Republicans in Oklahoma have introduced the sixth anti-evolution bill of 2012. Introduced by State GOP Senator Josh Brecheen, SB 1742 would force the state board of education to assist school staffs in promoting “critical thinking, logical analysis, open and objective discussion of scientific theories including, but not limited to, evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and human cloning” and says that teachers “may use supplemental textbooks and instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.”
In other words, this bill is covertly requiring the state board of education to encourage schools to teach opposing views of climate change and evolution even though those opposing views have no scientific facts to stand on. The bill claims that it isn’t promoting a religious doctrine, but the problem is that the bill is modeled after the 2008 Louisiana bill that requires schools to teach creationism. SB 1742 also allows teachers to use alternate book materials in addition to the regular textbook, which means teachers could theoretically bring a Bible to school and call it a “supplemental textbook.” Besides, there are no scientific theories that debunk evolution and climate change. Both theories are widely accepted by nearly all scientists. That leaves pseudo-science theories like creationism as the only choice for schools to utilize as an opposing theory. The bill for some reason also declares an emergency of some kind which I can only assume is the emergency being declared by religious groups on the right who think Christianity is being discriminated against. You can read the full text of the bill here.
Oklahoma is the fourth state to introduce such a bill in 2012. The others are Missouri, New Hampshire, and Indiana. Clearly, Republicans and religious right groups are going to try to ram through these creationism bills down our throats throughout the year. Apparently the economy is not worth their precious time, but introducing bills that harm education by injecting religion into science class is important to them. This is just another dangerous and distracting bill in a long line of dangerous and distracting bills being introduced by religion obsessed Republicans.