Oklahoma’s 2021 Creationism Bills — Both Dead

Creationist bill, road kill

Except for the recent insanity in Maine, about which we wrote Creationist Bill in Maine for 2021, the only other creationist legislation activity this year has been in Oklahoma. When it first popped up we wrote Oklahoma Creationist Legislation for 2021.

Now we have the happy conclusion to that state’s madness. We learned about it from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), who just posted this news item: Antiscience legislation dies in Oklahoma. It was written by Glenn Branch, their Deputy Director. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 613 (PDF) and Senate Bill 662 (PDF), which would have empowered science denial in the classroom, died in committee on February 25, 2021.

There were two bills, essentially similar, and they met a similar fate. NCSE says:

Styled “the Academic Freedom Act” and “the Oklahoma Science Education Act,” respectively, the similar bills would have ostensibly provided 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.

Ah yes, the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution. Wikipedia has an article on it: Strengths and weaknesses of evolution, and we discussed that old clunker in our earlier post when these two bills were originally filed.

NCSE then tells us:

No particular scientific theories were identified as controversial by the bills, but a string of similar bills in the Oklahoma legislature — most recently Senate Bill 393 in 2017, which passed the Senate before failing to receive a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives — were clearly aimed specifically at evolution.

This year’s two bills were probably aimed at evolution too, but who really knows? Maybe the bills’ sponsors were promoting flat Earth or astrology. With droolers like that in the legislature, you can’t dismiss an idea merely because it’s so stupid that no one could take it seriously. Anyway, we discussed the sponsors in our earlier post when the bills were first introduced, so we won’t repeat that stuff here.

All that remains is to give credit to those who helped to kill these two bills. NCSE says:

Resistance to the bills was coordinated by the grassroots pro-science-education organization Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education.

Now dear reader, we ask you to pause for a moment and consider. At this moment, while most state legislatures are in session, there are no creationist bills under consideration — except in Maine. No others have been filed, at least not yet. This is a golden moment, so enjoy it while it lasts. It won’t be long until the droolers do something to muck things up.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

2 responses to “Oklahoma’s 2021 Creationism Bills — Both Dead

  1. Theodore J Lawry

    I suspect that such bills are mostly symbolic: politicians introduce them in the hope of looking good to some constituents, even though they have no chance of a passing. It’s a sign of the end of legislated creationism, if anything.

  2. Dave Luckett

    I think the same, although I am profoundly ignorant of procedures in the various State legislatures of the US. It would seem that the representatives who introduce such bills know perfectly well that it is unlikely that they will ever be debated in the House, let alone pass. The only motivation I can assign is that it’s some kind of gesture.

    I would like to make a gesture in return, but I am confined to the written word, and anyhow this is a place of civilised debate.