In a bizarre, albiet unsurprising, bit of legislation, Missouri State Representative Rick Brattin is attempting to recast the definition of Science so that it includes faith-based philosophies. Here’s the actual wording:
‘Scientific theory,’ an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy.
Obviously, Brattin is attempting to sneak creationism into the Missouri school system, but he’s doing it with a refreshing level of bravado. Most politicians try to mask their creationist nuttery in scientific lingo, but Brattin just whips out his balls and waves them in our faces:
If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught. If biological intelligent design is taught, any proposed identity of the intelligence responsible for earth’s biology shall be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation and teachers shall not question, survey, or otherwise influence student belief in a nonverifiable identity within a science course.
But redefining science isn’t enough for Rick Brattin. He wants to make sure that equal time is given to each position, so the bill requires that ”course textbooks contain approximately an equal number of pages of relevant material teaching each viewpoint.”
Normally I wouldn’t be concerned with Brattin’s antics, but Missouri is right next door to Tennessee and Bill Haslam, the Governor of Tennessee, recently allowed a bill that would open the door for creationism. Plus, Louisiana lives in the neighborhood, and those guys are a bad influence.
Source: Ars Technica