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 Totally frustrated, the Discoveroids contacted the legislature and requested that the bill be withdrawn.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.
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