Discovery Institute — Desperate in South Dakota?

You already know about the South Dakota Creationism Bill for 2017, and you’re aware of its progress through the state legislature — see South Dakota Senate Passes Creationism Bill. You’ve also seen that the Discoveroids Support S. Dakota Creationism Bill.

Although the Discoveroids appear to be on the fast track to their third legislative victory (after Louisiana and Tennessee), they seem to sense that their South Dakota bill may be in trouble. They just posted two more times about the situation. The first new post at their creationist blog is Activist Group Spreads Falsehoods About South Dakota Science Education Bill, and it has no author’s by-line. That was yesterday.

Today they posted South Dakota Science Education Controversy Gets Surreal as Anti-Censorship Group Demands Censorship, by Klinghoffer. We’ll give you some excerpts from each, with bold font added by us for emphasis. First, in yesterday’s post, they say:

Dogmatic activists are trying to derail a proposed science education bill in South Dakota. The language of the bill is aimed at supporting critical thinking by allowing students to learn how scientists debate scientific issues, according to John West, Associate Director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.

Wow — we’re the “dogmatic activists.” Then they say:

South Dakota legislators are currently considering [yeah, we know what they’re considering]. Since the bill was introduced, Darwin-only lobbyists with the national group Americans United for Separation of Church and State have been attacking SB 55 and circulating misinformation about it. Notably, they falsely claim that SB 55 would authorize the teaching of “intelligent design.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Of course it allows the teaching of intelligent design. Why else would the Discoveroids support the thing?

The rest of that post is a few paragraphs of blather, claiming that the bill isn’t what it obviously is. We’ve explained all that before — see Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

Let’s get to the Klinghoffer article. He says:

We have patiently explained why the current academic freedom bill in South Dakota, SB 55, cannot possibly be construed in any reasonable manner as seeking to inject teaching intelligent design into public schools.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! After that he tells us:

But with evolution proponents, such distortions are absolutely routine. It’s bizarre. It’s farcical. But this tops it. In a surreal move, a group called the National Coalition Against Censorship has plunged into the South Dakota situation to demand continued restraints on teachers and their academic freedom — in other words, censorship.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Keeping creationism out of public school science classes, as the Constitution demands, is censorship! Klinghoffer continues:

They complain that SB 55 would “remov[e] accountability in science education.” “Accountability” there would seem to mean instructors being vulnerable to career retaliation for teaching critical thinking skills to science students. These “anti-censorship” proponents advocate retaining the option of punishing biology teachers for going off message on Darwinism.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Teachers should have the freedom to do what was quashed in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. Let’s read on:

The bill, they say, “may encourage teachers who object to the scientific consensus on evolution and climate change to bring their opinions into the classroom,” instead of sticking slavishly to a uniform Darwin-only script. The teachers should stick to their script.

How unfair! The teachers would have to teach science, and wouldn’t be allowed to teach Oogity Boogity! Another excerpt:

They conclude by comparing exploring mainstream debate about evolutionary theory with, yes, denying the Holocaust. And that is where they transition from absurdity to obscenity.

The Discoveroids, in contrast, never indulge in obscenity — not even when they insist that Darwin inspired Hitler.

Okay, that’s enough. We’re not sure if this is a sign that the Discoveroids’ bill is in trouble in South Dakota, but they obviously think it is. We’ll find out soon enough. Meanwhile, it’s fun to watch them squirm.

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

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11 responses to “Discovery Institute — Desperate in South Dakota?

  1. Maybe there is a way that one could claim that the the bill would not allow teaching ID in schools.
    There is, after all, nothing to ID. So it is not possible to teach ID.

  2. Wow! Klinghoffer should go to Washington, D.C. and apply for a position in Donald Ducklip’s Administration. He’d fit right in with Kellyann Conway and Sean Spicer.

  3. michaelfugate

    If they were actually interested in critical thinking, they would not be mentioning specific examples, e.g. evolution and climate change. Why not critical thinking on germ theory or gravity or race or capitalism or democracy or anything and everything?

  4. Critical thinking would be of most relevance for kids as applied to advertising and entertainment, and in preparing for later life, in politics.
    I’m afraid that it is unlikely that many elected officials would want to encourage that sort of critical thinking.

  5. michaelfugate

    The DI’s strategy could be to teach evolution only so teachers can criticize the hell out of evolution while not teaching intelligent design/creationism so teachers can’t even mention it let alone criticize it. Why does one think they don’t allow comments on their commentaries?

  6. Chaffee points out that South Dakota’s current science content standards do not include intelligent design, and thus the bill does not protect the teaching of ID (which is different from creationism). The bill only pertains to topics already in the standards.

    So teachers can criticize evolution, since it’s in the standards, but not ID, since it isn’t. In what universe is that “balanced” or “fair?” Especially since we have seen again and again the creationist crap that the DI peddles as “evidence” against evolution. The creationist crap in the ID “textbook” Pandas and People was a major issue in the Dover trial, and a major embarrassment for ID. Remember that? Of course they don’t, they are Indenial Jones. (Thanks Curmudgeon, for that joke.)

  7. Michael Fugate

    Speaking of other attacks on media and people who claim polls are wrong, but are desperate….
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/feb/17/10-questions-left-off-trump-mainstream-media-accountability-survey

  8. “teaching critical thinking skills”

    Well Eric Hovind is going to be busy.

  9. If kids were properly taught critical thinking, the DI would be out of business.

  10. “learn how scientists debate scientific issues, according to John West,”
    What’s next? Learn about human rights according to Attila the Hun?

    “may encourage teachers who object to the scientific consensus”
    Yeah – as a teacher physics I feel so censored that I am not able to express my objections to the scientific consensus about the Spherical Earth. But no, these objections totally don’t imply me telling my pupils anything about Flat Earth Theory! That would be such a false claim!

  11. Klinghoffer fumes:

    They conclude by comparing exploring mainstream debate about evolutionary theory with, yes, denying the Holocaust. And that is where they transition from absurdity to obscenity.

    “Mainstream debate”? Which stream is he talking about–the Paluxy River?