South Dakota’s First Creationist Bill for 2020

Yes, dear reader, it’s that wonderful time of year when — in the US — most states are starting their new legislative sessions. You know what that means. Right! Drooling legislators are fulfilling their campaign promises by introducing insane creationist bills.

The first such event for 2020 is reported by our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), who just posted this: Antiscience legislation resurfaces in South Dakota. They say, with our bold font:

South Dakota’s Senate Bill 59, which would allow the misrepresentation of science in the classroom, was introduced on January 21, 2020.

The bill consists of only one brief section. Here’s the text of the thing, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

An Act to to protect the teaching of certain scientific information.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of South Dakota:

Section 1. That a NEW SECTION be added:

13-33-1.2. Scientific information–Teachers to assist students.

No teacher may be prohibited from assisting students to understand, analyze, critique, or review, in an objective scientific manner, the strengths and weaknesses [Hee hee!] of scientific information presented in courses being taught, which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to § 13-3-48.

Ah yes, the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific information. We’ve seen that sleazy phrase before — see Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws, in which we discuss evolution’s alleged “weaknesses.”

This “new” bill looks surprisingly like one that failed in South Dakota’s legislature last year — see South Dakota Has Another One for 2019.

NCSE says the bill’s reference to “content standards” means “the section of the state code that governs the state education standards revision cycle.” They also say:

Although no specific topics are mentioned, the language of the bill matches the language in bills [that failed in earlier years] explicitly aimed at disputing evolution and/or climate change … .

Additionally, NCSE tells us:

Among the organizations opposing SB 59’s predecessors were the South Dakota Department of Education, the School Administrators of South Dakota, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, and the South Dakota Education Association.

That’s an impressive array of opponents, but the drooling legislators don’t care. They’re on a crusade, and they want schools to teach The Truth.

Here’s the last of NCSE’s article:

The chief sponsor of SB 59 is Jeff Monroe (R-District 24), joined by five colleagues in the Senate and eight colleagues in the House.

A lot of the same names keep popping up, year after year. As long as idiots keep getting elected, they’ll keep doing the same thing.

The South Dakota legislature is scheduled to adjourn on 30 March. We’ll be watching for the fate of this latest bill, so stay tuned to this blog.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

2 responses to “South Dakota’s First Creationist Bill for 2020

  1. Michael Fugate

    SC from 2013
    The simple fact is that the only “weakness” of evolution is that it doesn’t rely on Oogity Boogity to explain things. Science never does, which is why the Discoveroids hate it.

    And Oogity Boogity doesn’t explain anything anyway – it is equivalent to “because”.

  2. Trying to disprove a scientific theory (= looking for weaknesses) is something scientists do all their lives. However, you need a very high level of understanding to criticize a particular theory. That’s simply not possible with a high school understanding of evolution.
    They can just as well “find weaknesses” in atomic theory or string theory. The problem is that everybody thinks that they know what evolution really is. But they don’t.