West Virginia Senate Passes Creationism Bill

Things are happening fast in West Virginia. It was only a few days ago that we posted West Virginia Wants Passage of Creationism Bill. That was when the state’s Senate Education Committee approved Senate Bill 619, which would allow teachers in public schools to teach intelligent design, described in the bill as “a theory of how the universe and/or humanity came to exist.”

Today our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have just posted “Intelligent design” bill passes West Virginia Senate. 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]:

West Virginia’s Senate Bill 619 — which would, if enacted, allow “[t]eachers in public schools, including public charter schools, that include any one or more of grades Kindergarten through 12, [to] teach intelligent design as a theory of how the universe and/or humanity came to exist” — passed the Senate on a 27 to 6 vote on February 25, 2023, according (PDF) to the legislature’s website.

Wowie — the thing passed the Senate with a 27 to 6 vote. Very impressive! Then Glenn says:

Before the bill passed, Dale Lee, President of the West Virginia Education Association, described it as a “solution in search of a problem,” according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (February 25, 2023). He added, “We teach WV College and Career readiness standards” — which, like all state science standards across the country, include evolution but not creationism (including “intelligent design”).

Who cares what a guy like that says? Those West Virginia Senators want to teach The Truth! After that, Glenn concludes his sombre post with this:

A columnist in Charleston’s MetroNews (February 24, 2023) previously, if unsuccessfully, reminded the legislature about the case law establishing the unconstitutionality of teaching creationism in the public schools, including Kitzmiller v. Dover and Edwards v. Aguillard, explaining that the government is not allowed “to instruct school children on a faith-based creation story and pass it off as science.”

Well, the thing isn’t law yet. We assume the bill now has to pass the state House, and then be signed by the governor. But at this point, things look rather grim. We shall see.

Copyright © 2023. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

17 responses to “West Virginia Senate Passes Creationism Bill

  1. The real grim prospect would be: it is enacted into law; then it is challenged in court; the law is speedily found unconstitutional, based on several precedents; but it is appealed to the Supreme Court, which ignores the precedents, the Constitution, and reality …

  2. What is the Discovery Institute up to? Has this caught even them by surprise?

  3. Imagine being God and you spent all those years practicing how to “poof” things and then out pops creationism. No wonder we don’t see miracles any more.

  4. In a Westminster-style Parliament, a bill is “read” a first time to admit it for debate, when everybody knows that there’s not the faintest chance that it will be passed. Its sponsor moves that it be read a second time – that is, actually debated – somebody else gets up and moves that it be tabled – that is, dropped – which is carried “on the voices”, that is, no real count is made so nobody is embarrassed – and that’s that.

    I am completely ignorant of the protocols and practices of the Legislature of the State of West Virginia. For all I know – and I speak in expectation of correction – a passing vote in the upper chamber might be like a “first reading” in Parliament, that is, a sort of official acknowledgement that the bill has been put up, without any real chance of it passing into law. Hope so, anyway.

  5. TomS has beaten me to it. The Republicans will be looking for some reason to keep the Supreme Court issue alive for their creationist supporters, now that the Court has given them what they wanted on abortion.

    The only bright spot is that they would need to find some education authority for hardy enough to act on the bill, and risk finding themselves in the same position as Dover after Kitzmiller.

    But perhaps they needn’t do anything of the kind, if all they want to do is keep this alive as an election issue

  6. @Dave Luckett
    I’m not familiar with West Virginia, but the pattern of legislature action, with exceptions, is that the two houses act the same, with no preference given. So a bill must be passed independently by both houses, with no difference in order. A bill might be passed in one house and a similar bill be passed in the other, and then there might be a conference to iron out the differences, so that the exact same wording can be passed by both houses. And then it goes to the governor for approval (which makes it law) or disapproval (veto, which moves it back to the two houses for the possibility of overriding the veto by supermajority).
    That is my opinion, subject to correction from knowledgeable people (and I hope that I can be corrected).

  7. Early reporting had a High School Sophomore send the request about “ID” creationism to the legislator.

    Current reporting said that the sophomore got the idea from a teacher at his school. So, the carrier pigeon isn’t extinct after all!

    Makes mo sense coming from a West Virginnie teacha, what got book learnin’ an’ all.

  8. “teach intelligent design as a theory of how the universe”

    They need to get together with the “don’t teach theories” wing of the wing-nuts and figure something out.

  9. Because at this point it looks like they are throwing anything they can think of at the wall and see what sticks.

  10. @richard
    In marketing, one can often recover from a failed campaign by introducing a new, improved without mentioning how the old version that you bought despite its being in stand of improvement.
    And remember, it’s only a marketing “concept”.

  11. https://stjohnscollegeblog.weebly.com/mr-kings-as-business/new-coke-a-market-research-disaster

    From the philosophy of “even bad press is good press,” the launch of New Coke and re-launch of Coca-Cola Classic generated such publicity and discussion that Coke sales increased at twice the rate of Pepsi-Cola’s that year. “Yes, it infuriated the public, cost a ton of money and lasted only 77 days before we reintroduced Coca-Cola Classic,” said Sergio Zyman, then vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola. “Still, New Coke was a success because it revitalized the brand and reattached the public to Coke.”

  12. There is a news report about the West Virginia legislature, the other house has passed a bill for religious freedom. It doesn’t openly mention teaching creationism, but who knows what is intended?

  13. Two things to note: First, West Virginia borders on Kentucky, so there could be some Hambo influence. But Hambo is remaining silent. He knows if he jumps in it may kill the bill. Second, the Discoveroids are staying silent. They seem to know that their support may be fatal.

  14. Ironically, for a religion that “put away childish things”, they so cannot bear the thought of no sky daddy that they would cry like little babies they cannot proselytize to a captive audience of children.

  15. “Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.” –Saint Paul, the most adult person ever.

  16. Dave Luckett

    Thus, women in the more conservative denominations (not only the RC’s) always wore hats to Church, which became in turn a point of vanity and covert rivalry for splendiferousness, thus defeating the purpose and incidentally confirming the subtlety of Satan, to pervert even so seemly and conventional a custom.

    Jesus remarked that the same vanity and rivalry attends even the giving of alms. You don’t do that to the sound of trumpets, either, He said. But Paul was all for outward appearances. He could whiten a sepulchre with the best of them.

  17. @Dave Luckett
    Paul totally could have predicted that, but with the imminent demise of the universe and all, he probably felt that it was unnecessary to forecast that far ahead. He totally could have done it though if he wanted to.