A Republican state legislator in Missouri, which is still vying for the title of “new Alabama” along with Arizona and Tennessee, wants to force college kids in the state to learn about “the destiny” of the universe, galaxies and the human race. Rick Brattin — who calls himself “a huge science buff” — also wants to force the redefinition, in law, of the phrase “scientific theory” to include “faith-based philosophy.” So this way, priests could call themselves “scientists,” and creationism would be “science.”
Why stop there? Why not just redefine the word “lie” to mean “truth” and cut out the middle man? After all, that is what all of this is about. Creationism doesn’t pass the smell test of science so the Republican party will either destroy science, deny science, or simply redefine science by legislative fiat.
Once again we see the brute force brutality of the Republican party, willing to legislate anything and everything, so long as it advances their hateful, backward, neanderthal agenda.
HB 291, the “Missouri Standard Science Act,” redefines a few things you thought you already knew about science. For example, a “hypothesis” is redefined as something that reflects a “minority of scientific opinion and is “philosophically unpopular.” A scientific theory is “an inferred explanation…whose components are data, logic and faith-based philosophy.” And “destiny” is not something that $5 fortune tellers believe in; Instead, it’s “the events and processes that define the future of the universe, galaxies, stars, our solar system, earth, plant life, animal life, and the human race.”The bill requires that Missouri elementary and secondary schools—and even introductory science classes in public universities—give equal textbook space to both evolution and intelligent design (any other “theories of origin” are allowed to be taught as well, so pick your favorite creation myth—I’m partial to the Russian raven spirit.) “I can’t imagine any mainstream textbook publisher would comply with this,” Meikle says. “The material doesn’t exist.”
I guess it’s time to stop sending your kids to state colleges in Missouri. If the Republican party thinks college is meant to be their own personal Soviet-style indoctrination camp, then kids can spend their money in states that have already joined the 21st century.