Alabama’s 2018 Creationist Bill

The state legislatures are starting their sessions for the new year, so the madness is beginning. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted Creationism bill in Alabama. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Alabama’s House Bill 258, introduced on January 18, 2018, would, if enacted, allow teachers to present “the theory of creation as presented in the Bible” in any class discussing evolution, “thereby affording students a choice as to which theory to accept.” The bill would also ensure that creationist students would not be penalized for answering examination questions in a way reflecting their adherence to creationism, “provided the response is correct according to the instruction received.”

Here’s the full text of the bill. We added some bold font to highlight the crazy stuff:

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT Relating to education; to permit the teaching of the Biblical theory of creation in public K-12 schools under certain conditions.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. (a) In any public K-12 school instruction concerning the theories of the creation of man and the Earth, and which involves the theory commonly known as evolution, any teacher may include as a portion of instruction the theory of creation as presented in the Bible, and may read passages in the Bible as deemed necessary for instruction on the theory of creation, thereby affording students a choice as to which theory to accept.

(b) For those students receiving instruction as described in subsection (a), and who accept the Bible theory of creation, credit shall be permitted on any examination in which the student provides a response in adherence to the theory, provided the response is correct according to the instruction received.

(c) A teacher in a public K-12 school may not stress any particular denominational religious belief.

Section 2. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

Okay, back to NCSE. They say:

The bill is evidently modeled on a Kentucky law, Kentucky Revised Statutes 158.177 (PDF), enacted in 1976 and still on the books despite its patent unconstitutionality.

We didn’t know about that Kentucky law, but we’re not surprised. Hambo knew what he was doing when he located there. This is the rest of NCSE’s post:

The sole sponsor of House Bill 258, now with the House Committee on Education Policy, is Steve Hurst (R-District 35), a legislator noteworthy for his previous proposals to require public school teachers to read a daily prayer in the classroom and to punish sex offenders with surgical or chemical castration.

This is his page at the legislature’s website: Steve Hurst, where we are informed: “Representative Hurst is a graduate of Talladega High School. He is a businessman and is also employed with Georgia Pacific Corporation.”

Wowie — he’s a high school graduate! According to Wikipedia, Georgia-Pacific is a “pulp and paper company based in Atlanta, Georgia, and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of tissue, pulp, paper, toilet and paper towel dispensers, packaging, building products and related chemicals.” We suspect he works in the toilet paper division.

The legislature’s website says their 2018 session doesn’t convene until 23 January, so Hurst’s bill has been pre-filed. For the bill’s status, go here and then click on “Find Status of a Bill,” then enter HB258 and click on that. It says: “Current Status: Pending Committee Action in House of Origin.” In other words, nothing’s happening yet.

The Discoveroids probably won’t be supporting this one, because they like to pretend that their “science” isn’t based on the bible, so Hurst’s internet supporters will all be hard-core creationists. This should be fun.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Alabama’s 2018 Creationist Bill

  1. The “theory” of creation “as presented in the Bible”?

    Any theory must explain known evidence and be able to make testable predictions about what else might be found. The Bible doesn’t do that; instead, it offers a take-it-or-leave-it (and you’d better take it, or else) account.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Why just the one in the Bible?

  3. If this is enforced, I want to meet the teacher with the courage to state “now that the fairy tale is mentioned, we can get on with reality….”! OH! Sorry! the teachers are mostly brainwashed as well, so forget reality being even hinted at!

  4. It would take courage for anyone to act like that. They are not only risking their job, but they have to live in an unsympathetic community. Remember that there are people with guns.

  5. Students in Alabama need a teacher to tell them what the Bible says? Where are the churches? Where are the parents? How long does it take to read a few pages of the Bible to your kids if you want them to know about it? Rep. Hurst’s law suggests that people in Alabama are both lazy and ignorant. Well he knows his own voters best!

    Another thing: won’t this law make the Bible as boring and annoying to school children as every other topic they have to learn about?

  6. Holding The Line In Florida

    I already do that to a degree. On Oct 23d every year I teach about how Archbishop Ussher developed his chronology and the methods he used. I then show how he didn’t have the information we have now and the students themselves have so he can’t be blamed if he was wrong, and in fact it was a marvelous piece of mathematics! I then go on to Hutton and the development of modern Geology. All the time I show how our understanding of how things are changed with each advance in technology. I use phrases like, “Silly humans, we used to think that diseases were caused by evil air! Now of course we know better.” It is also a well know secret that I am a Buffettist. That when I die, I am going to Margaritaville so my “lack of religious beliefs” is understood. I spend time taking the kids into the wacky world of Pseudoscience on the internet. That way they are exposed to things like “The dolphin/alien connection” they can begin to see the weirdness out there and that everything shouldn’t be trusted. I then do a scientific investigation of the Loch Ness Monster to determine whether or not it is real. By the time we finish, even the most ardent believers reluctantly admit that the evidence doesn’t support Nessie. That prepares the kids for when I cover evolution. I start with DNA and how it works, then genetics. That way the kids can understand the basis of Evolution. Then I follow Darwin’s track and how he developed his hypothesis. Once we finish, they have an understanding of why the Theory of Evolution is correct and how we keep adding to it. When I finish I usually don’t get much push back from the creationists. Although one year I kept finding AIG propaganda on my floor after school!! As to being afraid, I am a dinosaur in the state of Florida. I am one of the few left who has tenure and I am a Veteran. So, they can’t fire me because I teach the state standards. Now if they change the standards, then I will have a whole of fun!!!!!

  7. IMHO there is a magic about reading a sacred text. It isn’t what the words say, that is the way that secular texts word. Just being exposed to the Book produces a change. Even though you skip some parts, while you repeat parts that you have heard so often that you have memorized them without even trying.
    That’s the reason for the Bible being ubiquitous.

  8. @Holding The Line In Florida

    Good on you! You are the type of teacher we need more of (and why we need to start paying teachers a whole lot more to get it).

  9. @Holding The Line In Florida
    Like Kosh I praise your efforts and methods! Good work!

  10. They should clone you, officer Holding.

  11. Creationists always pervert meanings of common scientific terms. There is, of course, both the theory and fact of evolution. Can’t say the same for creation.

    Right on @Holding

  12. Teach The Controversy! Make sure students are equally exposed to both Genesis creation myths, so that they are equipped to decide for themselves whether it was
    1) man then animals then woman, or
    2) animals then man and woman simultaneously.

  13. And there is the third creation story, the one which is not systematically told in one spot, but appears in the Psalms and Job, which involves the struggle with the monsters.

  14. But isn’t that rather like Gen 1 with the chaos and deep personified as monsters?