National Science Ed Center on Anti-Evolution Bill: "Last Thing Missouri Teachers Need"

Categories: Education

Thumbnail image for Rep Rick Brattin.jpg
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The Missouri legislature is getting national attention again -- and not exactly the good kind. As we reported last week, Representative Rick Brattin, a Republican, is pushing a proposal to mandate that "intelligent design" be taught in all Missouri schools alongside evolution, telling us that he's a "huge science buff," who believes different origin theories should get equal treatment. His comments got him some love from Mother Jones magazine, and now the National Center for Science Education is weighing in. Unsurprisingly, they aren't pleased.

"This is the last thing Missouri teachers need," says Eugenie Scott, executive director of NCSE. "Particularly since his definition and understanding of allegedly scientific defintions are simply wrong."

House Bill 291, called the Missouri Standard Science Act, as we outlined last week, would mandate that textbooks covering any scientific theory of biological origin devote equal treatment to evolution and intelligent design.

creationism controversy.jpeg
via ncse.com

It goes into close detail about how evolution must be presented based on the interpretation of "theory" and "hypothesis" that he lays out in the bill, and the legislation mandates specifics on how schools should go about changing their curricula and textbooks.

"He's defining scientific subjects that teachers are then directed to teach," Scott tells Daily RFT. "This is just unprecedented."

Her group works to defend the teaching of evolution and climate change in schools across the country.

While Brattin told us that his legislation is not about religion or creationism, Scott says it's pretty obvious what he's trying to do and that he is relying on past creationist literature to explain it. She points to his use of "naturalistic means" in the bill, in which he argues that the "theory" of evolution assumes a natural origin and thus excludes other possible "intelligent design" scenarios. The bill, full version on view below, says:

"Biological evolution", a theory of the origin of life and its ascent by naturalistic means. The first simple life was developed from basic elements and simple molecules through the mechanisms of random combinations, naturally occurring molecular structures, other naturalistic means, and millions of years. From the first simple life, all subsequent species developed through the mechanisms of random variation, mutation, natural selection, adaptation, segregation, other naturalistic means, and millions of years. The theory is illustrated by the evolutionary phylogenic tree. Theory philosophically demands only naturalistic causes and denies the operation of any intelligence, supernatural event, God or theistic figure in the initial or subsequent development of life.

So while Brattin is presenting it as an "equal treatment" bill, if you read between the lines, Scott says it's clear that the intent here would be to actually remove evolution entirely from the curriculum -- given that it defines evolution as a theory that excludes others/

"He has...a confused understanding of how science works," says Scott.

Continue for more of our interview with Eugenie Scott and for a full draft of the bill.


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37 comments
doodlebugger
doodlebugger

MR BRATTIN, You should write down your ideas overturning evolution, send them to a science journal and collect your NOBEL PRIZE.

   You don't need a law to teach critical thinking in science. Thats what science is. You do need a law to teach creationism. Your "bill" was written by The Discovery institute, known to scientists as The Dishonesty Institute. They are a bunch of lying incompetent non scientific fraudulent creationists.

And now, SO ARE YOU. Congratualtions dim wit. :)

photoshock
photoshock

The thought of someone teaching all the creation stories is ludicrous. Buddhists have their own creation myths, Muslims have theirs, Jews have their own creation stories, Zoroastrians have their own creation stories as well. Are all these going to be taught alongside scientific facts and the "scientific theory" of evolution? 

One thing is clear, the people who propose that Intelligent Design be taught alongside evolution are enormously ignorant of the facts. Evolution does not speak to nor does it have anything to do with abiogenesis. Abiogenesis is the theory of how things started on the earth not evolution and the fact is that abiogenesis is still being debated within scientific circles. No one theory as of yet can adequately explain how life came to be on earth. Evolution explains the diversity of life on earth not the start. So if these people want to teach all the theories of how life started, then they should be allowed to. But only if all the creation stories are taught and not just one.

slade
slade

Not only is ID not science (even it's most ardent supporters admit that they do not have a theory on the origin and diversity of life yet), it's not legal.

Go read Kitzmiller v. Dover.  Open and shut, case law established, far beyond reasonable doubt.  If you enjoy writing checks to the FFRF and ACLU, then by all means, support this moronic politician's personal religious view (he is clearly lying for jeebus).

