Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Indiana Lawmaker Tries to Give Students Rights They Already Have

Over in Indiana, Sen. Dennis Kruse (obviously a Republican), recently failed to push through a bill to Creationism. I guess it's too much to expect that a guy that writes laws would know something about them. Like that the Supreme Court stated that teaching Creationism in public schools was unconstitutional in 1987. Fortunately, other people knew and that didn't get passed.

Not deterred, Kruse is trying a new typical strategy. It's been the ID/Creationist strategy ever since they got their asses kicked at Dover. They realize they can't teach the non-existent controversy, so instead, they try to get people to question evolution so they can push non-existent criticisms assuming that the teacher is sympathetic to Creationism, or if they're not, enough students can harass the teacher and disrupt the class that the teacher will be forced to give the section up due to the prohibitive amount of time it would take to address every single false "question".

The new bill basically ensures that students are free to question the teachers. Which in truth, they already are. Students are encouraged to ask questions. Teachers can and should be ready and able to answer them.

This bill is new in that the teachers would have to cite the research to support their answer. This is where the trick lies and takes it from simple questioning to harassment. It doesn't say, simply the "evidence", but the "research". So teachers would be forced to have a library of specific research that was done for every given topic. Which often is contrary to how science works, especially on the big topics.

See, the deal is that it is very rare that a single bit of research establishes an entire field. So saying "what piece of research proves common descent" is a question that a teacher can't given an answer to. Because it's not a "piece" of research. It's a body and teachers would now be required to provide, on demand, massive amounts of research.

Thus, all a student would have to do to disrupt an entire week of class, would be to ramble off a Gish Gallop of dishonest Creationist "criticisms" of evolution, and the teacher would now be required to answer every one of them, in detail. That's not conducive to teaching. That's not conducive to learning.

Which is precisely what Creationists want.


thirdtruck said...

I wonder whether research into cognitive biases, along with the psychological and sociological components of religious belief, would suffice for this bill.

Stephen Uitti said...

So, one can say that Creationism isn't just anti-science, it's anti-education. And, we have proof.

Mary Shevlin said...

there is a more practical reason why they use "research" in the wording of the proposed bill. in the creationist world there is only one piece of research that explains everything - the bible.

nullifidian said...

It would almost be worth having this bill pass to see how they plan to enforce it. To force professors to answer questions in the manner the bill demands that they be answered amounts to compelled speech, which is flagrantly unconstitutional.

But usually these idiotic bills die in committee, because they're designed for politicians to go back to their communities and say, "See? I TRIED to stick up for JEEzus, but those darned humanists at the statehouse killed my bill!"