South Dakota Legislators Want to Teach Creationism in Public Schools

The entire universe in blog form
Jan. 31 2014 7:45 AM

Short, Sweet, and Illegal

I have to hand it to the South Dakota Senate. When its legislators introduce an illegal bill, they make it brief:

An Act to prohibit schools from preventing the instruction of intelligent design.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That chapter 13-33 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
No school board or school administrator may prohibit a teacher in public or nonpublic school from providing instruction on intelligent design or other related topics.
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That’s the whole bill, folks. Heck, the summary is almost longer than the bill itself!

Of course, brevity and legality are two different things. As I have pointed out many times before, teaching intelligent design in public schools is illegal, because ID is the same thing as creationism, and that’s religion, which is a no-no to teach in schools. In fact, it’s unconstitutional (that link goes to the written opinion of Judge John Jones in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case—a federal judge, and, I’ll note, a conservative one).

I have no idea what chance this bill has of being passed. But if you live in South Dakota, I urge you to contact your local representatives and let them know—politely, please—that what they are trying to do is a bad idea. The sponsors of the bill should probably understand this as well.

Tip o’ the Cdesign Proponentsists to, of course, Zack Kopplin.

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