More Stealth Creationist Bills in Five More States, As the DI Mask Slips in Virginia

Science • Views: 2,036

The deceptive “academic freedom” bills inspired and sponsored by the creationists at the Discovery Institute are multiplying out of control. In addition to the bills currently pending or already passed in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, creationists are also pushing very similar legislation in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina.

Senate Bill 433, introduced in the New Mexico Senate on February 2, 2009, and referred to the Senate Education Committee, is the third antievolution bill to be introduced in a state legislature in 2009. If enacted, the bill would require schools to allow teachers to inform students “about relevant scientific information regarding either the scientific strengths or scientific weaknesses pertaining to biological evolution or chemical evolution,” protecting teachers who choose to do so from “reassignment, termination, discipline or other discrimination for doing so.”

The phrase “academic freedom” is not present in the bill, but it is clearly in the mold of the recent spate of antievolution “academic freedom” bills. As NCSE’s Glenn Branch and Eugenie C. Scott recently wrote in Scientific American, “’Academic freedom’ was the creationist catchphrase of choice in 2008: the Louisiana Science Education Act was in fact born as the Louisiana Academic Freedom Act, and bills invoking the idea were introduced in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Missouri and South Carolina.” Oklahoma, with its Senate Bill 320, joined the list in 2009.

And for the anniversary of the birthday of Charles Darwin this February 12th, the Discovery Institute is also sponsoring Academic Freedom Day on college campuses. In a typical Orwellian passive-aggressive inversion of reality, they call this “honoring Charles Darwin.”

Discovery Institute “fellows” insist that their “intelligent design” agenda is different and distinct from creationism. This is necessary in order to promote these “academic freedom” bills, because the courts have repeatedly ruled against creationism in schools; hence the pretense.

But someone forgot to send that memo to Liberty Baptist University in Virginia, where they’re featuring two Disco Institute shills—Michael Behe and Paul Nelson—in events explicitly promoting “the Biblical view of creationism.”

As the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday — Feb. 12 — draws near, Liberty University will be hosting several events to counter this and to promote the biblical view of creationism. Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law, and LU’s Center for Creation Studies, directed by Dr. David DeWitt, have helped to coordinate the events. The events have been designed to explore the different aspects of evolution and point out the theory’s significant problems.

The first event is Liberty University School of Law’s 2009 Symposium, “Intelligent Design and Public School,” scheduled for today. The program from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Supreme Courtroom at the law school is free and features nationally-recognized legal scholars. The symposium concludes with biochemist and author of “Darwin’s Black Box,” Dr. Michael Behe, who will deliver the keynote address at Pate Chapel. Dr. Behe will be critiquing Darwin’s “Origin of Species.”

The law school will also be showing films on creation in the Supreme Courtroom. The movie “Expelled” will be shown in the Supreme Courtoom on Feb. 20. The film “Unlocking the Mysteries of Life” will be shown on Feb. 27. All the films will begin at 7 p.m.

A lecture, “Whatever Happened to Darwin’s Tree of Life?,” takes place at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 in DeMoss Hall 1113. The event will feature Dr. Paul Nelson, of the Discovery Institute, who will take a deeper look at genetics and evidence in DNA data disproving Darwin’s evolutionary theory that all life comes from a common ancestor.

And it gets even better, because as part of the same anti-evolution extravaganza, they’re also promoting young earth creationist Ken Ham from “Answers in Genesis:”

Thomas Road Baptist Church is also offering a special event this month. The Answers for Darwin Conference, Feb. 15-17, featuring Ken Ham, who founded the apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis.

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