Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And here come Mississippi

Remember Cobb County GA, who tried to put stickers in all their biology books about how evolution was a theory and not a fact? How about Dover PA and the statement which pretty much said the same thing. Well Mississippi is trying it now.

House Bill 25, introduced by Rep. Gary Chism (R-District 37) on Jan. 6, is now before the Education and Judiciary A committees of our state legislature. If passed, the bill would require the state board of education to affix a disclaimer to every textbook that discusses evolution. The disclaimer describes evolution as "a controversial theory".
First off all, within the scientific community, which I have to assume includes schools in MS, there is no controversy. It's a created controversy for the express purpose of gaining support for things like this. Some poor school system in MS is going to try and comply and find themselves on the losing end of another Federal lawsuit. The people of MS would be better served by improving science education rather than trying to weaken it and open the door for religious-based alternatives. And I am not the only one saying it:

"Mississippi's children deserve a quality education, including science education based on the best available scientific data. Affixing misleading disclaimers to textbooks does our children a great disservice. In these dire economic times, we must prepare students to compete in a global economy. This includes teaching evolution as an essential part of sound science education." Eric Dahlen, Evolution shouldn't be controversial

"Are you trying to make Mississippi the state with the least well-educated and most helpless population in this country?" Julie Shedd, An open letter to Mississippi lawmakers
Ms. Shedd also goes on the address the specifics of the sticker's claims and closes with "People: Please follow the lead of other states in this matter and do not support this bill. Debate it if you must (preferably in church, which is where the anti-evolution debate belongs), but please, allow your children to learn." Excellent article!

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