Discoveroids Defend Oklahoma’s Creationist Bills

You know about the creationist bills we discussed a few days ago in Two Oklahoma Creationism Bills for 2016. They’re typical anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism bills, modeled on the Discovery Institute’s Academic Freedom bill, which we critiqued in Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

As expected, the Discoveroids are defending the Oklahoma lunacy. Their post is Oklahoma’s Academic Freedom Legislation Authorizes Teaching Scientific Criticisms, Not Creationism. It’s by Sarah Chaffee, the new Discoveroid staffer who is neither a biologist nor a lawyer. We’ve been calling her “Savvy Sarah.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us.

With the recent filing of academic freedom bills in Oklahoma, misinformation about what these bills actually protect is springing up in the media and from Darwin lobbyists — as it has many times before.

Yeah, we’re the lobbyists, but they’re promoting legislation. Ah well, then she quotes from some critics of the Oklahoma bills and says:

First, the bills only authorize teachers to present scientific information regarding controversial theories.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Like the “theory” of intelligent design. That’s loaded with science. Let’s read on:

Second, Oklahoma’s bills would not authorize the teaching of creationism or other religious beliefs. Both the Senate and House bills note that they only protect “the teaching of scientific information and shall not be construed to promote any religious or nonreligious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or nonbeliefs or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! “Shall not be construed” indeed. As we’ve said a few times before, that ridiculous “Hey, Judge: Here’s how to construe this law” section of such bills is comparable to a suicide-bomber’s explosive-laden vest being sewn with a tag saying: “Attention Bomb Squad Coroner: The deceased wearer of this garment should not be construed to be a suicide bomber.” Savvy Sarah continues:

As Casey Luskin has pointed out, “[I]f you’re teaching religion, then you’re not protected by an academic freedom bill. Since creationism has been ruled a religious belief by the Supreme Court, teachers who teach it would not be protected.” Clearly, Oklahoma’s legislation does not authorize teaching creationism.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Casey’s gone, but not forgotten. In the strange world of the Discoveroids, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District never happened! The only reason the “theory” of intelligent design was concocted was to get around Supreme Court decisions like Edwards v. Aguillard, by attempting to disguise creationism as science — see Intelligent Design, the Great Incongruity. Here’s one last excerpt from the end:

[The two Oklahoma bills], if enacted, would provide protections for teachers to engage in scientific inquiry on the subject of evolution, and thus contribute to better science education in Oklahoma.

Well, if the Discoveroids don’t defend the madness in Oklahoma, who will?

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15 responses to “Discoveroids Defend Oklahoma’s Creationist Bills

  1. First, the bills only authorize teachers to present scientific information regarding controversial theories.”
    But that statement automatically eliminates (un)intelligent design as there’s no scientific information to support it whatsoever. Doesn’t Savvy Sarah know that?

  2. I’d like to see the Discovery Institute’s list of the weaknesses of intelligent design.

  3. I wonder what poor sap in Oklahoma would be responsible to make sure teachers are teaching the science of ID but not the religion of creationism.

  4. [The two Oklahoma bills], if enacted, would provide protections for teachers to engage in scientific inquiry on the subject of evolution, and thus contribute to better science education in Oklahoma.

    Since evolution is the result of scientific inquiry over the past 150+ years, exactly how would teachers engage in scientific inquiry on the accumulated result of scientific inquiry? And if they did engage in scientific inquiry, how would they find time to teach their students?

    Very puzzling indeed.

  5. The DI exists only to devise strategies to smuggle creationism into the public schools. To smuggle it in – that is, not by campaigning to amend the Constitution to allow it, for that would be above-board – but by some pretense that creationism is science. They call it by some other name, to disguise it, but only to disguise it. They want a religious doctrine taught in the public schools, and the only reason they want that is because it’s one of their religious doctrines.

    That strategy is doomed to failure, at the State and Federal level. It’s unconstitutional. Period.

    Alas, that doesn’t mean that there are no school teachers or school districts that teach creationism. There are. They get away with it in defiance of the Constitution if nobody who has standing complains about it. There are places where that happens, or rather, doesn’t happen.

    Worse, it doesn’t mean that teachers teach facts, when it comes to evolution or global warming, or the humanist rather than the religious roots of the American State, or whatever itch the backwoods boys have in their drawers this week. Much simpler not to go there, because if you do, sure as shooting you’re going to be in the Principal’s office fielding complaints from pinheads – and the Principal is likely to conclude that he or she has better things to do than to defend you.

    I submit that this is why the DI has failed, and will continue to fail. All politics is local politics. The DI’s approach at the State or Federal level can’t succeed – but local activism can. Teachers who understand the science can be bullied or intimidated or wearied into not teaching it. Outright creationists can operate covertly. If someone complains about it, then it’s time to dissemble and if necessary retreat for a while. Unless the teacher is as crazy as Freshwater, there’ll always be another day.

    When it comes down to this level, the problem becomes an endless, wearisome game of whack-a-mole. Or apparently endless. It can’t end until there are parents with standing to sue in every school district in America who will not only exercise their Constitutional rights not to have a religion foisted on their children in the public school, but also demand that good science be taught there.

    That situation seems to be a dauntingly long way off.

  6. Casey Luskin relegated to be the Discovery Institute’s smile of the Cheshire cat.

  7. @Dave Luckett: Having taught 7th grade Earth Science for 27 years in a religiously conservative district east of Cincinnati, I’m more optimistic than your essay. I unabashedly and uncompromisingly taught evolution, old earth, old universe, natural causes science and had not one complaint from a parent. I suppose a good part of the reason there were no complaints is that I did my best to make sure the students understood the science behind age determination, plate tectonics, the fossil record, etc. rather than just declaring the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, species have evolved, the universe is 13.8 billion years old, etc.

    I have to say, though, that I’m still scratching my head over a comment a mother made during Parent Conferences years ago. I mentioned this on this blog earlier, so if the story sounds familiar, that’s why.

    Anyway, she stated that “They [I presume her family] were Jehovah’s Witnesses, and they didn’t believe in glaciers.” I really didn’t know what to say. So I didn’t. Still can’t figure that one out. She wasn’t complaining about anything I had said in class; there had been no mention of glaciers at that point in my curriculum. I assume she meant “glacial ages” rather than glaciers per se, as that presumes old earth — or at least, older than 6000 years.

    At any rate, it made things interesting, and gave me something to write about all these years later.

  8. H.K. Fauskanger

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are actually Old Earth Creationists. They sometimes even distance themselves from “creationists”, which term is then understood to mean YECs, and declare that their ideas are unscientific. At the same time, Witnesses absolutely believe that Adam was divinely created in 4026 BCE and that Eve was a clone built from his rib. But the planet they were created on may have been billions of years old, for all the Witnesses care.

    As for glaciers, I have read a few statements in Watchtower literature to the effect that what scientists interpret as signs of long-gone glacial ages MAY actually be evidence for the Deluge (which in Watchtower belief was global and occurred in 2370 BCE). But generally, Watchtower writers have spent little time developing their own version of “scientific creationism” in any detail.

  9. In addition: the IDiots from Seattle also wants to redefine the word science. It’s in their Wedge Document. So when an IDiot says “ID is science” it doesn’t mean the same as “Evolution Theory is science”.

  10. The whole truth

    sarah chaffee, another creationist wind-up toy, employed by the discotoot to lie for and about their theocratic agenda, learned her lessons well at Patrick Henry Corrupt Creationist Clown College. She probably has a shrine to sarah palin in her home.

  11. Intelligent Design is real! … except it is evolution that is intelligent, no creator needed!

    Intelligent design without a creator? Why evolution may be smarter than we thought.

  12. @mnbo
    There is a 19th century flavor to this use of the word “science”. Think of “Christian Science” and “scientific socialism”.
    Think of “TV dinner” – the phrase, so it seems, was not coined for the idea of “a dinner one can eat while watching TV”, but “a dinner which is as modern as TV”. Or “polka dots” in reference to the dance being the latest fashion. Or even “bikini”. 🙂

  13. @TomS: Your post reminded me that somewhere in the house I have an (inherited from my father) LP of Frankie Yankovic doing a polka rendition of “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” on his over-enthusiastic accordion. Just acquired some new Magnepans, must test my resolve….

  14. @RSG

    I’m from Arizona and now live in Houston. I don’t believe in glaciers. A wall of ice that moves? Ha ha, pull the other leg! Yeah, I’ve seen pictures in books but, one word: Photoshop. Totally fake like the moon landing. My long suffering wife who is a geologist finally gave up trying to convince me otherwise, even with that trip up to the Columbia Icefields in Canada. Totally fake, too. Even the chunks of ice floating in the obviously man-made pond dropping stones supposed churned up by the “moving” (ha ha!) glacier – totally faked. And don’t get me started on the inappropriately named “Glacier” National Park! I mean, I know what I know, right?

  15. How do you know that this is written in English?