This one is no surprise — except for the speed with which it happened. We learned the news from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Their headline is Antiscience bill in Mississippi dies. They say:
Mississippi’s House Bill 50, whose principal sponsor acknowledged was intended to allow teachers in the public schools to present creationism, died in the House Education Committee on February 23, 2016, when a deadline for bills to be reported out of committee expired.
The brief history of the bill can be seen here: House Bill 50. It was introduced and referred to the House Education Committee on 08 February. The next entry is dated 23 February and it says: “Died In Committee.” Fifteen days from start to finish. That’s gotta be the all-time record for bills like this. What happened?
Let’s look at the stunningly fast birth and demise of the bill. On 10 February we wrote Mississippi Creationism: New Bill for 2016. The next day it was obvious that the bill would be a catastrophic failure, when we wrote Mississippi Creationism Bill Doomed by Its Author. The creationist real estate salesman who had introduced the bill, Mark Formby, told the press he did it so that teachers could present creationism in science classes.
Formby didn’t see anything wrong with that. He’s an honest creationist, and he correctly saw that the Discoveroids’ model bill was the way to accomplish his goal. But no one from the Discovery Institute had coached him, so he didn’t know he was supposed to lie about the bill’s purpose.
Totally frustrated, the Discoveroids contacted the legislature and requested that the bill be withdrawn. That’s when we wrote Discovery Institute Scolds Mississippi Legislature. The Discoveroids know, but Formby didn’t, that their bills are like vampires — they can’t survive in the light of day.
How very disappointing this must be for the Discoveroids. All they have to show for their expensive, multi-year campaign to promote such legislation are two successes — in Louisiana and Tennessee. Everywhere else, their silly bills have all failed to pass. Even their successes are in doubt, because they have to fight a repeal effort each year in Louisiana, and when those laws are challenged in court — as they surely will be — they’re likely to be invalidated.
And so we leave Mississippi. It was fun while it lasted. Maybe they’ll try again next year. If the Discoveroids are still around, perhaps they’ll do the necessary work of training the legislators to lie about their bill’s purpose. It’s the only way they can succeed.
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