Things are getting exciting out there. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted this: Creationism bill introduced in Arkansas. 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]:
Arkansas’s House Bill 1701 (PDF), filed on March 11, 2021, if enacted, would allow — although not require — teachers in the state’s public and open-enrollment charter schools to “teach creationism as a theory of how the earth came to exist.”
That’s idiotic! Who’s responsible for the thing? NCSE says:
The bill is sponsored by Mary Bentley (R-District 73), who previously introduced House Bill 2050, which would have allowed “public schools to teach creationism and intelligent design as theories alongside the theory of evolution,” in 2017. The bill died without receiving a hearing when the legislature recessed.
We wrote about her 2017 bill — see Arkansas Creationism Bill for 2017. Mary Bentley is obviously a brilliant lady. Here’s her bio page at the legislature’s website: Representative Mary Bentley. Lovely picture! She’s also in Wikipedia.
NCSE then tells us:
Joining Bentley in sponsoring House Bill 1701, from the Senate, is Gary Stubblefield (R-District 6).
Ah, another drooling legislator. Here’s his bio page at the Arkansas Senate’s website. All they have to say about him is that he’s a farmer. And although they don’t say it, we know that he’s a flaming creationist.
This is NCSE’s final paragraph:
Creationism is not generally understood as “a theory of how the earth came to exist” [Mary Bentley’s bill will change that!], and the federal courts — including in McLean v. Arkansas (1982) — have repeatedly held that teaching creationism in the public schools is unconstitutional.
The Arkansas legislature is scheduled to adjourn on 30 April, so there’s time for something to happen. Stay tuned to this blog!
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