Iowa ‘academic freedom’ bill dies a quiet death 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — Yet another attempt to weasel creationism/Intelligent Design into public schools has died after an “academic freedom” bill failed to leave a subcommittee in the Iowa legislature yesterday.

The bill purportedly would have protected instructors from punishment or job loss if they presented “scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific views regarding chemical and biological evolution.” In fact, it was a ploy to enable suitably minded instructors to teach creationism or ID alongside evolutionary theory. Wording that is almost identical appears on a web page sponsored by the Discovery Institute, a pro-ID “thinktank.”

Full details are at The Panda’s Thumb.

Lest you think the bill might have had merit, allow me to provide a brief introduction to “creation science.” ID is just a variation of creationism, accepting an older age of the universe.

Creationism holds that:

  • The account in Genesis is literal and true.
  • God created everything in six days, about 6,000 years ago.
  • Before Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, all animals were vegetarians, death was non-existent, and predation/parasitism were unnecessary.
  • God got pissed at Adam and Eve, and that wily serpent in the Tree, and cursed them with unending toil, mortality, and slithering on the ground. With the Fall, God also rebooted Creation 1.0 to introduce carnivorism, predation, parasitism and all the unhappy biological problems all His creatures now face.
  • At this time, dinosaurs and other now-extinct organisms co-existed with humans. (The Fred Flintstone Hypothesis). They were wiped out, and the fossil record created, with the Great Flood that chased Noah, et al., into a big boat. Instead of rebooting Earth, God just wiped the hard drive and reinstalled Creation 2.0
  • The organisms now living have always existed in their current forms since Creation 2.0. Evolution does not exist, and Earth’s organisms do not have a common ancestor. It goes without saying that humans and apes are not related at all.

Believe it or not, some teachers in the US have actually managed to teach this nonsense in public schools. Ohio’s John Freshwater is but one notable example.

So, if your legislatures are considering similar “academic freedom” measures, be forewarned. The wolf is wearing sheep’s clothing.

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2 thoughts on “Iowa ‘academic freedom’ bill dies a quiet death

  1. Reply Darcy Mar 14,2009 12:45 pm

    That’s scary stuff. Glad it didn’t pass, or even get far off the first desk! I don’t mind people teaching religion in a religion class, but I really don’t like mixing it as fact with science. I’m not much for religion classes in public schools either. If your kids need religious education that badly, do it at home as a family, or go to church..or both. I’m not sure if I really would want it as an optional course in a public school…UNLESS it was a World Religions class and gave equal weight to all religions. There’s no way in hell that’d happen in an American public school, though.

  2. Reply eljefe Mar 15,2009 9:30 am

    Teaching religion in the U.S. public schools is a dicey situation. In some schools, like in metro New York, there is such a multiplicity of beliefs that a comparative religion class might actually work. In some parts of Kentucky, for example, it might be hard to find a teacher who could teach such a course well and without bias.

    As a lit major, I discovered I had to read the Bible so I could catch the allusions to it in the novels I was reading. I grew up “unchurched,” so my Bible study was self-inflicted.

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