First out of the starting gates: Oklahoma!

The state of erv now has an embarrassing distinction: Oklahoma has put up the first anti-evolution bill for 2009. The year isn’t even a week old and they’re already pushing this nonsense.

Senate Bill 320 (document), prefiled in the Oklahoma Senate and scheduled for a first reading on February 2, 2009, is apparently the first antievolution bill of 2009. Entitled the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act,” SB 320 would, if enacted, require state and local educational authorities to “assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies” and permit teachers to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.” The only topics specifically mentioned as controversial are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”

Expect these so-called “academic freedom” bills that are really stealth creationism bills to pop up like crusty pimples all over the country all year long.


  1. freelunch says

    So, the Discovery Institute is pressing on with their next series of dishonest claims. I would like them to explain why Lies are Truth. Maybe Phil Johnson could explain to us where the Catholic Church demands such dishonesty in relation to science.

  2. drew says

    Didn’t one of these bills already fail in Okl? Are they just going to keep trying over and over again? What a colossal waste of time and money.

  3. says

    Once again, they slap a responsible-sounding name on it and expect everyone to look the other way. With a name like “academic freedom,” how could it be bad?

    This only goes to show, once again, that people don’t bother to actually *read* anything anymore.

    Jeebus help us all …

  4. Gindy says

    I hope they lose big time in that football game coming up. Or at least their colleges show some balls and tell the lower education system they won’t place students from programs with such “freedoms” enacted.

  5. says

    Uh, when you’re teaching the basics of science, the last thing you need are “scientific controversies,” either real or trumped up.

    And where they’re the latter and students bring them up, the only issue is to disabuse students of faulty thinking as quickly as possible.

    Glen D

  6. freelunch says

    It is clear that the author of the bill is ignorant of science and what a scientific controversy is. A scientific discovery that shows that a religious or political doctrine is false is still a scientific discovery and such a discovery does not necessarily lead to a scientfic controversy.

    Ignorance is strength.

  7. chancelikely says

    “Academic freedom” is the new “Family”. When you see it in a bill’s title, you can bet it’s a dodge, lie, misdirection, or equivocation.

    (I believe the equivalent term in a product’s or company’s name is “Quality”.)

  8. BeamStalk says

    This is almost word for word the exact same bill Sally Kern tried to push through before. It was vetoed by the Governor. I expect much the same for this bill. I will be writing my representatives to vote no on it though. This is ridiculous and I am slightly surprised to find Ms. Kern trying to pull this crap again.

    Not everyone in Oklahoma can be judged by these idiots. I will remind you all that Richard Dawkins was invited by OU to speak at their Darwin Days celebrations, and I do plan to attend.

  9. The Petey says

    wher eis the controversy in having religious leaders teaching religion (ID)? Do people of one religiong REALLY want a science teacher of ANOTHER RELIGION teaching their kids a different creation myth then the one their cult follows?

    If they standardize a set creation myth (ID) then they are foisting a religion on the classroom. That goes against separation of church and state…


    AHHHH, now it makes sense.

  10. Someguy says

    Please don’t lose faith in all of Oklahoma! At the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History and University of Oklahoma, they are doing amazing things to promote good science. Public outreach, Darwin days, lectures, talks, science programs for kids, programs designed to improve science education in public schools and so on!

  11. Lowell says

    It always puzzles me that these bills purport to allow elementary and high school students to determine what is or is not scientifically valid.

    Why would you want kids who don’t even know the basics deciding those issues? We don’t treat other disciplines that way.

    There’s a difference between encouraging critical thinking and undermining the science curriculum.

  12. Quiet Desperation says

    The year isn’t even a week old and they’re already pushing this nonsense.

    Well, they’re still buzzing from that Christmas spirit. ;-)

  13. Embarrassed says

    Yes, please don’t hate us all in Joke-lahoma. There are good people on the side of good science at OU. And please help us all you can with your emails and letters. This shit passed in our neighboring backward ass state, louisiana. All 77 counties voted for McSame, the idiots, and i’d not be surprised with the Rethuglicans controlling the legislature, that this thing doesn’t slide on through. Here’s hoping the Gov vetoes it again.

