A bill under consideration in Mississippi would allow science teachers to bring creationism and climate change denial into the classroom.
House Bill 50 "encourages students to explore scientific questions" and allows teachers to discuss "weaknesses" in the approved curriculum. The bill doesn't mention creationism by name but refers specifically to biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning.
While the text claims it does not promote religious doctrine, one of its sponsors admitted the bill is geared toward allowing educators to teach creationism in science classes.
"I just don’t want my teachers punished in any form or fashion for bringing creationism into the debate. Lots of us believe in creationism," Rep. Mark Formby told the Clarion-Ledger newspaper. "To say that creationism as a theory is any less valuable than any other theory that nobody can scientifically prove I just think is being close-minded."
The National Center for Science Education said the bill opens the door to letting educators teach just about anything.
The bill "would, if enacted, allow science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach anything they pleased -- and prohibit responsible educational authorities from intervening," the organization said.
Such views would include those shared by Formby, who in another interview dismissed the Big Bang theory while also showing that he doesn't seem to understand it.
"I don't want every student to be taught that the Big Bang theory is the rule but I don't mind them discussing that. In fact I want them to discuss that," Formby told WTVA. "Because from my opinion the more they discuss it the more ludicrous they will find that there was nothing -- nothing exploded and created everything."
Scientists do not believe "there was nothing" nor do they believe "nothing exploded and created everything."
As theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking explained:
"At this time, the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe, would have been on top of itself. The density would have been infinite. It would have been what is called, a singularity. At a singularity, all the laws of physics would have broken down."
Scientists do have other theories, although none involve a universe created in seven days by an all-knowing, all-powerful deity. For example, researchers last year created a model that suggested the universe may have had no beginning, but has existed forever.
Rep. John Moore (R), chair of the House Education Committee, co-authored the bill but told the Clarion-Ledger that he didn't carefully review it and said it was unlikely to come up for a vote.
Formby has previously backed legislation to slash funding from schools that don't display flags or lead the students in the "Pledge of Allegiance." He also supported a bill that would cut 10 more days from the school year.
(h/t Raw Story)
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