Alabama’s 2017 Creationist Resolution

As we briefly mentioned in Indiana: A New Kind of Creationist Madness, a similar resolution is pending in Alabama. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) previously posted about it: Antiscience resolution in Alabama. They said:

Alabama’s House Joint Resolution 78 (PDF), introduced and referred to the House Rules Committee on February 23, 2017, would, if adopted, ostensibly urge state and local education authorities to promote the academic freedom of science teachers in the state’s public schools. “Biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning” are specifically identified as controversial.


HJR 78 is sponsored by Mack Butler (R-District 30) and twenty-eight cosponsors. Butler was the lead sponsor of House Bill 592 in 2015, a “science education act” evidently aimed at evolution primarily. … HB 592 died in committee.

Today we found an article that quotes Butler about his brilliant new resolution: Lawmaker wants intelligent design resolution. It appears in the Decatur Daily of Decatur, Alabama, and they have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts from the news article, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A state representative from north Alabama says his resolution on science instruction in public schools is an effort to encourage students and teachers to discuss intelligent design. “In the development of critical thinking, we need to make it welcoming at least for a student or teacher to bring up another theory,” Rep. Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, said this week.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! This reminds us of a similar incident last year in Mississippi, in which a bill’s sponsor destroyed it by honestly explaining its purpose — see Mississippi Creationism Bill Doomed by Its Author. That one was based on the Discovery Institute’s Academic Freedom bill, and the bill’s sponsor flat-out declared that he wanted creationism taught in the state’s schools.

When the Mississippi bill died we wrote Mississippi’s 2016 Creationism Bill — Dead, in which we pointed out:

Formby [who sponsored the Mississippi bill] didn’t see anything wrong with [his statement]. 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.

Now it looks like we have a similar situation in Alabama. Let’s return to he Decatur Daily:

Two years ago, Butler introduced legislation with similar language. It died in committee without a vote. “I thought this would be an easier way,” Butler said. A resolution is a formal legislative document expressing opinion, but doesn’t mandate any action.

Ya gotta give the guy credit — he keeps trying. After that, the newspaper describes his resolution. It’s not as elaborate as the one in Indiana. Then the newspaper tells us:

Nearly 30 Republican House members co-signed the resolution, including [several idiots’ names].

Hey — get this:

Before becoming a representative, Butler was a school board member at Etowah County Schools for 10 years.

Our final excerpt is another quote from Butler:

“I’ve never minded evolution being taught, but I think the door should be open to other theories as well,” Butler said. “… I think it’s a well-rounded person who knows both sides of the argument, whether they believe what I believe or what (Charles) Darwin believed.”

Maybe the thing will get passed in Alabama, maybe it won’t. But if it ever gets litigated, Butler’s words will be used to indicate the legislature’s intent. It’s too bad that he’s an ignoramus, but we’re pleased that he’s honest about his intentions, unlike … well, you know.

Addendum: You can follow the progress of HJR78 at this link.

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

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9 responses to “Alabama’s 2017 Creationist Resolution

  1. Michael Fugate

    Mack’s bio:

    He’s an electrician and a Southern Baptist. Salem Effect?

  2. docbill1351

    So, a resolution would be like “Alabama Hug an Electrician Day” or something like that. Just a meaningless gesture. Sure. How about, “Alabama Harry Potter Is Real Day” resolution. A better idea if you ask me.

    As we all know, this talk about discussing “intelligent design” creationism is just a smokescreen to let them talk about what is really on their agenda: baby Jesus. First of all, there’s nothing to teach about “intelligent design” creationism. All the books produced by the Disco Tute are anti-evolution with not a single empirical “fact” about ID. Not one. So, it would be the shortest of all short courses.

    Second, the godbots really don’t care about ID, or the Tooters or any of that West Coast jibber-jabber. They want The Flood! Yeah, baby, gimmie some Flood. Well, alas, the Supreme Court has ruled on that nonsense several times and good luck, creationists, with your next petition.

    Perhaps Alabama could pass a resolution expressing sympathy for all the victims of the “Bowling Green Flood.” Yeah, that would be sweet.

  3. Michael Fugate

    How about “I ain’t no kin to monkeys day”? Or “make humans exceptional again day”?

  4. docbill1351

    The bottom line comes down to the science teachers. In Dover they balked, citing “professional ethics” not to teach nonsense. That’s why the School Board instructed the administration to read the fateful statement in biology class. The science teachers stood firm.

    I would suspect this would be the case for the overwhelming number of science teachers. Those who are driven to teach creationism, as in Louisiana, will continue to do so and continue to get caught, sanctioned, sued and disciplined, regardless of the unconstitutional state law to the contrary.

    It’s a fight that does not need to be fought, but creationists aren’t really interested in anything besides themselves.

  5. Barbara Forrest

    I’m sure that the Discovery Institute is squirming over Butler’s statement. They can never completely control the local ground troops.

  6. Barbara Forrest says: “I’m sure that the Discovery Institute is squirming over Butler’s statement.”

    Yes, very embarrassing. They’ll have to denounce his resolution.

  7. I crack up that nobody, except atheists, will point out what they are doing. It’s so oblivious. If they really want THEIR children to learn all about creationism there are many ways to do it, take em to church, teach that fairy tale to them yourself, enroll them in one of the many fine Christian schools available, but oh no, they want it taught in public schools so they can force YOUR children to learn about Sky daddy too. I wish someone, besides atheists, had the balls to stand up and say that to their faces. Call their bluff. But alas, I don’t think most people in politics has a ball between them anymore.

  8. Eric Lipps

    “I’ve never minded evolution being taught, but I think the door should be open to other theories as well,” [Rep. Mack] Butler said. “… I think it’s a well-rounded person who knows both sides of the argument, whether they believe what I believe or what (Charles) Darwin believed.”

    I wouldn’t mind the door being open to other theories–but creationism isn’t a theory, it’s a religious dogma. As for “intelligent design,” that’s not a theory either–it’s a legal maneuver designed to get around all those nasty atheistic court rulings that said you couldn’t teach “God’s Word” as science at taxpayer expense.

  9. I think of “Intelligent Design” as meaningless as an advertising slogan, a slogan used in negative advertising in a public relations campaign against evolution. “There is an alternative explanation” said without any interest in what that alternative would explain, how, when, when or why.