Florida GOP Senator Resurrects Failed 2009 Creationism Bill

Anti-evolution bill makes a comeback, with more Republicans in the legislature
Wingnuts • Views: 31,622

In March 2009, Florida Republican science denier Sen. Stephen Wise introduced an anti-evolution bill that quickly died in the legislature for lack of support.

This year, though, after the influx of far right anti-science Tea Party candidates in 2010, Wise thinks his attempt to sneak creationism into public school science classes (based on the template developed by the anti-evolution Discovery Institute and used by Republicans in dozens of states) stands a better chance.

And he’s probably right.

DERPScience education advocates are alarmed by a bill before the Legislature that they say could force teachers to challenge evolution at the expense of settled science.

Stephen Wise, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, has resurrected legislation he authored in 2009 that calls for a “thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution.” Wise’s bill failed to pass in 2009.

The critical analysis approach originated at the Discovery Institute, a think tank that supports the teaching of intelligent design, which holds that evolution alone cannot explain life, which is so complex that it must have had a creator. …

Wise, R-Jacksonville, thinks his evolution bill may have a better chance this year because there are more conservatives in the Legislature and because he chairs a substantive committee.

“Why would you not teach both theories at the same time?” Wise said, referring to evolution and what he called “nonevolution.”

“You have critical thinking in school,” Wise added. “Why would you not do both?”

In 2009, Wise told WMNF radio he was concerned that students might be persecuted for wanting to talk about intelligent design.

Why do we still have apes if we came from them?” Wise, a retired educator, said during the interview with the Tampa radio station. “And those are the kind of questions kids need to ask themselves. You know, ‘how did we get here?’ And, you know, there’s more than one theory on this thing. And the theory is evolution, the other one is intelligent design.”

At this point, there’s little doubt that the ironically named Sen. Wise knows the difference between a scientific theory — a coherent, testable explanation for observed phenomena — and the completely non-scientific fraud known as “intelligent design.”

Yet, he (and every other creationist, for that matter) continues to parrot these nonsensical talking points.

“Why do we still have apes, if mah granddaddy was a ape?”

Deliberate dishonesty or pigheaded dimwittedness? You decide.

And please note that this throwback has managed to get himself into a position where his Dark Ages magical thinking is actually influential. Wise is the chairman of Florida’s Senate Education Committee. Argh.

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Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
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