s plenty of time. The Missouri legislature isn’t scheduled to adjourn until 30 May.

Last year Koenig’s bill (of which Brattin was a co-sponsor) was a typical “academic freedom” job — see Missouri Creationism: New Bill for 2013. He tried the same thing the year before.

Brattin’s bill last year (of which Koenig was a co-sponsor) was an “equal time” job — it would have required “the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design.” See Missouri Creationism: Another Bill for 2013. That sort of thing was declared unconstitutional back in 1987 in Edwards v. Aguillard. And yes, Brattin had attempted the same thing a year earlier.

We must point out that this year’s bill is also an “equal treatment” law, but it’s a novelty in treating the theory of evolution as if it were equally as offensive to squeamish parents as sex education. We congratulate the legislators for their originality. Joining their anti-science mentality with prevalent anti-sex attitudes is an interesting idea. We’re dazzled at the thought of a political movement that combines the chastity of a monastic order and the ignorance of the Luddites. We can’t think of a good analogy.

Other than that, there’s not much else to say. Missouri’s Dynamic Duo are in action once more. Let’s hope their new bill will die in committee, as both of their bills did last year. It won’t matter. If they’re still in the legislature next year, they’ll be at it again. People like that never outgrow their idiocy.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Missouri Creationism: New Bill for 2014

  1. Eddie Janssen

    Mr Klinghoffer gets a quick answer to his question: “Censor of the Year: Who Will It Be?”

  2. Where’s (3)? The one about how that school shall return to the taxpayers any money that would have been spent on students that “opt out”?

    Despite your creativity and innovation in science, most of you “Darwinists” check your brains at the door when it comes to “creationism.” The irony that most of you always miss is that a bill would have a better chance of passing, and even winning over “liberal” judges if necessary, if it’s more like the pre-Edwards creationism, than the replacement scams (ID, academic “freedom” etc,).

    Whyzzat? Well, duh, just leave out the creator and designer language, and the long-refuted misrepresentations of evolution “designed” exclusively to promote unreasonable doubt. Then state the specific “what happened, when, where and how” hypotheses and defend them on their own “strengths” of evidence. Surely by now there must be some “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated” for something other than evolution. Or at least the Biologic Institute is nearing a breakthrough. 😉

  3. @EddieJanssen

    Thanks! I think it’s finally starting to catch on that responding to the DI’s outrageous charge of censorship with just “no we don’t and here’s why…” is 100% unacceptable. Their mind-numbing hypocrisy must be exposed. That’s the only way we can ever win over a majority.

  4. Tweedledum and Tweedledumer! I love these guys. Looks like the big Mo is going to be a source of laughs for the next year. I assume that these guys are smart enough to realize that their bill is unconstitutional. So all of this is just to play to their base. Or maybe they are not that smart.

  5. The parents who would pull their kids out of biology class already have – homeschoolers.

    Seems like a pointless gesture. Oh, now I get it …

  6. Ceteris Paribus

    Brattin and Koenig seem to have omitted Section 3 of the draft of their bill. After some googling it appears this is probably the gist of the missing section:

    3. Whereas the State of Missouri is convinced that it is best for students to
    dispense with Ardent Spirit, Wine, Opium and Tobacco, as articles of luxury and diet, therefore:
    Each student shall hereby pledge to one another their mutual Promise that relying on Divine aid, while connected with their school district or charter school, they will abstain entirely from These articles, except as medicine, and the use of wine at the Lord’s Supper.

  7. docbill notes: “The parents who would pull their kids out of biology class already have – homeschoolers.”

    Doc, I would insert the adjective “fundamentalist” in front of “homeschoolers.” Some of us secular humanists homeschool too. My wife and I wanted to spare our kids the busy-work and the slow pace that public education entails, and to intensify their engagement with ideas. Our daughter completed her H.S. diploma by taking classes at a nearby university. By the time our son came through H.S., a change in enrollment policy allowed him to transfer to a public school with excellent AP courses, and we took advantage of that opportunity.

    I’m just reminding readers that home schooling does not automatically equate to intentionally impairing a child’s education.

    (OT: Autocorrect changed “docbill” to “docile.” I informed autocorrect he is anything but.)

  8. Retired Prof says:

    Autocorrect changed “docbill” to “docile.”

    I always get “duckbill.”

  9. I’d worry if you tried to write “crocodile” and it came out “crocoduck.”

  10. Imagine a duckbilled dinosaur with big teeth and a short fuse. No, don’t imagine the short fuse. OK, a BIG FUSE and a bad temper. There, much better.

    Yes, yes, a thousand times YES, I am aware of the 3 families in the History of the World who homeschooled their genius spawn. I’m sure those families are perfectly “normal” and in no way granola-eating, tree-hugging, commune-living, hippie-dippie kooks with a ’64 VW bus in the driveway.

    Oops, sorry! Darned tiny old sarcastic dinosaur brain.

    Finally, for the record I offer my “sincerest” not-pology to ranting about drywall and paint salesmen, which I spared you, thank you very much, because I’m Sure ™ there are simply wonderful, liberal, progressive Democrat drywall and paint salesmen somewhere; maybe in a small town in Vermont.

  11. The scene is a biology classroom in Missouri post-passage of HB 1472:

    “Well, students, the state legislature has passed a law prohibiting me from providing any instruction relating to evolution, which is the key unifying idea of all biology, unless your parents give you permission to remain in this class. So, if your parents refuse to grant you that permission and you wish to understand biology, I have a number of websites I would recommend…”

  12. I suppose that in America, one has the right to be stupid – and the right to paint your face green.

    Organized and willful propagation of ignorance is bad enough, but when attempts are made to codify such ignorance into state and national laws, then it crosses the line. Their efforts are yet another transparent attempt by the lunatics to take over the asylum and establish their disease as the new norm by force of law.

    How do you meaningfully describe a rainbow to a blind person? You can’t. Period.

    Rational people are in the same analogous position when trying to reason scientifically with religious funda-mental cases who would rather gouge out their own eyes than see the light of truth for themselves.

    Ignorance, organized or not, does not deserve respect for the same reason that people who still believe in the Easter Bunny at 50-years-old do not deserve to be respected for it, even if there are 20 million of them. Ignorance is not a respectable quality and has no valid right to any such expectation, much less any right to demand it.

    “There is on earth among all dangers no more dangerous thing than a richly endowed and adroit reason… Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed.”

    [Martin Luther]

    Quoth the Raven: Woe to the Republic.