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Legislating Evolution


The end of state legislative sessions has brought the death of a batch of evolution-related bills in various state capitols. One of those measures was aimed not at critiquing the landmark theory, or the man who pioneered it, Charles Darwin, but rather at taking on prominent British scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins.

Legislation emerged and receded in recent months in three states, Alabama, Missouri, and Oklahoma, according to the National Center for Science Education, which defends the teaching of evolution. (For a more exhaustive search of bills from around the country, go to the center's web site directly.)

An Alabama proposal sought to promote "academic freedom" in discussions of evolution—using language that closely resembled the wording of proposals in other states. The measure would have protected teachers and other school officials from being fired or disciplined for presenting "scientific information" on various topics, including "biological or chemical origins." Defenders of similar proposals in other states have argued that being allowed to question evolution is a constitutional right. Critics say the measures open the door to presenting misleading depictions of evolution in classrooms.

A bill in Missouri, meanwhile, called for school officials to allow students "to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues, including biological and chemical evolution." Most scientists, of course, say there is nothing controversial about evolution, one of the most vetted theories in all of science.

One of the most peculiar evolution proposals (actually, a pair of them) to come and go this spring arose in Oklahoma, where a lawmaker introduced bills denouncing a visit by prominent British biologist Richard Dawkins, who also happens to be an atheist, to the University of Oklahoma. The two bills, HR 1014 and HR 1015 were introduced by Todd Thomsen, a Republican lawmaker. With the end of the session, and Dawkins' speech before Sooner Nation on March 6, the bills now seem moot.


One of the bills criticized the university's department of zoology of promoting a "one-sided indoctrination of an unproven and unpopular theory." The bill further stated that Dawkins, pictured at right, has made statements about evolution that "demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking and are views that are not shared and are not representative of the thinking of a majority of the citizens of Oklahoma."

Perhaps it's best to let Dawkins speak for himself. Here's a video of his lecture at the university.

"Well I don't want to blow my own trumpet," he told the crowd at one point, "but it isn't everybody who's the subject of legislation."


Thankfully Darwin's discovery of evolution completely rules out the possibility that man came from some dirt that a god used to make an image of himself out of, and that woman came from a rib of this dirt-man.

Compare the amount of interlocking data from every applicable scientific field including geology, physics, and even molecular biology, all having observational experiments done, that test and prove the hypotheses of evolution occurring, with the DISCREDITED FAIRY TALE - a big invisible monster that nobody has ever seen or heard did it.

It is frightening that mass delusions of supernatural beings still exist today. It is the same thing as saying that my invisible fire breathing dragon is more powerful than your multi-headed fire spewing sea monster. So, come around to my way of thinking or I will commit atrocities for it.

Everything from the murderous blood stained Sky Daddy who drowned virtually all humanity and other life, sentenced everyone to leave Utopia after Eve (persuaded by a talking snake) ate a magical apple, had Jonah take a ride in the belly of a whale, ruined the life of Job, told Abraham to murder his own kid, killed all the first born of Egypt, had his chosen people commit genocide on the original inhabitants of Palestine, to letting his own son be nailed to some wood so mankind could party with a ghost - is a FAIRY TALE that humanity needs to reject if we are to see many more generations.

By the way if you are dumb enough to believe that this fable is real; in the Bible, the murder count is God/millions - Devil/zero. Whom would you rather spend time with, a vengeful monster or a “fallen” angel who thought he had a better way? I am NOT promoting the Devil, just illustrating the craziness in this stupidity.

Hopefully if you were previously deluded, after reading this you will see how foolish you have been. Society needs to accelerate its retreat from worshiping outlandishly absurd fictional psychopathic beings.

There is no middle ground.

For one, there clearly is a debate if half the country believes one thing and the other half believes another (and half don't know one way or the other - and I know that doesn't add up to 100%).

If there is a debate, then schools would be a great place to have the debate.

If there isn't a debate then there should be some scientific experiment that should be done in every school to show evolution between species. Schools are a great thing for classic experiments like gravity, chemical reactions, red blood cells under a microscope, etc.

I even heard they were considering doing a Mythbusters on natural selection vs. creation but couldn't come up with a way to prove evolution or disprove creation (or vice versa).

Maybe not as "vetted" as we've been asked to believe.

Debate? Hardly. There's the theory of evolution, which is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientists whose specialization it's relevant to (read: those who know what they're talking about). And there's a lot of creationist bullshit being thrown at it for political and religious reasons - particularly because it contradicts the literalist Christian view of man being directly created.

When one side has evidence and the other is occupied full-time with finding ways to lie about and marginalize that evidence because it has none of its own, that's not called a debate. That's a propaganda campaign, and we would be doing all of our children a disservice if we allowed the propaganda to control the way they're taught.

Hell, even if there *were* a real debate about it, with evidence on either side, K-12 is not the place to have it. Science classes at that level just give a condensed background of their fields; it's our responsibility to give our students the most accurate information we have about the world, and in that respect evolution is right up there with gravity and plate tectonics. Or should we have a "debate" about plate tectonics, too, since it can't be conveniently demonstrated in a classroom?

bruce, not being able to demonstrate evolution in a high school classroom does not mean that it is not a scientifically valid and accepted theory. For example, demonstrating geologic processes that take millions of years would be quite difficult to reproduce experimentally in a classroom.

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