  14. says

    What Senator would ever choose
    To stand opposed to Freedom?
    Don’t worry that the kids might lose
    Their smarts–they’ll never need’em!

    Why, ignorance, in politics
    Becomes a badge of honor!
    The truth is, to these Senate pricks,
    A designated goner.

    Their ignorance, a point of pride–
    A fundamental tenet–
    Leaves students only qualified
    For Oklahoma Senate.

  15. Mike in Ontario, NY says

    The last three times I’ve engaged an evolution denier in person, especially those who believe firmly in the fairness of “teaching both sides” of the issue, I ask them to give me their pastor’s name and phone number so I can invite myself to their church so I can teach a biology lesson from the pulpit, on any Sunday they can work me in. I contend that if they’re so concerned with “fairness”, then it is just as fair for me to go to their church and talk science as it is for creationists to teach their beliefs in public schools. So far, all I get is defensive deflection. I’m waiting for one of them to tell me that church isn’t school, so I can ask them why they’re trying to turn schools into churches.

  16. cactusren says

    What exactly is this supposed scientific controversy over human cloning? Yes, there are some ethical issues there, but even if there are scientific controversies in this subject, they would be far more detailed and advanced than anything being taught in high school biology classes.

    The people who wrote this bill clearly know nothing about either science or education.

  17. room101 says

    Why would you want kids who don’t even know the basics deciding those issues? We don’t treat other disciplines that way.

    I agree. Isn’t amazing that evolution stands alone when it comes to being “critically analyzed” or having its’ “strengths and weaknesses explored”. As if no other discipline (scientific or otherwise) requires it.

  18. WRMartin says

    Will all “Adademic Freedom” bills be solely for Science? Why not make the bill all-inclusive and allow “Adademic Freedom” for all subjects?
    For Mathematics? i = Sqrt(-1), my ass.
    For History? The South will rise again.
    For Geography? I don’t believe in the Pacific Ocean. It’s Old man Kelsey’s ocean.
    For Religion? God doesn’t exist.

  19. Schmeer says

    It seems to me that if the last line clarifying what they think is a controversy wasn’t there, then this bill would not permit the teaching of ID or any other nonsense when read by a reasonable person. If they try to go too much more in ‘stealth mode’ they’re going to allow science education to return to a 20th century standard.

  20. says

    I agree with the idea that middle and high school students should be taught the basics, not the “controversies”. Heck, we don’t explain to them that people disagree with the exact pathways in a cellular model, do we? “Controversy”, if there even is any for the subjects they mention, is something you explore at the college level or higher, once you understand the underlying principles.

  21. Evinfuilt says

    I agree its wrong that only Evolution gets picked on. They need to get back to their roots and teach the math controversy with Pi, I believe they say its just 3 in their bible.

  22. WRMartin says

    I need me some Academic in my previous post to replace that horrible Adacemic (that stuff is painful).

  23. Dark Jaguar says

    As a denizen of the national state of apathy (the reason I think our slogan is “Oklahoma is OK”), I can say that this is not entirely unexpected. Utterly stupid, but I doubt anyone here is going to care enough to actually complain. If you remember the Tulsa Zoo also had some bills put forward to try and put up displays with “alternatives” to evolution, which fortunatly never went through when an actual intelligent person pointed out the stupidity by saying that the creation stories of all religions would need to be represented. It’s an otherwise excellent zoo I’ll say in one of the sole marks of pride anyone in this state will show.

    Anyway, toss another mark of shame on our state. Just keep in mind the majority of people here are likely completely ignorant of this bill.

  24. Jason says


    I’m just about finished with the latest episode of Skepticality, the second in a couple of episodes with firsthand stories of visitors to the dragon’s den of the DI itself. This one is much more congenial than the previous one, and portrayed them as much more human, and I almost felt a wince of sympathy for them, as one would with a misguided child.

    Then I stumble upon this.

    Nevermind. Fuck them.

  25. recovering catholic says

    Lowell @11:

    “There’s a difference between encouraging critical thinking and undermining the science curriculum.”

