Discoveroids Support S. Dakota Creationism Bill

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that South Dakota’s creationism bill, SENATE BILL NO. 55, about which we last wrote South Dakota Senate Passes Creationism Bill, is supported by the Discovery Institute. As we’ve been saying every time we write about that legislation:

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.

The Discoveroids must be getting worried that opposition is building, because they just posted a defense of the bill at their creationist blog. It’s titled Academic Freedom Legislation: Understanding South Dakota’s SB 55, and it was written by Sarah Chaffee (whom we call “Savvy Sarah”). We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis.

After discussing some of the press coverage the bill has received, including comments by Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education, Savvy Sarah says the bill’s critics are wrong because:

First, the bill explicitly limits authorization to “scientific information presented in courses being taught which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to § 13-3-48.” (This is the section of South Dakota law that governs the standards revision process.)

Second, this law only authorizes such instruction “in an objective scientific manner.” This doesn’t sound like permission to bring in off-topic or biased information.

Third, this law is in line with the intent of the South Dakota science standards.

In support of those incredible claims she says:

This legislation allows for the discussion of scientific information on a variety of scientific theories. It does not authorize (much less require) presentation of “all viewpoints” on sensitive issues — which the Board of Education correctly notes can’t necessarily be covered in science class.

And of course, Sarah is certain that the Discoveroids’ “theory” of intelligent is scientific. She claims that the bill is essential, because the kiddies are being deprived of scientific information:

But proponents of the bill brought up evolutionary theory as an area where relevant scientific information isn’t discussed. This would seem to contradict the statement that “All theories are presented in a way that allow teachers to structure an experience around multiple pieces of scientific evidence and competing ideas to allow students to engage in an objective discussion.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s as if the creationist origins of the Discoveroids’ “theory” had never been exposed in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. She continues with still more reasons Glenn Branch was wrong:

Fourth, and most importantly, Branch errs by saying that this legislation will allow creationism to be taught.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then why in the world would the Discoveroids be supporting the thing? Their whole “think tank” exists to promote the so-called “weaknesses” of evolution, which leads them, via their magic design filter, to conclude that a supernatural, transcendental designer — blessed be he! — is responsible for the existence of the cosmos and for the otherwise impossible presence of life on our uniquely privileged planet. But they would never want want to teach creationism. Oh no. They only want to teach that the alternatives to creationism are riddled with alleged weaknesses.

Savvy Sarah then describes the hollow legality of their endeavor:

Creationism has been determined to be religion by the Supreme Court (Edwards v. Aguillard), and therefore unconstitutional to teach in public schools. This supersedes any individual state’s legislation. If SB 55 were to become law and a teacher was to teach creationism and be sued, they would receive no protection in court from this legislation. SB 55 protects teachers who want to teach scientific strengths and weaknesses of topics in the curriculum the freedom to do so without risking their jobs.

Maybe she believes that, but we know better. It was after Edwards v. Aguillard that the Discoveroids concocted their scheme to suppress bible references in order to disguise creationism as science. We discussed all that in Intelligent Design, the Great Incongruity.

Savvy Sarah criticizes some other remarks in the press, and ends her silly post with this:

South Dakota science teachers, and therefore the students and families they serve, will likely find this legislation heartening.

Heartening? She’s partly correct. Creationist teachers, creationist parents, their intellectually doomed children, and all the other drooling, unwashed ignoramuses in the state will indeed find the legislation heartening. Unfortunately for the educated people of South Dakota, many of those ignoramuses are in the state legislature.

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4 responses to “Discoveroids Support S. Dakota Creationism Bill

  1. Savvy Sarah can take a hint from KellyAnn and add that creationism and intelligent dezine include alternative facts the kiddies need to “learn”..

  2. Imagine a teacher becomes convinced by the DI’s arguments and decides to teach the supposed weaknesses of evolution, and suggests that the alternative explanation to those weaknesses must be intelligent design. Further assume someone sues and the school system and said teacher wind up in court.

    How would the outcome this time be any different that Kitzmiller? In the intervening years, the evidence for evolution has expanded steadily with new evidence discovered, new research conducted, and countless new papers published. If possible, the evidence for evolution has become even more overwhelming.

    What has the DI added to it’s theory in the same period? Nothing. ID is the same argument today that it was when the case was tried in 2005. If anything, it has regressed – for example, apparently intuition is now an acceptable means of knowing something.

    I think these academic freedom laws are setting the DI up for another overwhelming and embarrassing defeat. If it happens, it will be very difficult for the DI to recover.

  3. Will there be another case for the US Supreme Court? Will the case feature people who were more careful than those in Dover? We can’t expect there to be another “cdesign proponentsists”.

  4. Since the Discoverites deny that “intelligent design” is creationism, they could argue that the law allows teaching their religious, oops, “scientific” ideas in public schools as real science. Of course, sneaking past the Kitzmiller decision would be a challenge, but I’m sure they’ve got lawyers working on it.