Michael Mytzlplyk
Michael Mytzlplyk

Yeah, lets just throw science right out the window and tell people they were created by some invisible man in the sky that will send us to an eternity of hell, suffering, burning, and choking... but loves us... After all, it has worked out so well for the Catholic Church.

James Madison
James Madison

Science theories are constantly being tested and revised. Whatever theory is currently advanced, some day it will be proven wrong, and a new theory to take its place. Science in itself is not the goal for students. Critical thinking is. All popular theories should be taught. To pretend billions of people do not believe in creationism or intelligent design is folly. Science should be about the learning, the testing, the challenging of ideas. Present both views. Stop brainwashing children. Let their minds grow with ideas - even an idea you do not like.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Science should present competing theories. Especially theories that billions of people believe. Whether the theory is right or wrong is not the issue. Science teaches us to thing. Science never "proves" anything. Everything we thought we knew now is changing, and what we think we know now will eventually change in the future. This is real science. the more we learn, the less we really know.

cjharman
cjharman

2 thumbs up for Rick Brattin!!! Also, let's be clear, the bill does not have the subject of "Anti-Evolution"

Bill Jacobs
Bill Jacobs

as long as the flying spaghetti monster gets his time as well

Adam Hardebeck
Adam Hardebeck

I just want to say it is nice to see some people here actually have a brain. Maybe Missouri as a whole isn't doomed after all.

Jennifer Krieger
Jennifer Krieger

I don't "believe" in evolution. I understand it. Belief has no place in science.

Elizabeth Kurz
Elizabeth Kurz

And as a Catholic, we actually don't believe in ID. :) We whole heatedly believe in evolution and have since Darwin.

Heather Ervin
Heather Ervin

Adam, intelligent design is hardly a theory. Theories have scientific evidence to back them up (experiments are performed). So, again, it should not be taught outside of a religious studies class.

Elizabeth Kurz
Elizabeth Kurz

God help us....ID should NEVER be taught in schools. Unless it's a religion class and they're going to learn about all religions. You teach that crap at home.

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

Adam, again, you are missing the point. World religion class is an appropriate place to teach intelligent design, but it absolutely, 100% should not be taught as a scientific theory. Believe it or not, art IS taught as science. Kids are taught the color spectrum and what that means. They are taught mathematical concepts in art and music and social studies is scientific study unto itself. Even phys ed uses science. These things have components that are measurable, observable, testable. Intelligent design does not. This bill is calling for all science books used to give equal treatment to evolution and intelligent design. Do you honestly want to publicly state here that you believe intelligent design belongs in a science class? Not just as part of general curriculum, but in science class?

Jeri Michelle Reuter
Jeri Michelle Reuter

I think it is important to research a school before you send your children there. Do they teach the kinds of things you want your children to be taught? Send them there. If not, keeping looking. Public schools are important and good - but it is a basic education. If you want something more specialized, send them to a specialized school. There are plenty of schools out there that teach both. Even in Catholic schools though, as an example, "intelligent design" is taught during religion class. Not science.

Jennifer Krieger
Jennifer Krieger

Calling something a theory does not make it a legitimate scientific theory. We cannot teach creation myths using scientific terms as science as maintain any level of credibility.

Christina Kroeger
Christina Kroeger

students need to be taught critical thinking and problem solving skills. they should have access to all available theories and make decisions for themselves. i'm tired of fanatics on either side trying to push their agenda. i believe all religions are made up nonsense but i also believe that some scientists push an agenda, as well.

Jennifer Krieger
Jennifer Krieger

Just because some people are ignorant enough to believe something doesn't mean we should teach it in schools. The only appropriate way to use "intelligent design" in a classroom is to teach critical thinking skills. It is not a scientific theory and does not belong in a science classroom. What if people still thought the world was flat? Should we teach that "theory" as well? Assuming you were actually taught there were seven planets...Discovering new planets does not mean the other seven you learned about were lies. Wth? Evolution is not explained thoroughly enough in schools.

Bill Taden
Bill Taden

I say u can't teach what u really don't know. Has anybody else had that experience? Take science for example: I was told there was only 7 planets now there is 9 or 10 now?