    Well said! Mind if I quote you when our health professions program tries to ram their aromatherapy and reflexology courses through our curriculum committee again? Because, as PZ so phrased it, this is another of those “crusty pimples” that keeps popping up at my college. Sad part is that each time they try the vote is closer and closer to acceptance–natural sciences department doesn’t expect to be able to fend them off at their upcoming third attempt…

  26. Jonathan Smith says

    “Governor Crist has officially proclaimed 2009 as the Year of Science in Florida. In addition, the Governor’s office is currently working to identify ways they can support Year of Science events and initiatives around the state.”
    Well Governor, how about vetoing any Academic Freedom Bill that should come across your desk this year?

  27. Nerd of Redhead says

    Unfortunately, this type of thinking isn’t refuted just by asking for the references to the work they want presented from the primary scientific literature. Although it may slow them down a little.

    It’s too bad that they don’t make sponsors for these bills pay the legal fees if the law is later struck down by a court. I have a dream of after five bills sponsored by an idiot are declared unconstitutional, that person is automatically impeached and cannot hold any goverment position for the rest of their life.

  28. talking snake says

    Perhaps teachers in OK need a disclaimer to “protect the children”:

    “Welcome, students, to biology 101. We will be studying biology this semester. This class will not devote time to material covered in sewing 101, shop 101, civics 101, photography 101, or mythology 101. If you are in the wrong class, move now!”

  29. KI says

    THAT’S the argument I’ve been looking for! Pi is exactly three! Teach the controversy!

  30. says

    Can we start calling this “The War on Darwin Day”? Maybe someone can go on Faux News and whine like a 4 year old about attacks at this special time of year.

    After all if they can include October and November in Christmas surely January to March can be Darwin season.

  31. Parker says

    God Fucking Dammit.
    Once again, I feel compelled to apologize for my state.
    I gotta get out of here.

    OH and the editorials in the Tulsa World aren’t any better. People standing up for this bill saying it has ‘nothing to do with religion’ and that it really is about the ‘best education for (the) kids’.

  32. Neil says

    I’m a science teacher (UK not US) and I already teach the ‘weaknesses’ of evolution’, it takes no time at all (literally).

  33. porco dio says

    “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act”

    they could just as easily call it the

    “Retarded Stupidity and Credulity Act”

  34. Cliff says

    If someone wants to do something constructive (other than post outrage or dismay on PZ’s blog), I suggest sending a donation to and/or becoming a member of the National Center for Science Education.

    If everyone here who willingly “crashes a poll” would mail a dollar to the NCSE instead, they would probably have an additional $1000-$1500 to fight stupidity such as this.

    Just sayin’…

  35. 'Licia says

    Aack! I’m constantly disappointed by my state. For every one rational person I know, there are three others who think that evolution is like some kind of religious dogma. Just recently in conversation, I was asked whether I “believe in evolution” as if it was akin to belief in magic or faeries.

  36. says

    …teach the math controversy with Pi, I believe they say its just 3 in their bible.” – Evinfuilt, #23

    It’s in the Book: “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.I Kings 7:23 In other words, the ratio of the circumference of this round object to its diameter was 30 / 10, or 3.000…

    There’s more, such as a talking donkey: “And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, “What have I done unto thee…” Numbers 22:28-30. Or a talking snake: “Now the serpent…said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” – Genesis 3:1-5

  37. Caligula says

    help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught

    I don’t have a problem with that in itself, as long as the strengths, and, more importantly, weaknesses, of competing non-scientific theories can also be addressed.

  38. says

    I guess we can say that Oklahoma is cutting edge, being first of this year.

    There’s an edge to stupidity, after all.

    But seriously, I wonder if some committed creationists are doing this early in order to avoid what happened in Florida, where the “academic freedom” bill had huge support, but failed by running out of time. Many had the suspicion that a number of legislators were “supporting” the bill for the sake of votes, yet were only happy to see it fail as the clock ran out.

    They’re not all like that, though, and I’m guessing that some committed cretins are trying to avoid the fate of the Florida bill.

    Glen D

  39. BobC says

    These never ending anti-evolution bills are very bad, but maybe a much worse problem is bad science teachers, and also Christian harassment of good science teachers. Another problem is many students are too brainwashed to understand anything by the time they take their first science class.

