Saturday, January 14, 2012

Clearly Bon Has To Go Find Some People

PZ Myers flags this legislation under consideration in the Missouri House.  It seems HB1227 would not only redefine "intelligent design creationism" as actual science, it would then require that textbooks and classes in Missouri schools be forced to teach it as acceptable science along with "scientific theory" evolution.

It's bad enough that the bill attempts to redefine not just intelligent design but the process of science itself through legislation, but then the bill happily forces teachers to treat intelligent design and evolution as equals by radically re-categorizing what science actually means , which is a bit like saying every time you order your favorite meal at a restaurant, you must also be punched in the crotch, because both of them are equally satisfying according to the definition of "satisfying" placed in legislation by Republicans.  The practical upshot:  under this bill Missouri's kids will eat their intelligent design and they will like it.  (Also, the bill specifically says teachers can't call out either "theory" as crap, but must teach them as actual accepted science.)

And before you say "Well that's going to make it hard to get into college when you graduate with a background in basic science that has built-in air quotes", the law applies to universities and colleges in Missouri too, defined as "any introductory science course taught at any public institution of higher education in this state" having to meet criteria like this:

"If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught. If biological intelligent design is taught, any proposed identity of the intelligence responsible for earth's biology shall be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation and teachers shall not question, survey, or otherwise influence student belief in a nonverifiable identity within a science course."

In other words, college professors and instructors in biology have to teach intelligent design as serious science, and they have to like it. Full stop.  I'm thinking this bill will most likely die a slow and ignominious death in committee, but then again, anything involving Republicans and science always seems to end very badly for the country.

This makes me want to become a legislator, slap the definition of "douchebag" in a bill, then require that all Republicans be referred to as such in any official state capacity.

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