Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted Antiscience bill progresses in Oklahoma.
The sponsor of the bill is Josh Brecheen (that’s his official photo above this post) who promotes bills like this every year. This one is essentially the same bill he promoted last year and the year before, and the year before that. We posted its text in Oklahoma Creationism Bill for 2015.
The thing is loosely based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discovery Institute. We’ve critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.
That’s enough background. Here’s the news from NCSE, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Senate Bill 393 (PDF), which would empower science denial in the classroom, was passed on a 13-1 vote by the Senate Education Committee on February 27, 2017.
Think about that, dear reader. We’re not talking about just any bunch of Oklahoma legislators. This was the Senate Education Committee — and they’re a pack of drooling creationists!
Then NCSE says:
SB 393 would, if enacted, in effect encourage science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach anything they pleased — proponents of creationism and climate change denial are the usual intended beneficiaries of such bills — and prevent responsible educational authorities from intervening. No scientific topics are specifically identified as controversial, but the fact that the sole sponsor of SB 393 is Josh Brecheen (R-District 6), who introduced similar legislation that directly targeted evolution in previous legislative sessions, is suggestive.
Yes, it’s certainly suggestive. Brecheen is beyond help, and his constituents keep re-electing him. One more excerpt:
Opposition to the bill is, as usual, being coordinated by the grassroots organization Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education.
They’re good. They’ve defeated all of Brecheen’s earlier efforts. We wish them well this time around. You can follow the progress of Brecheen’s bill here: Bill Information for SB 393. The legislature doesn’t adjourn until 26 May.
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