    America has the most scientifically illiterate population in the Western world, and I don’t think there will be much improvement any time soon, even without these anti-science bills from know-nothing politicians.

    Perhaps our new pro-science president will somehow turn things around.

  40. says

    Whew! Oklahoma has taken the heat off Kansas, my home state. But then again, I disowned Kansas many years ago. When people ask where I’m from originally, I tell them Kansas and then hasten to add that I was raised mostly in California

  41. Jonathan says

    Great! Maybe then you might get some responsible science teachers to teach the controversy, by trashing creationism/ID, and say “sorry, i was required by the law to trash your religious beliefs”

  42. strangest brew says

    *”The only conclusion I can draw is that they must be maneuvering for the next round of state board hearings or legislative sessions — and I’m concerned. These folks are a whole lot better at politics and public relations than they are at science, and that means that everyone who cares about science education should be on guard.”

    Seems that Professor Ken Miller was not that far off with the conclusion as to why Luskin is bleating fit ta burst!

    *From the third rebuttal of Luskin’s delusional claims!

  43. James F says

    Oklahomans, isn’t it almost certain that Gov. Brad Henry will veto this bill if it passes? This past year, he vetoed the “religious viewpoints discrimination act” that wasn’t quite an “academic freedom” bill but was along the same lines. It might be a good time to thank Gov. Henry and urge him to remain vigilant.

    So far the only state to pass one of these bills is Louisiana. In Alabama, Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina, all of the antievolution bills died in committee. Florida was a painfully close call; senate and house bills passed separately but time ran out for the legislature to vote on a final coherent version. Then, there’s the potential mess at the Texas State Board of Education.

    So a grand total of two bills made it out of committee in 2008. It will be interesting to see how many bills make it that far in 2009.

    P.S.: I second Cliff at #38 – join NCSE! I’ve been a member and donor for almost a year now. And if an academic freedom fraud bill is filed in your state, join your local citizens for science group!

  44. says

    I don’t have a problem with that in itself, as long as the strengths, and, more importantly, weaknesses, of competing non-scientific theories can also be addressed.

    Except that in high school science they should be learning about the basics of science and starting to learn how to do science. The big questions of science aren’t solved in high school class because that’s not really what it is there for. It is preparation for further education and at the least to give a base understanding of the processes involved.

    Wasting time on every wild theory is just that, wasting time. Creationism and Intelligent design are not competing theories. ID doesn’t have a testable theory and even in it’s most favorable light really isn’t science. Creationism isn’t even science, it’s theology

  45. Maynard says

    As a born and bred (and fled) Okie, I hate to see these things coming from Oklahoma too.
    Religious nuts like this need to be scorned and laughed at. Remember, laughter is the best medicine.

  46. Rey Fox says

    “Well, they’re still buzzing from that Christmas spirit. ;-)”

    Don’t you mean War On Christmas Spirit?

  47. Chas says

    Posted by: Gindy | January 7, 2009 11:57 AM
    “I hope they lose big time in that football game coming up.”

    Oh please don’t wish such atrocities to befall my alma mater! It’s not their fault! OU was always a reasonable place and though the Christians reign supreme, the school does great work for evolutionary thought. The problem is Silly Sally Kern and her relentless work to infuse government and religion. Governor Henry did the virtuous action to veto this bill and I hope that he still feels the same way.

  48. mayhempix says


    There’s never been a better time to waste real life-
    The earth ain’t too early, 7000 years to date!
    Starting as a xian with a stay at home wife-
    Still be living in a creationist state!
    Creationist state-
    gonna treat you great!
    Gonna give you Bibles, preachers and haters,
    Pasture full of bullshit, bigots and redbaiters,
    Burning the crosses where the June bugs zoom,
    Plen’y of torture and plen’y of doom,
    Plen’y of room to swing a rope!
    Plen’y of atheists a danglin’ we hope.

    where the Lord comes ragin’ down the plain,
    With his wavin’ sword and the locust hordes,
    When the blood comes a gushin’ from the slain!

    Ev’ry night a sacrificial lamb and I,
    Sit alone and watch the smelly smoke
    makin’ lazy circles in the sky.

