Things are definitely not OK in Oklahoma. First we reported about an Oklahoma Bible Bill for 2015 that would authorize bible study classes in state public schools. Now, our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted this news: Antievolution legislation in Oklahoma. They say, with bold font added by us:
Senate Bill 665 (document), styled the Oklahoma Science Education Act, is the third antiscience bill of the year. SB 665 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 665 is Josh Brecheen (R-District 6), who introduced similar legislation that directly targeted evolution in previous legislative sessions, is suggestive.
Lordy, lordy — Josh Brecheen — that’s his page at the website of the Oklahoma legislature. He does something like this every year. This is what we wrote about his effort last year: Oklahoma Creationism: Josh Brecheen Again. And back in December of 2010 we wrote Oklahoma’s Senator Josh Brecheen: Totally Crazed.
Leaving out non-essential verbiage, here are the guts of Brecheen’s new bill, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Does it look familiar? It should — it’s pretty much what Brecheen proposed last year. It’s loosely based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discovery Institute. We’ve critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.
As we said last year:
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?
You can follow the progress of Brecheen’s new bill here: SB 665. Nothing’s happened yet. It looks like he pre-filed it. The legislative session doesn’t start until 02 February, and it adjourns on 29 May.
One of our clandestine operatives — code named “OO” — informs us that Brecheen has also introduced some unrelated legislation. We were told: “His SB650 lists 52 topics to be covered in U.S. History, including obvious foundational documents, but [it] also includes [the] motto of U.S. [“In God we trust”], Johm Winthrop’s [sermon] ‘Model of Christian Charity,’ [a] sermon by Jonathan Edwards ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’, [and William Jennings Bryan” speech] ‘Cross of Gold.'” Here’s a link to that bill: SB 650.
With such fine lawmakers, wisely chosen by a thoughtful and well-educated citizenry, we expect only the best results in Oklahoma.
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