Anti-Evolution Bills in 2012
First, they tried to outright ban evolution from public schools. When that didn’t work, they insisted that creationism was valid science and should be taught alongside evolution. When that failed, they tried to redefine it as Intelligent Design. The courts denied them and said it was still religion.
Determined to figure out where the boundary is and push it, the creationists changed tactics again and tried to pass laws to undermine the credibility of evolution. They don’t actually have to mention religion at all with this strategy. They can just have the teachers say that some parts of science are actually philosophy, haven’t been fully tested, or have flaws.
Every year since Kitzmiller v. Dover, creationists have tried to get these bills passed. Most of them have failed (save for Louisiana), but the creationists just keep trying. Take a look at the list of states that have tried to get anti-evolution laws passed:
- 2006: Alabama, Oklahoma, Maryland
- 2007: New Mexico, Missouri
- 2008: Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Michigan, South Carolina, Louisiana
- 2009: Iowa, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, Alabama, Texas, South Carolina
- 2010: Missouri, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma
- 2011: Tennessee, Florida, Texas
So! Are you guys ready for 2012?! Here are the bills that will be making their way through the legislative system this year.
The governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.
It seems like the guy trying to pass this bill didn’t get the memo on the Academic Freedom strategy. This bill doesn’t even use the “Intelligent Design” pretense. The Indiana politicians are tenacious, though. They already tried and failed to pass bills with the same wording in 2000 and 2001. I guess the idea is to just keep trying until somebody caves.
Require evolution to be taught in the public schools of this state as a theory, including the theorists’ political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism.
This one was introduced by Rep. Jerry Bergevin. Here are some of the things Bergevin had to say about his bill:
“I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the ideas to be presented. It’s a worldview and it’s godless. Atheism has been tried in various societies, and they’ve been pretty criminal domestically and internationally. The Soviet Union, Cuba, the Nazis, China today: they don’t respect human rights.”
“As a general court we should be concerned with criminal ideas like this and how we are teaching it. . . . Columbine, remember that? They were believers in evolution. That’s evidence right there.”
“it changes every six months. What today is evolution is going to be different six months from now.”
Require science teachers to instruct pupils that proper scientific inquire results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis, no matter how firmly it appears to be established, and that scientific and technological innovations based on new evidence can challenge accepted scientific theories or modes.
This bill was introduced by Reps. Gary Hopper of Weare and John Burt. Here are some of the things Gary Hopper had to say about his bill:
“[Evolution teaches students that] life just happens. It’s just a byproduct of the universe and they are here by accident.”
“But more and more scientists are coming to the conclusion that it was not even remotely possible that it happened by accident. I want to introduce children to the idea that they have a purpose for being here.”
“I want the problems with the current theories to be presented so that kids understand that science doesn’t really have all the answers. They are just guessing.”
“[Currently, science class] is like having a creative writing class where the students are told what to create. Science is a creative process, not an absolute thing.”