Like a tenacious superbug that resists all efforts to eradicate it, the attempts of the religious right to fill the minds of our children with superstitious, pseudo-scientific “alternatives” to the long-established Theory of Darwinian Evolution persist. Returning to the hallowed halls of our state capitol, term after term, is usually some attack on reason, science and education. Last year it was the infamous Academic Freedom Bill. “Academic Freedom.” Republicans are such masters of obfuscation!
Let our state and the nation fall into economic chaos, let the tragically disadvantaged go unserved, and let the health and safety of their constituents and their environment remain at risk—some of our duly elected legislators seem more interested in pursuing the educational implications of how a Biblical God is a more valid authority in certain matters than hard science. This latest assault on reason, House Bill 1227—The Missouri Standard Science Act looks to die the obscure death it deserves. It would propose to mandate the teaching of an “alternative” theory of biology and creation, or Intelligent Design. If you are going to teach Evolution in the public schools of Missouri, the bill states, you have to teach Intelligent Design. The science textbooks must reflect this directive as well. Tennessee and Louisiana have similar laws on the books in their states. It makes just as much sense to teach Holocaust-denial in history classes and Flat-Earth Theory in geography.