    We know we belong to the Lord (yo-ho)
    And the Lord we belong to has a sword!
    And when we say
    Praise Jay-sus! Oh Lordy-Lordy-ay!
    We’re only sayin’
    You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma!
    Oklahoma O.K.!

  49. RobertM says

    I think they should teach the controversy… no, not the one about evolution (that was settled in rational minds years ago). I’m speaking of the one where Oklahoma is the asshole of the earth- that’s what the Bible says:
    “When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God’s breath hovering over the waters, God said, ‘Let there be light.’ and there was light”(Genesis chapter 1:3)”

    What? That’s not clear enough evidence for you? You must be a non-believer!

  50. says

    Life came about through someone travelling back in time and ejaculating in the primordial ooze. Teach the controversy!

    Wait, what do you mean that just because I call it a controversy it doesn’t make it so? Who are you to deny my religion?!? Persecution!!! Persecution!!! Persecution!!!

  51. says

    Man, I’ve got to get out of Oklahoma…

    It doesn’t surprise me much, though, as this is the only state in the Union that went 100% red in the recent election.

  52. Eric Paulsen says

    So can I present a bill requiring that all students be taught the controversy about mathematics? Personally I have deep suspicions about these “Mathemeticians” and their equasions – I personally believe in the awesome power of Guesstimation™! The fact is that MOST of us can’t work out these inscrutible numerical formulas and have to “take it on faith” that the mathematician is correct, but with Guesstimation™ EVERYBODY can come up with their OWN answer, and who’s to say it isn’t right? Mathematicians?

    Oh yeah, and I believe the controversy should be taught regarding English. And what about history? I have yet to read a school text that recounts the Roswell crash or the victory of the Great Morkg over the small island state of Ordrevania.

    Man there are a LOT of controversies worthy of a bill aren’t there?

  53. CrypticLife says

    Eric Paulsen @ 60,

    Ummmm. . . I take it you’re not familiar with the “Math Wars” and “Fuzzy Math”? That fight’s already been fought, which is part of the reason US math education is so bad. The religious are placated there, though, with the substitute deity of the calculator introduced in early elementary.

    English? Look at the “whole language” (now known as “balanced literacy”) fight with its endorsement of “invented spelling”.

  54. Watchman says

    So far the only state to pass one of these bills is Louisiana.

    Yes, signed into law by that rising star of the GOP, Gov. Bobby Jindal, who was a Bio major at Brown – and a Rhodes Scholar to boot. Ack.

  55. Bob of QF says

    The only redeeming thing about OK, is the governor is a Democrat, and as such, unlikely to sign the bill, even if it makes it past committee.

    Sometimes, I feel like a voice, crying in the wilderness of unreason…

  56. says

    This is just one of three (so far) bad bills in the Oklahoma legislature. For more details see Comment #14 on ERV’s post (erv link in first line of this post). Also the University of Oklahoma has one of the most diverse plans for the Darwin year I have seen, including talks by Dawkins and many others. Check the right column at the Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE) website at

    Thanks to #8 (beanstalk) for suggesting support of OESE that has led the successful fight in Oklahoma for the past ten years. This year will be a very tough one and we may be saved again this time only by a veto by the Governor, unlike Louisiana and Texas where two of these bills have now become law. The Oklahoma Legislature is now controlled by the Republicans for the first time in history. Oklahoma was the only state in the last election where EVERY county voted for the Republican candidate for President. Here, as often the case elsewhere, the Repubs vote unanimously for the far right agenda, along with a large portion of the Demos, who are often DINOs (Democrats in Name Only. Strange for a state that was through much of its history overwhelmingly Democratic, even Populist!

  57. Chas says

    vhutchison, let me thank you for all the tireless work that you have done to inspire reason in an unreasonable state.

  58. James F says

    Eric Paulsen @#60 wrote:

    So can I present a bill requiring that all students be taught the controversy about mathematics?

    Yeah! How about those imaginary and irrational numbers? Or partial differential equations? Or null sets? Or limits? Sounds to me like there are a lot of weaknesses!

