South Dakota’s 2017 Creationism Bill Progresses

A week ago we wrote South Dakota Creationism Bill for 2017. That was SENATE BILL NO. 55, about which we said:

It’s a typical example of the Discovery Institute’s Academic Freedom bill. We’ve critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

Today we are reminded of the prescience of something we wrote back in 2010: South Dakota: America’s Dumbest State?, because our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted Update from South Dakota, which says, with our bold font:

South Dakota’s Senate Bill 55 passed the Senate Education Committee on a 4-3 vote on January 24, 2017, despite the opposition of the state’s educational communities, according to the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader (January 24, 2017).

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The state Senate’s Education Committee! That says a lot about South Dakota. Here’s the article in the Argus-Leader: Lawmakers OK alternative teachings on evolution, climate change in schools. It says, with bold font added for emphasis:

South Dakota teachers should have the freedom to discuss strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, including evolution and climate change, a panel of senators said Tuesday. The Senate Education Committee on a 4-3 vote approved a bill that would allow teachers to discuss scientific theories with students and point out any weaknesses in said theories or provide alternative views that could counter them.


Opponents, meanwhile, from the state’s public school and teaching communities said the bill is redundant as teachers already present scientific information with the explanation that theories might not be perfect. The Sioux Falls School Board on Monday took a position opposing the bill.


The measure moves now to a full vote in the Senate.

We also found a brief article at the website of radio station KELO in Sioux Falls: Lawmakers advance scientific alternatives. That tells us:

The Senate Education Committee this morning voted five to four to send a measure advocates say will allow teachers the freedom to discuss strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, including climate change and the big bang.

We have conflicting news stories. Was the committee’s vote 4-3 or 5-4? We’ll come back to that. Then the radio station says:

Bill sponsor Republican Jeff Monroe of Pierre said the bill doesn’t bring any new science courses into schools. Senator Monroe says when “we’re dealing with theories, we’re dealing with things that aren’t proven. Things that people know are not established facts.”

Monroe is a genius!

Okay, as we’ve said before, you can follow the progress of the bill here: Senate Bill 55. Going there now we learn that the vote in committee was 4 to 3, so the radio station got it wrong. Now the thing goes to a vote in the state Senate. That hasn’t been scheduled yet.

The legislature is scheduled to adjourn “late March,” so there’s plenty of time. Stay tuned to this blog!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “South Dakota’s 2017 Creationism Bill Progresses

  1. South Dakota: America’s Dumbest State?

    There’s a lot of competition for the title.

  2. These folks really need to update the DI’s tired old “strengths and weaknesses” formula with something more contemporary and in line with the new administration’s programme of MAGAgeddon.

    Maybe something along the lines of

    South Dakota teachers should have the freedom to introduce alternative facts about scientific theories.

  3. On reflection, even better:

    –the freedom to invent alternative facts–

  4. Michael Fugate

    How do people know they are not established facts?

  5. Theories aren’t facts; they’re frameworks of explanation intended to show how facts fit together and what they show. But the creationist idea of “facts” is, basically “anything which supports the Bible.” Anything else is either an error or part of a plot against God.

  6. Hey, it’s just in keeping with the republican flow and definition of “alternative facts.”

  7. “Anything which I say supports the Bible.”

  8. @Megalonyx:

    And even better yet —

    –the freedom to invent alternative “facts”–

    (You need this quotation marks.)

  9. This bill may be more about “teach as like missy or I’ll fire your asss”