There hasn’t been any creationist legislation considered by North Dakota since we started this humble blog. South Dakota, yes, they rejected such bills several years in a row — but nothing in North Dakota — until now.
Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted “Strengths and weaknesses” bill in North Dakota. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
North Dakota’s House Bill 1538 (PDF), which would allow the misrepresentation of science in the classroom, was filed on January 14, 2019, and referred to the Joint Education Committee.
The bill isn’t very long. It says, with our bold font for emphasis:
You’ve seen a lot of that language before. It’s from the Discovery Institute’s anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act. We critiqued it six years ago in Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws. NCSE says:
The bill would ostensibly promote “the freedom to teach students the strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories and controversies” while prohibiting state and local administrators from exercising supervisory responsibility over teachers.
No scientific topics are specifically identified as controversial, although evolution and global warming have often been cited, wrongly, as controversial in similar bills elsewhere, and no guidance is provided about adjudicating disputes about which are and which are not.
They end with this:
The sponsors are Jeff A. Hoverson (R-District 3), Daniel Johnston (R-District 24), Kim Koppelman (R-District 13), Bob Paulson (R-District 3), and Luke Simons (R-District 36).
Who are those brilliant people? The legislature’s page for Jeff A. Hoverson says: “Pastor, Masters of Divinity.” Daniel Johnston is “Self-employed.” Kim Koppelman is President of Koppelman & Associates — an advertizing agency. Bob Paulson is a retired Navy pilot and rancher, and Luke Simons is a rancher.
You can track the progress of their bill here: Bill Actions for HB 1538. That state’s legislature convened on 03 January, and is scheduled to adjourn on 26 April. We’ll be watching for developments, so stay tuned to this blog!
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