This has been a bad year for creationist legislation. The few states that have considered such nonsense have all failed to pass anything, so we were waiting for the new year to begin when state legislatures will once again become active. But suddenly, when we weren’t expecting anything, our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) posted this news item: Antiscience legislation in Oklahoma. It was written by Glenn Branch.
Oklahoma usually has some kind of creationist legislation cooking, but they didn’t in 2018. One of their hard-core creationist legislators (Josh Brecheen) tried it the year before, but his bill didn’t go anywhere — see Oklahoma’s 2017 Creationism Bill Is ‘Blocked’.
Here are some excerpts from NCSE’s article, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 14 (PDF), which would empower science denial in the classroom, was prefiled in the Oklahoma legislature.
Prefiled means it’s for next year’s legislative session, currently set to convene on 04 February and end on 31 May. The sole sponsor of the thing is David Bullard. That’s his page at the legislature’s website. They don’t give any personal information about him. NCSE says:
Styled “the Oklahoma Science Education Act,” the bill would ostensibly provide Oklahoma’s teachers with the right to help students “understand, analyze, critique[,] and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught,” while prohibiting state and local administrators from exercising supervisory responsibility.
No supervisory responsibility? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! NCSE then tells us:
No particular theories are identified as controversial, and the sole sponsor, David Bullard (R-District 6), is new to the legislature, but his predecessor, Josh Brecheen, notoriously filed a string of similar bills … .
Yes, we know about Brecheen’s string of creationist bills — but we didn’t know he would no longer be in the Oklahoma legislature.
That’s pretty much all NCSE has to tell us, so leaving out non-essential verbiage, here are the guts of Bullard’s new bill, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Sound familiar? It should. It’s the same nonsense Brecheen kept trying to get into law, and it’s 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.
You can follow the progress of Bullard’s new bill here: Bill Information for SB 14. Nothing has happened yet, and it won’t until the legislature convenes in February.
Although Brecheen is gone, it appears that Bullard will be carrying on in his footsteps, attempting to get idiotic laws passed in Oklahoma. We’ll be keeping you advised.
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