Apparently it’s that time of year when every Republican controlled legislature introduces bills designed to force Christianity upon us. As I reported earlier on Thursday, the Indiana Senate introduced a bill that allows school boards to force teachers to teach creationism as science. Now I’m disappointed to report that my home state of Missouri is considering a similar bill, except this one is far worse.
On January 10, 2012, the Missouri House of Representatives introduced a bill that would force educators to teach creationism in schools as an accepted science, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of the scientific community rejects creationism as science. But this bill is worse than the Indiana bill. House bill 1227 or the Missouri Standard Science Act skips school boards and directly forces teachers to teach creationism. The bill goes even further than that, however. It not only requires that creationism be taught in elementary and high school, but also in introductory college science courses as well. It also requires textbooks to include creationism.
This bill seeks to violate religious freedom and is an attempt by Republicans to indoctrinate our kids. It forces teachers to drill an unfounded Biblical belief into the minds of students, even if it goes against their own religious beliefs. It also forces college professors, who have spent their academic careers in the science community, to teach an entirely rejected theory that has no factual basis in science as an accepted theory to impressionable college students. This can easily be construed as a church effort to convert non-believers and those of different faiths to Christianity.
The bill is wrong on so many levels it’s pitiful. For decades, religious fundamentalists have attempted to force the Bible on school children and their number one target has been evolution. They hate it because it is supported with facts and evidence. So they have tried to re-introduce creationism as “intelligent design” or “biological intelligent design” as this bill refers to it as. The fact is, creationism has zero evidence to support it. Proponents of creationism can only use Biblical text as a source. Real scientists rely on evidence to prove theories and evolution is an evidence supported scientific fact. That is why evolution, NOT creationism, is taught is schools. Teaching a religious theory only opens the doors to division among students. If one religious theory has to bed taught, then ALL the theories of other religions must be taught as well. That takes students away from actual learning, which will only cause our national science scores to drop. How can our kids learn about real sciences if most of the class time is wasted presenting all the various religious theories that have no evidence to back themselves up? In short, they can’t. Schools have a limited amount of time as it is to cram as much of the curriculum they can into the developing minds of the kids they teach. Adding a bogus religious theory to the curriculum only makes their jobs more difficult. And that would be disastrous to our education system which I suspect is also part of the reason why conservatives are pushing these bills.