Good news for the integrity of science and church-state separation in South Dakota: The state House Education Committee on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have opened the door to teaching “intelligent design” – which is really just creationism – in public school science classrooms.
If some South Dakota legislators have their way, the state’s public school students soon may be learning the “alternative facts” version of science: Senate Bill 55 could open the door to creationism being taught in classrooms.
Republican Sen. Jeff Monroe sponsored the bill to “protect the teaching of certain scientific information,” which allows teachers to introduce “in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information.”
Ken Ham has been on quite a tear against Americans United lately. The Australian creationist is all worked up because AU continues to point out the inconvenient fact that he built his Ark Encounter park, a re-creation of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, in part on the backs of the state’s taxpayers.
There has been a lot of speculation about how President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to run the U.S. Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, might affect the issue of private school vouchers.
DeVos is known primarily for her advocacy of vouchers, and Trump has backed a nationwide plan with a staggering price tag of $20 billion. Many people are rightly alarmed.
But there’s another education-related issue we ought to be concerned about as well: creationism.
This month, we witnessed an election upset that shocked the nation. It led to many fearing for the future, including people of color, women and LGBTQ Americans.
But there is another potential casualty of a Trump presidency: science education.
The state of Kansas has a complicated relationship with the theory of evolution.
In 1999, the state attracted international attention when the Kansas Board of Education voted to remove virtually all references to evolution from the science standards.
Yesterday, AU’s Communications Director Rob Boston wrote a blog post about the Religious Right-empowered issues the United States may face if the Trump administration implements some of its campaign’s talking points, and Legislative Director Maggie Garrett discussed the results of some ballot referenda.
A Kansas-based creationist group has lost a legal challenge to science education standards in public schools. Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) filed suit against the Kansas Board of Education in 2013 to block implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards because, COPE asserted, they encouraged schools to promote atheism to children.
On Dec. 20, 2005, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania handed down an important ruling in a case challenging the teaching of “intelligent design” creationism in public schools.
In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Jones struck down a policy that had been approved by members of the school board in Dover, Pa., a small town of about 2,000 residents. His ruling was a slam dunk, making it clear that intelligent design (ID) is not science.