  59. Twin-Skies says

    My high school and college, both Catholic schools, did discuss creationism and the ethics of human cloning…in the sociology, philosophy, and theology classes as ideas, not as scientific theories. As to why Oklahoma insists on putting them in science, the thought escapes me.

    @alex #67

    I think it has something to do with the notion that cloning devalues the human being, in that an otherwise god-only creation can be replicated by scientific means. The Sixth Day comes to mind.

  60. says

    #26 (Dark Jaguar). The attempts to place creationist exhibits at the Tulsa Zoo was defeated in the Tulsa Park Commission by a major campaign of Friends of Science, Tulsa Interfaith Alliance and Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education that included a press conference attended by all local TV and news outlets, letters to editors, petition, etc. This showed that motivated activists can influence government.

    ##34 (Dark Jaguar). Yes, the Tulsa World supports many far right agenda items, but it is not as bad as the Oklahoma City major paper. The World did have an editorial against Sally Kern’s bad bill bill last year, as did several papers in smaller cities in Oklahoma. Even the Daily Oklahoman in OKC had one editorial questioning Sally Kern’s bill. There were no papers in Oklahoma that editorialized for the bill.

    #49 (James). The Governor’s veto on the new bills is problematical. We can not assume that he will do the same again. Also, Sally Kern’s bill last session was an exact copy of the bill NOW LAW in Texas, where the Governor signed the ‘Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act’ and Texas continues to have major problems with their Board of Education headed by a creationist and with constant legislative bills along the same lines. Louisiana is a lost cause at this point.

    We are hopeful that Oklahoma will not join Texas and Louisiana. Other states must be prepared for the onslaught of ‘Academic Freedom Acts’ sure to come.

  61. says

    Hello. Slightly off topic, but may I request those of you who are at OU or otherwise reside in the state of Oklahoma to join the OU CFI Facebook group? Others are welcome too. Here is the link:

  62. says

    My favorite bit is section “E”

    E. Students may be evaluated based upon their understanding of course materials, but no student in any public school or institution shall be penalized in any way because the student may subscribe to a particular position on scientific theories.

    How does one verify what’s going on in another person’s head? We can observe behavior not mental processes. One can demonstrate an “understanding” by performance on tests and assignments (behavior). Does Oklahoma have a super-secret brain scanner now? How does it work? But seriously, doesn’t this legislate that if a student wrote an ID screed on a test in answer to a question about natural selection the teacher can not mark that answer “wrong?”

    And from section F (appropriate letter)

    this act shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs … [emphasis mine]

    So if scientific evidence and inferences made from that evidence contradict a creation myth, then what? I mean really. I can’t figure out what this bit is intended to accomplish. Does the class just stop or does it enter an indeterminate state? (What happened to Schrodinger’s cat? Teach that controversy!).

    If this post no longer makes sense I blame that proposed law. It’s rotting my brain cells just reading the bloody thing.

  63. says

    Yeah. Science, like religion, is a personal thing now. Don’t accept evolution? Think creationism is correct? No problem! Opinion respected!!! Don’t believe in gravity? Think god sticks you to the earth using invisible glue? No problem! No points deducted for personal opinions. It’s just science, so anything is acceptable.

  64. Robert Byers says

    From Canada
    its always the bad guys in the story who want censorship.
    america will not tolerate blocks to freedom of thought and speech especially on issues that everyone has opinions.

    If the schools can teach God/Genesis is NOT true by teaching evolution or origin issues without recourse to God/genesis. then the schools must also teach that god/Genesis as a viable alternative.
    There is a separation clause dealing with church/state issues. It says neither is to interfere with the other. Yet today the state/schools teach the bible is false on origins. A clear attack against the foundations and doctines of many Christians.
    All or nothing. Its the law.

  65. says

    america will not tolerate blocks to freedom of thought and speech especially on issues that everyone has opinions.

    So you would feel comfortable if in school they taught your children that life was created by a dragon that got lonely as per the Chinese tradition?

  66. says

    Robert Byers @ # 75 says:

    If the schools can teach God/Genesis is NOT true by teaching evolution or origin issues without recourse to God/genesis. then the schools must also teach that god/Genesis as a viable alternative.

