This one didn’t last very long. We wrote about it only four days ago in Iowa Has a Creationism Bill for 2017.
It seemed to be a typical Discoveroid “academic freedom” bill, except that instead of merely allowing alternatives to evolution to be taught in public school science classes, it literally mandated them. The operative words in the bill were:
If a teacher provides instruction relating to evolution, the origins of life, global warming, or human cloning, the teacher must include opposing points of view or beliefs relating to the instruction.
Regarding evolution and the origin of life, there aren’t any “opposing” beliefs outside of religion, so the bill was rather bizarre. The lead sponsor was Skyler Wheeler, who is working “off-and-on” for a masters degree in American Government from Regent University — the bible college founded by Pat Robertson.
Because the legislature isn’t scheduled to adjourn until 28 April, we thought we’d be watching the bill as it worked its way through the legislative process. Therefore we were surprised to see this headline last night from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE): Two down in Iowa. This is what they say:
Two bills in the Iowa legislature that would have undermined the integrity of science education died on March 3, 2017, when a deadline for bills to pass committee in their house of origin expired.
House File 480 [Skyler Wheeler’s bill], introduced and referred to the House Education Committee on March 1, 2017, would, if enacted, have required teachers in Iowa’s public schools to include “opposing points of view or beliefs” to accompany any instruction relating to evolution, the origins of life, global warming, or human cloning. There was no requirement that those “points of view or beliefs” have any scientific credibility.
The other bill that died would have prohibited the state board of education from adopting, approving, or requiring implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.
We’re not familiar with the legislative procedure that resulted in the early demise of Wheeler’s bill, but it certainly had a beneficial effect in this situation
We searched for Wheeler’s name, but we couldn’t find anything recent. Too bad. It would have been interesting to see his reaction. No matter. If he’s back in the legislature next year, his bill will be back too. Those guys never give up.
And so we leave Iowa. It was fun while it lasted.
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