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Mississippi targeted by creationists

Mississippi can now lay claim to hosting the first anti-evolution bill of 2010, according to the National Center for Science Education. Gary Chism (R-District 37), who last year introduced a bill that would have required biology textbooks to include a classic creationist disclaimer about evolution, has sponsored this new bill, HB 586.

From the NCSE article:

[The bill] would, if enacted, require local school boards to include a lesson on human evolution at the beginning of their high school biology classes. The catch: "The lesson provided to students … shall have proportionately equal instruction from educational materials that present scientifically sound arguments by protagonists and antagonists of the theory of evolution."

Chism seems to be a classic creationist… meaning that he has no business poking his nose into the science education of our children. This is from the NCSE article referring to his 2009 bill…

Speaking to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (January 24, 2009), Chism was candid about his motivations for the bill [HB 25 from 2009], explaining, "Either you believe in the Genesis story, or you believe that a fish walked on the ground," and adding, "All these molecules didn’t come into existence by themselves." HB 25 died in committee on February 3, 2009.

Chism is obviously ignorant about evolution.

The (sort of) bright side is that the newly proposed bill also says…

The lesson provided to students shall not evidence bias through selective instruction on the theory of evolution, but rather, shall have proportionately equal instruction from educational materials that present scientifically sound arguments by protagonists and antagonists of the theory of evolution.

I’m amused by the phrase "selective instruction," but the good part is the phrase "educational materials that present scientifically sound arguments." As anyone who’s honestly studied evolution knows, there are no scientifically sound arguments against evolution… so Mississippi could be safe. I doubt Chism sees it that way, however, so perhaps we should still be worried.

Let’s hope HB 586 suffers the same fate as HB 25.

(via)

2 Comments

  1. David says:

    FYI. I contacted the chair of the house education committee yesterday (along with all of the committee members) and got the following two responses:

    From the chair: “Thanks for your email. The bill will not make it out of committee. I will not bring it forward.”

    From a member (complete with spelling error and/or unnecessary jibe at the opposing party): “Thank you for your input. Although I didn’t know about Chism’s bill, I’m not surprised such tripe came from him. It’s just the usual repuglican crap. I don’t think you have to worry about this bill getting out of the Education Committee. But on the slim chance that it does, its “evolution” will certainly end on the House floor. Again, thank you for your input. Please continue to “educate” me about any and all matter in which you are interested.”

    1. Dan says:

      That’s great to hear! Thanks for that info!

      It sounds like the “member” isn’t a fan of Chism. LOL!

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