Jeff Woodle
Jeff Woodle

Should we also teach about Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster because there are still a lot of people who believe in them? You don't teach it in science class because it's not science.

Adam Hahs
Adam Hahs

In my opinion, your all thinking of this in a narrow-minded way. ( no offense intended) many things are taught in school that are not "scientific" arts, social studies, so forth. My point is that intelligent design is a big part of our culture. It is also, the most commonly used argument against the science. what would be the harm in presenting it. I am not a fundamentalist of any sort. I am more or less agnostic. no agenda, just an honest feeeling of mine.

Jay Brandt
Jay Brandt

Missouri can then join us here in Northern Kentucky...home of the Creation Museum, where children are taught to distrust science, teachers and facts in general. I've had 3rd graders argue with me when discussing the age of fossils in class, or the time line of dinosaurs, or the date of anything beyond 6,000 yrs ago..."because the earth wasn't created yet Mr. B.". Yet another point scored for ignorance...and we wonder why jobs are being shipped overseas??

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

Adam, Native American tribes each have their own creation story. There are literally thousands of "theories" out there but only the theory of evolution is able to be replicated in any way for science experiments in the class room. Stop thinking that "theory" means "Scientific Theory". It does not.

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

You can mention it as theroy sure ... You should debate how there is no credible science to back it ... But change the name ... The is no intelligence in dogma ... You also can not give equal time to "cuz the Bible says" to centuries of research

Jim Descher
Jim Descher

It's going to be taught as science. It is not. Adam...what if you made up your own theory...should we teach that too?

Mike Nehr
Mike Nehr

This comes a day after Charles Darwin's birthday. Ha!

Adam Hahs
Adam Hahs

Look, I am a pragmatic person. I think anyone who says they know for sure how we got here is lying. I think ALL major theories should be presented. While some would argue that "intelligent design" isn't as credible or scientific as evolution, there are still a lot of people who believe it. whats the harm in presenting it?

Jim Descher
Jim Descher

How would it impact the classroom? Our kids would be dumb.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

No more of this dumbing down of America.  ID is not a science, it is a fairy tale.  The Flintstones are not a documentary.  

Its time to stop these morons from trying to push their idiotic ideals.  Just because they could not follow what they were supposed to learn does not mean they get to dumb everyone else down to their level.

doodlebugger
doodlebugger

Creationism is not science. Period. Therefore, it is not presented in science class. And, if you do have some data or research that overturns the theory of evolution, you need to write it down, submit it to a science journal and collect your Nobel Prize.

 Otherwise, you might try thinking and getting an  education before you advocate teaching children that magic has a place in understanding the scientific method. You sure don't. Dim wit.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

@JamesMadison ID is not a competing theory.  It is not even a science.  And belief does not make something a science. 

Plus your number of "billions" is VERY far fetched since it is primarily believed in only here in the USA and there are not that many people that live here.

doodlebugger
doodlebugger

CJ. Brattin was coached by the Discovery Institute, a creationist PR tank. You need to think before you open your pie hole dim bulb.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

@cjharman Yet it does if you actually paid attention to what was said.  No more faith based mythology in our science classes.  Kids are confused enough without throwing fairy tales into the mix.

doodlebugger
doodlebugger

You don't need a law to teach critical thinking in science. Thats what science is. you need a law to teach creationism. because its not and is not mentioned in ANY credible scientific textbooks, endorseed or taught by ANY credible university science department, not legal in public schools according to the US Supreme Court and Federal Courts and rejected by most mainstream Christian denominations(NCSE website church statements). Whoever is filling your head with this idiotic creationism rhetorhic is an idiot. Think for your self. WHY isn't creationism taught at university science departments. Because its not science. Its non credible attacks on logic, reason and the scientific method by non scientist clerics and fundamenatlists. Get an education.

doodlebugger
doodlebugger

Adama,

  Write down your ideas, send them to a science journal and collect your Nobel Prize.

NO scientific law or theory with credibility is based on MAGIC. Miracles are not testable, repeatble or verifiable. They are NOT SCIENCE. Get an education.

doodlebugger
doodlebugger

Adam, There are NO credible major theories in  creationism. It is not science . Hello. Try doing some reading or just well, shut the pie hole before you convince everyone you're dumber than a box of hammers.

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