We have some good news from Oklahoma, but it may be only temporary. You probably already know the background, so you can skip the next paragraph.
The bill under consideration is Senate Bill 393, sponsored by Josh Brecheen, which he has also sponsored in prior years. 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.
The last time we wrote about the situation in that state was Oklahoma Is Descending into Madness. At that time, the bill had already been passed by the state Senate, and it had just been approved by a House committee. It was on its way to being considered by the entire House. The thing seemed sure to pass, so a veto by the Governor was the only hope.
But life is uncertain. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted this: Oklahoma’s antiscience bill blocked. Blocked? What happened? NCSE tells us:
Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 393 (PDF), which would empower science denial in the classroom, failed to receive a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives on April 27, 2017, the last day on which it could do so, and is therefore blocked — for now.
NCSE then describes Josh Brecheen’s creationist efforts in prior years — he’s a hard-core incorrigible fanatic. In their final paragraph they explain what it means that his bill is “blocked.” They say:
Since the bill was not voted down, it is technically still alive, and the Oklahoma legislature may consider it again in the second half of the current legislative session, which begins on February 5, 2018.
A blocked bill is a new experience for us since we’ve been following creationist legislation. It’s a bit of a cliff-hanger. It’s possible that between now and the legislature’s next session, sanity may somehow prevail. But in Oklahoma, Josh Brecheen is a respected legislator, so we’re not optimistic.
Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.