Mississippi Latest State to Offer Creationism/Climate Denial School Bill
February 15, 2016
Just to reiterate – Climate deniers like the Heartland Institute, and even PhD Geologist deniers like “Jack” Schmitt, who should know better – have made common cause with young earth creationists to “recapture” the US education system, on behalf of their respective clientele.
The principal sponsor of Mississippi’s House Bill 50 acknowledged that the bill seeks to allow teachers to present creationism. Interviewed by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger (February 10, 2016), Mark Formby (R-District 108) explained, “If a teacher… believes the Earth was created by a Supreme Being, [she should be able to say] that maybe there are other theories than the big bang theory where there was nothing, then nothing exploded and created something.”
As NCSE previously reported, HB 50 specifically cites biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning as topics that “may cause debate and disputation,” claiming that “Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information when debate and disputation occur on these subjects.” HB 50 is the first antiscience bill in Mississippi since 2010.
SECTION 1. (1) (a) The Legislature finds that an important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to become intelligent, productive and scientifically informed citizens. The teaching of some scientific subjects required to be taught under the curriculum framework developed by the State Board of Education may cause debate and disputation, including, but not limited to:
(i) Biological evolution;
(ii) The chemical origins of life;
(iii) Global warming; and
(iv) Human cloning.