2011: The Year Of Creationism In Our Classrooms
It’s an all-out assault on science, spearheaded by the GOP, naturally. According to the National Center for Science Education, a record-setting nine anti-evolution bills have been introduced in state legislatures since January 1st.
Not surprisingly, Texas is among the leaders of the anti-science movement, introducing HB 2454 which would prohibit an institution of higher learning from “discrimination related to research related to intelligent design.”
In Florida, HB 1854 would require a “critical analysis” of the teaching of evolution in public schools. Tennessee has a slightly different version which says that educators can’t be prohibited from “helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered” in a particular course.
You have to give the Republicans credit. They have mastered the art of the circular talking point. In the case of creationists, they insist that they are “discriminated” against by the scientific community because it refuses to recognize Intelligent Design research. But creationists fail to mention that the Intelligent Design community has yet to produce a single legitimate peer reviewed paper.
It also completely disregards the fact that inserting Intelligent Design into scientific curricula is a violation of the Establishment Clause and therefore unconstitutional per Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School Dist. (400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (2005)). But as we’ve seen with so many of the culture wars raged on the right, constitutional fidelity is the least of their concerns. Instead, they insist on propagating religious doctrine under the guise of academic openness.
With the United States lagging behind other developed nations in education, particularly in the sciences, can we really afford to waste time and taxpayer dollars on this nonsense?
photo courtesy of mrbill via Flickr