Oklahoma’s 2nd 2014 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead

Creationist bill, road kill

There were two creationist bills that were being considered in the current session of the Oklahoma legislature. We previously posted about the demise of the first one here: Oklahoma’s 1st 2014 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead.

But their second bill was moving along, as we reported a month ago — see Oklahoma’s 2nd Creationism Bill Passes House. That one is House Bill 1674. It was introduced by two familiar creationist names — Gus Blackwell (a preacher) and Sally Kern, a sociology major who is married to a preacher. It’s one of those Academic Freedom bills, based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism model act promoted by the Discovery Institute.

We were worried about this second bill because it passed the House by a 93% vote, and it was being sponsored in the Senate by Josh Brecheen – District 6, a flaming creationist. However, Victor Hutchison and the Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education have been tirelessly opposing the bill.

Today we have good news. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted Two down in Oklahoma. They say:

Oklahoma’s House Bill 1674 (PDF), which would, if enacted, have deprived administrators of the ability to prevent teachers from miseducating students about “scientific controversies,” died in the Senate Education Committee on April 3, 2014, when a deadline for House bills to be passed by their Senate committees expired.

It wasn’t voted down; it just died from inactivity. That’s okay. Any death for a creationist bill is a good death.

This must be a bitter defeat for Gus Blackwell, Sally Kern, Josh Brecheen, and all the other creationists in the Oklahoma legislature. But they’ve got their rapture points recorded in the celestial book where such deeds are noted, and if they’re still in the legislature next year, they’ll be doing the same thing again.

A creationist politician usually falls into one of three categories: (1) he does what he does because he fears the Lake of Fire; (2) he’s a hopeless imbecile; or (3) he has no beliefs, but he would cheerfully support creationism, sell his mother, or do anything else to win an election. Some are in more than one category. It doesn’t matter why a particular politician supports creationist legislation. There’s no way to reason with them. They must be opposed by all lawful means.

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

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5 responses to “Oklahoma’s 2nd 2014 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead

  1. waldteufel

    Our Curmudgeon sagely opines: “Any death for a creationist bill is a good death.” Amen, brother.

  2. Thank you for the coverage SC. Agree with waldteufel. This is a special year, marking 15 years of successfully defeating creationist foolishness in Oklahoma. Yes, a breath of fresh air can come out of Oklahoma. However, it takes the effort of a great many dedicated people and organizations, and an annual lesson in leadership from Vic Hutchison.

  3. SC: “Some are in more than one category.”

    There’s a #4 that also overlaps all 3 (think Venn diagrams), though #1 is fully contained in it, and thus secondary to it. That category is “radical paranoid authoritarians,” which unfortunately describes most politicians that call themselves “conservative,” as well as most who don’t. As you know, left-leaning authoritarians occasionally promote creationism, and most of the rest would too in a heartbeat if it didn’t cost them votes.

  4. SC: “They must be opposed by all lawful means.”

    (as usual, this is for the benefit of readers, especially new ones, as SC knows the deal)

    And therein lies the rub. The Founding Fathers, who actually respected Enlightenment values, and founded a nation specifically to get away from authoritarianism, would not be happy that we have to waste time and money with the “treatment,” when “prevention” would be more efficient and beneficial in the long run. That means not getting these clowns elected (or if appointed not electing the clowns who appoint them). That’s not easy of course, but like starting a business, it’s a lot of work up front with little ROI at first, but it gradually changes.

    The first thing I would recommend is to completely write off the 20-30% of voters that are committed fundamentalists. To most of them, evolution and creationism are secondary to other social issues. We hear mostly from the activists who spin that idiotic caricature where “Darwinism” is the root of all evil (you may have even seen that “tree” cartoon), but they are a small (though very vocal) minority, and not representative of the rank and file. Next, concentrate on another 30-50% that is sympathetic or at least indifferent to “creationism.” The goal is to get them to appreciate and respect science, not oppose religion (impossible anyway). That does not mean just learning more science (though most people are shockingly clueless), but appreciating how the process works. Especially how scientists are always challenging the status quo, and that when they go along, it’s almost always because the independently verifiable evidence forces them. If we can get just a few more % of “fence sitters” to agree that “‘Darwinists’ are protecting a dying theory and ‘censoring’ opponents” is an outrageous lie, the rest will slowly follow.

  5. FrankJ: I fully agree with most of your comments. However, I would question some of your percentages. Here in OK , and likely in other states especially in the south, the percentage of ‘committed fundamentalists,’ is likely higher than 20-30%, but that is the likely % in the OK Legislature. We do try to reach the fence sitters where, as you suggest, we can make some in roads. Check the OESE web site (by clicking on my name on this post) to see other activities we are doing along these lines. Thanks for your pertinent comments on SC!