Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Antievolution legislation in Missouri

The "Show Me!" State is the latest to fall victim to Discovery Institute marketing. Pointed out to me by John M. Lynch's blog "Stranger Fruit", which is one of the best blogs out there, the NCSE reports: "Antievolution legislation in Missouri" This little marketing tactic found fertile ground in Missouri own Robert Wayne Cooper (R-District 155) who has been introducing bills for years promoting Creationism, Intelligent Design, and trying to weaken science education. I hope he does something else with his time, or his constituents may one day realize what he is trying to do to them and the education of their children!

I love this part of Missouri HB 656:

"This section only protects the teaching of scientific information and this section shall not be construed to promote philosophical naturalism or biblical theology, promote natural cause or intelligent cause, promote undirected change or purposeful design, promote atheistic or theistic belief, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or ideas, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion. Scientific information includes physical evidence and logical inferences based upon evidence."

How confusing can you get! In an effort to dodge the bullet other so-called academic freedom bills have caught, it's doing it's best to play dodge ball. But, of course, it fails. Like it's marketing brethren, this bill has little to do with actual academic freedom and more to do with weakening science education and opening the door for pseudo-scientific alternatives.

I think Missouri will live up to its motto and ask Cooper to 'show me' how this bill will improve science education, and when he fails vote it off the grid again.

See what I mean about the evolution of the anti-evolution arguments. He's tried a number of different tactics, and so far has met with disappointment. I mean here is another excerpt form the NCSE article:
"In 2006, he [Cooper] introduced HB 1266, which if enacted would have required that "If a theory or hypothesis of biological origins is taught, a critical analysis of such theory or hypothesis shall be taught in a substantive amount." In 2004, he introduced two bills, HB 911 and HB 1722, that called for equal time for "intelligent design" in Missouri's public schools. HB 911 moreover contained idiosyncratic definitions of various scientific and philosophical terms as well as the draconian provision, "Willful neglect of any elementary or secondary school superintendent, principal, or teacher to observe and carry out the requirements of this section shall be cause for termination of his or her contract."
Need I say more?

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