We haven’t had any creationist legislation to report in Alabama since 2012. That was a strange bill that would give high school academic credit for religious instruction during school hours, as long as such classes were conducted off-campus by teachers who aren’t employed by the state, and the students’ transportation couldn’t be at state expense. It was approved by the House Education Policy Committee, but then it died when the legislative session ended in mid-May — see Alabama’s 2012 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead.
Now they’re at it again. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) report: Antiscience legislation in Alabama. They say:
House Bill 592 (PDF), introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives on April 30, 2015, and referred to the House Committee on Education Policy, would undermine the integrity of science education in the state by encouraging science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach whatever anything they pleased and prevent responsible educational authorities from intervening. Topics identified in the bill as likely to “cause debate and disputation” are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, and human cloning.”
They also say that it’s modeled after the creationism bill in Tennessee. We wrote about that a few times back in 2012. After it passed we wrote Thoughts on the Tennessee Creationism Law. We still like that post. As you know, the Tennessee law was modeled after the Discovery Institute’s model bill — see Academic Freedom bills. And so it is in Alabama.
Okay, back to NCSE for one more excerpt:
The bill’s sole sponsor is Mack Butler (R-District 30), who, discussing a different bill of his with Alabama.com (January 21, 2015), commented, “It takes a lot more faith to believe in evolution.”
He sounds like a typical creationist. Here’s his page at the Alabama legislature’s website: Mack Butler. Yeah, he’s a Republican, but there’s no biographical information about him. That’s odd.
We Googled around. It appears that he’s an electrical contractor, and his education was obtained at Gadsden State Community College, but there’s no indication of what he studied or whether he graduated. Ah, another website says he attended Gadsden State Community College, and then he attended Jefferson County Sheriffs Academy in 2009. The Discoveroids have chosen the right man for the job.
NCSE also mentions that “The legislature will be in session for only eleven more days before adjourning.” According to our source, they adjourn on 15 June. Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to get this thing through the state House and then the Senate. That doesn’t matter. Mack Butler has earned some rapture points. If he’s back next year, he’ll probably try it again.
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