I posted a discussion on Atheist News earlier today about the Oklahoma House Education Committee passing a Creationist bill, but it's not just evolution that the religious legislators want to eradicate from the science curriculum. It's also physical science, escpeically physical science as it pertains to things like climate change and stem cell research.

For this, Creationsts have developed a new strategy, marketing these bills as defending the "academic freedom" of students and teachers. What they mean by academic freedom is the right of students and teachers to question scientific theories, like evolution.

This certainly does seem like a valuable right. In fact, questioning things is one of the main ways we learn, so it makes sense that this right should be protected. But only if it's ever truly under threat. Both students and teachers are free to question the laws of science already.  No student has ever been expelled for questioning the laws of science and no teacher has ever been fired doing the same.

This bill offers no protections for such a right and only offers protection for teachers who reject the scientific curriculum in favor of their own personal beliefs. Like I said in the discussion, bills similar to the one on Oklahoma (called the "Science Education and Academic Freedom" act) have appeared in Montana, Missouri, Arizona, Indiana, and Colorado with only Colorado shooting the bill down.

This isn't just the latest plot to eradicate science, it's also another way Republicans have perverted and distorted the concept of freedom. They tell us that big bad Barry coming after all of our rights and tell us that they're the only politicians fighting for our rights.

Such bills cannot be allowed to pass into law, especially since recent polls say that only 28% of Americans are scientifically literate. Most Americans can't read or understand the language used in the Science section of the New York Times and most Americans can't even tell you how long it takes the Earth to make a complete revolution around the Sun. Our educational system can't take anymore hits.

I strongly urge any readers of this post living in either Oklahoma, Montana, Arizona, Missouri, and Indiana to team up with accomplished lawyers and scientists and take legal action to prevent these bills from becoming law. I also urge all readers of this post, regardless of which state they live in, to educate the public about how they're being scammed.

Our academic freedom is not currently under attack, but it might be in those states of these bills become law.

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Comment by tom sarbeck on February 22, 2013 at 3:55am

I was a schoolkid in the 1940s and many Americans were okay with creationism in the schools.

The Soviets sent a man into space, scared the crap out of us, and we put evolution into the schools.

Conservative xians started trying to replace evolution with creationism and federal judges stopped them.

They changed creationism to "intelligent design" but screwed up and another federal judge stopped them.

They keep trying and their bills are getting real weird. Most of them die in state legislative committees.

They want so much to trick a judge into approving their stuff.

If you like science, the National Committee for Science Education at ncse.com can use your help.

(NCSE is really a dot org but a commercial outfit got the "org" name first.)

To keep up with what the xians are doing, subscribe to ncse.com's free email newsletter.

Comment by Chris Dodds on February 21, 2013 at 8:30pm

It's not just their children they want to make stupider, it's EVERYONE'S children.

Comment by Loren Miller on February 21, 2013 at 7:33pm

Ask the same people who want to pass this crap if they want their family doctors to go back to the practice of bleeding to cure disease ... or if they think an incantation chanted over their car will fix a broken alternator.  I'd mention chemists going back to alchemy or phlogiston chemistry, but you'd likely only get a blank stare at that one.

I've said this elsewhere and I will gladly repeat: these people want to make their children STUPIDER.  They're not even my kids, and I find that I'm incensed at that.



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