Saturday, February 07, 2009

A Creationist Bill in Alabama?

NCSE is reporting on a bill that is being drafted in the Alabama legislature that it is thought would open the door to creationism in the public schools. Here is the bad language:

Section 3. Every K-12 public school teacher or teacher or instructor in any two-year or four-year public institution of higher education, or in any graduate or adult program thereof, in the State of Alabama, shall have the affirmative right and freedom to present scientific information pertaining to the full range of scientific views in any curricula or course of learning.

As we have seen in other areas of the country, the "full range of scientific views" might mean that Of Pandas and People will show up in the classrooms, as it did in Dover County, Pennsylvania. Here's the hopeful language:

Section 7. Nothing in this act shall be construed as protecting as scientific any view that lacks published empirical or observational support or that has been soundly refuted by empirical or observational science in published scientific debate. Likewise, the protection provided by this act shall not be restricted by any metaphysical or religious implications of a view, so long as the views are defensible from and justified by empirical science and observation of the natural world.

The second part of that section is a tad rickety, but this section is what will give science curriculum writers a chance to slam the door on creationism. The problem is the Don McLeroys of the world who will argue that creationism is science and point to the nonsense that the ICR puts out as "science."

The language suggests that the writers of the bill intend, as the folks in Texas have admitted about their bill, to squash the teaching of evolution. It is all aimed there. The other science disciplines are of secondary to tertiary importance. When you leave the writing of the curriculum to the local school boards, trouble inevitably ensues.

Hat tip to LGF.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm. The language in that bill seems like a pretty poor portal for ID/creationism. If the Don McLeroy's use it as an excuse to teach creationism, concerned parents could pretty easily shoot that down, I should think.

    I hope it doesn't explode into a huge debate, as contesting that language might give credence to creationist claims that evolutionists are hyper-sensitive to any inquiry into the theory.