Mississippi dips its toe into antireality

The entire universe in blog form
Jan. 19 2010 7:00 AM

Mississippi dips its toe into antireality

[Update: some commenters are saying this bill is dead in the water. That's music to my ears! Let's hope that info is correct. We'll see soon enough.]

Mississippi state representative Gary Chism has decided that science is stupid. After all, he submitted House Bill 586 to the legislature, which is in part,

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Advertisement

AN ACT TO REQUIRE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS TO INCLUDE AN INSTRUCTIONAL LESSON ON THE EVOLUTION OF HUMANITY IN ITS HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY CURRICULUM, WHICH SHALL BE TAUGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BIOLOGY COURSE; TO REQUIRE THAT THE CURRICULUM BE BASED ON CERTAIN EVIDENTIARY FACTS AND SCIENTIFIC DATA; TO REQUIRE THAT THE LESSON NOT BE BIASED THROUGH SELECTIVE INSTRUCTION; TO REQUIRE THAT THE LESSON HAVE EQUAL INSTRUCTION FROM EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS THAT PRESENT ARGUMENTS FROM BOTH PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION

[ALL THAT SHOUTING is in the original bill.]

This is obviously another attempt by antireality anti-Constitution creationists to ram their religion down the throats of students. Chism, by the way, tried to get a disclaimer put into biology textbooks last year because he has mistaken the Bible for a science textbook. Anyway, if this bill passes, Mississippi will join the lofty ranks of such places as Texas, Kansas, and Dover, Pennsylvania as the laughing stocks of the nation and the world at large.

But there's a funny thing in the bill. About teaching evolution, it 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.

Well, hey, I agree with that! Let them pass this bill! Because, of course, there is no scientifically sound argument by antagonists of evolution.

Creationists. Is there no dumbosity they can't surpass?

The NCSE has more info. And if you live in Mississippi, especially District 37 where Chism supposedly represents the people, you may want to make your voice heard.

But if this bill does pass, then, of course:

doomed_mississippi

Tip o' the Old Man River to Chad Gardner.

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your children is perfectly legal. 

Ken Burns on Why Teddy Roosevelt Would Never Get Elected in 2014

Cops Briefly Detain Django Unchained Actress Because They Thought She Was a Prostitute

Minimalist Cocktail Posters Make Mixing Drinks a Cinch

How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest of jewels.

Books

Rainbow Parties and Sex Bracelets

Where teenage sex rumors come from—and why they’re bad for parents and kids.

Books

You Had to Be There

What we can learn from things that used to be funny.

Legendary Critic Greil Marcus Measures and Maps Rock History Through 10 Unlikely Songs

Catfish Creator Nev Schulman’s Book Is Just Like Him: Self-Deluded and Completely Infectious

Behold
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 14 2014 2:37 PM When Abuse Is Not Abuse Don’t expect Adrian Peterson to go to prison. In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 14 2014 7:10 PM Watch Michael Winslow Perform Every Part of “Whole Lotta Love” With Just His Voice
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?