Science Prevails In Missouri And Alabama As Creationism Bills Die In Both States
Science scored a major victory in Missouri and Alabama last week as multiple anti-evolution bills died in the legislatures of both states.
In Missouri, the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education decided not to vote on a pair of bills that would have made creationism an accepted science even though there is no evidence supporting it. HB 1276 would have allowed teachers “to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of the theory of biological and hypotheses of chemical evolution.” In other words, the bill would have allowed right-wing religious fanatical teachers to push their anti-evolution views. The other bill, HB 1227 would have forced “the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design,” at every level in public school and in “any introductory science course taught at any public institution of higher education.” This bill would have actually forced schools and colleges to teach creationism alongside evolution, while allowing teachers bash evolution.
In Alabama, HB 133 failed to come up for a vote in the House after the Alabama Academy of Science issued a statement declaring that the bill would harm science education. The bill would have created a credit for creationism scheme that would have empowered “local boards of education to include released time religious instruction as an elective course for high school students.” The bill was introduced on behalf of Joseph Kennedy, a former school teacher who “was fired in 1980 for reading the Bible and teaching creationism at Spring Garden Elementary School when parents of the public school sixth-grade students objected and he refused to stop.” Kennedy wanted to “give students good sound scientific reasons to support their faith in the seven-day creation and the young Earth,” as devised by the Institute of Creation Research.
Teaching creationism in public school and colleges as part of science curriculum is wrong. Doing such a thing amounts to indoctrination. Because that’s exactly what these bills are all about. Indoctrinating students into the Christian religion, even if parents, the students, and scientists object. If students want to learn about creationism, they can do so in church. But in science class, only fact based theories that are supported by real evidence should be taught. The death of these bills is a big victory for science and reason and ensures our kids get a quality education.