    Have you attended a biology class (any level) where evolution is being taught? Is there any reference made to god or genesis or the Bible or the Qu’ran or any religion at all? They just teach evolution. They teach science. They are oblivious to the existence of religion. They make no reference to the authenticity or lack thereof, of any religion. Religion has nothing to do with biology/science.

  67. says

    If the schools can teach God/Genesis is NOT true by teaching evolution or origin issues without recourse to God/genesis. then the schools must also teach that god/Genesis as a viable alternative.

    Ad teach the Norse Odin myth as a viable alternative. And teach the Hindu myth as a viable alternative. If children are looking at the bible for answers, I want them reading the Egyptian Book Of The Dead, or I won’t consider it equal time!

  68. bezoar says

    Dark Jaguar @26: You ain’t alone my friend. I live in one of the most intellectually and religiously backward (redundancy implied) states in the Union, Kentucky. We have the world (in)famous Creation Museum; the phrase in out Homeland Security Statement that “our first line of defense is god” (insert painful sigh here); the fewest teeth per capita of any state (ADA research) and the dubious list goes on. Pharyngula is my saviour and my anchor of sanity.

  69. Circe says

    Good-bye and thank you. America has now left the building.

    Countries such as China, or any other promoting science, will rule soon as the bulk of American thinking (religo fundie nuts and science budget cuts) appears to be going back to the dark ages.

    Why the fuck anyone would want to do that I just don’t know. The depth of human stupidity is indescribable. I despair of it, but I won’t be chanting to a sky fairy any time soon.

  70. James F says

    Hold your horses, we’ve got another one bursting out of the gate in Mississippi! It’s that oldie but goodie, disclaimer stickers for public school textbooks!

    The word ‘theory’ has many meanings, including: systematically organized knowledge; abstract reasoning; a speculative idea or plan; or a systematic statement of principles. Scientific theories are based on both observations of the natural world and assumptions about the natural world. They are always subject to change in view of new and confirmed observations.
    This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life’s origins should be considered a theory.
    Evolution refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced living things. There are many topics with unanswered questions about the origin of life which are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the sudden appearance of the major groups of animals in the fossil record (known as the Cambrian Explosion); the lack of new major groups of other living things appearing in the fossil record; the lack of transitional forms of major groups of plants and animals in the fossil record; and the complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body possessed by all living things.
    Study hard and keep an open mind.

    I’m guessing that the Year of Darwin is strirring up the anti-Enlightenment types….

    HT: Tony Whitson, by way of the Sensuous Curmudgeon

  71. says

    OpEdNewsOriginal Content at

    December 27, 2008Kern’s Krew Collection of Peeping Toms By James Nimmo The Kern Krew is a sad collection of some very sick puppies who relish the pain of others in order to exorcise the demons that inhabit their own little bit of skull space.

    They’ve never matured to an adult level of acceptance of sexual or religious privacy. Kern’s Krew is a collection of Peeping Toms, looking for what arouses them, be it sacred or secular.

    (OKLAHOMA CITY) At the website of Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE, ) there is a professional analysis of the latest resurrection of Rep. Sally Kern’s bill that would allow for the recitation of bible verses as “facts” and “evidence” in math and science classes in Oklahoma schools with the teachers forced to accept such balderdash as legitimate answers.

    Though this bill was vetoed by Governor Henry last year, the subject of religious IN-tolerance is dear to Rep. Sally Kern as she worries it like a dog with its favorite bone.

    According to the analysis, with other states that have passed these spawned bills the result has been expensive legal situations and confusion in the classrooms resulting in the lowering of educational standards.

    Introduced by religiously repellent people like the Kern Krew these divisive bills turn public schools into Sunday schools five days a week and restate already existing laws and court precedents. It would seem the purpose of the bills is to provide for the invention of another drum for the Kern Krew to beat.

  72. 5ive says

    you know, they really should do this thing of “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.”
    They really really should. They should take creation, apply the scientific principle to it and show kids why it is not only NOT a theory, but also make a horrible hypothesis. Why hasn’t anyone on the side of science lobbied to get some vague bill passed to require teachers to use the Christian version of the creation of life as an example of a rotten hypothesis? Great way to help kids understand what is science and what is poorly thought out philosophy.