Blame legal weed or blame Colorado’s constant battle between those who adorn their cars with Jesus fishes and those who prefer Darwin fishes, but in a state largely known for science, some in the state Senate and Legislature think it’s time for creationism to be brought into the schools…even colleges.
Two Colorado Senators and 10 Legislators (all Republicans) have sponsored what they call the “Academic Freedoms Act,” which would, “direct teachers to create an environment that encourages students to intelligently and respectfully explore scientific questions and learn about scientific evidence related to biological and chemical evolution, global warming, and human cloning.”
It all sounds pretty scientific, right? In truth, the bill does not explore biology, evolution and global warming as much as deny it. Versions of this bill have been introduced in several states. In fact, there’s little doubt that it was written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (or ALEC), an ultra-right wing corporate organization that writes virtually identical laws which are pushed through Congress, unread, even by their sponsors. This bill is a bit different though, in that it includes not just K-12, but it also includes state colleges.
Ironically, the University of Colorado is consistently ranked very highly for its science programs. As Phil Plait of Slate notes: “There are four major space science centers here (CU-Boulder, SwRI, the Space Science Institute, and Ball Aerospace), two major atmospheric research centers (UCAR and NCAR), as well as NIST and many other well-known science research centers.”
Colorado does have a strong Evangelical presence. A Pew poll found that 23% of Coloradans called themselves Evangelical, but they are outranked by the largest segment polled, unaffiliated. Colorado’s Governor and both its Senators are Democrats. Obama handily won Colorado, twice. It is also the third best educated state in the nation, behind only Maryland and Massachusetts. In other words, Colorado is not what people would typically think of as a state which would teach creationism.
This is the first time since 1972 that a bill like this has been brought to the House, but sources within the Legislature believe that the fate will be similar. It isn’t expected to make it out of committee.
|Wendy Gittleson is a seasoned writer, a dog lover and an avid political junkie. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. In her rare down times, you’ll find her somewhere in the mountains or near the beach. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson|