Oklahoma is edging closer to mixing fact with fantasy.
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. “A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations.”
I wonder if Mr. Blackwell is going to be the one to explain to the students who get turned down by just about every college or university that has an admissions committee grounded in the educational requirements beyond the 19th century that rejecting the idea that Jesus had a pet dinosaur is just a symptom of the secular destruction of the world. Suck it up. Who needs college anyway?