Education Religion Wingnuts

Oklahoma GOP: Legitimizing ‘Jesus Rode a Dinosaur’ in Science Class

Under new legislation proposed by Oklahoma Republicans, teachers would be prohibited from punishing a student for turning in a science paper that in no way reflects science.

via Mother Jones

In biology class, public school students can’t generally argue that dinosaurs and people ran around Earth at the same time, at least not without risking a big fat F. But that could soon change for kids in Oklahoma: On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Common Education committee is expected to consider a House bill that would forbid teachers from penalizing students who turn in papers attempting to debunk almost universally accepted scientific theories such as biological evolution and anthropogenic (human-driven) climate change. [...]

Gus Blackwell, the Republican state representative who introduced the bill, insists that his legislation has nothing to do with religion; it simply encourages scientific exploration. “I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks,” says Blackwell, who previously spent 20 years working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

The bill, HB1674, would reportedly encourage students to question topics that “cause controversy.”

Let’s be real — the only reason a young student would question the merits of evolution and climate change is if his or her parents told them to, and the only reason their parents would question it is because Fox News and Hate Radio told them to.

The only reason these are “controversial” topics is because word that they should considered as such was passed down through the chain of command from corporations and religious organizations to the conservative think tanks which they fund who then deliver a set of talking points to Fox News and Hate Radio shock jocks.

What we sometimes refer to as the “conservative entertainment complex” is a complex system of grifting and astroturfing that sometimes results in abominable legislation such as this finding its way into our state houses.

Behind every denial of climate change or evolution, there’s someone making a lot of money.

  • mzmijewski

    Conservative think tank – oxymoron right?

  • muselet

    Assume the bill passes and gets signed into law and withstands the court challenges. Is any university in the world, other than those in Oklahoma, going to look favorably on a potential science major whose high school diploma is from Oklahoma? Is any patient, seeing a diploma from an Oklahoma university on the wall of his or her doctor, not going to run a mile?

    But I suppose Gus Blackwell or his ideological heir will then propose a law that forbids penalizing Oklahomans for going through Oklahoma schools.

    I feel for the kids who just want a quality education.


  • trgahan

    You know you’re whole world view to total bullshit when you have to pass legislation like this to get it equal standing.
    A deftly crafted piece of legislation, they made sure students who turn in history papers arguing the Second Amendment was only for regulating state militias or that the founding fathers weren’t all post-1968 southern Baptist Republicans are not similarly protected as the children of right wing fundamentalists in science class.

  • Christopher Foxx

    … students who turn in papers attempting to debunk almost universally accepted scientific theories …

    I’ve got no problem whatsoever with students writing papers attempting to challenge current scientific understanding. It’s following in Galileo’s footsteps. I’d take points off if their reasoning isn’t sound, as would be appropriate to do to a paper a student writes on any subject.

    Obviously Blackwell et al’s goal isn’t to further the advancement of science by testing current thought. But the reaction to him shouldn’t be something that smacks of “students shouldn’t be allowed to question evolution.” No, let them. Hell, encourage them to do so. And when their papers come back with their faulty reasoning pointed out, maybe they’ll start to question whether their opposition to evolution (or whatever) is correct.

    After all, we WANT kids to question established thinking. How else are they ever going to reject the evolution-is-just-a-theory dogma your evil corporations and religious organizations and conservative think tanks are pounding into them?

    • JMAshby

      You missed the part where teachers would be prohibited from calling students out when they get the science wrong.

      • Christopher Foxx

        No, didn’t miss that. It just wasn’t the part I was commenting on.