State Rep. Steve Hurst from Alabama has proposed a bill, HB 258, which would (if enacted) allow teachers to present biblical literalism to students "thereby affording students a choice as to which theory to accept." The bill would also ensure that creationist students would not be penalized for answering examination questions in a way reflecting their adherence to creationism "provided the response is correct according to the instruction received."
This bill is intended to provide students with the choice between the theory of evolution and creationism. The question is if young people should even have this kind of choice. Teenagers should choose in which school they want to go, friends with whom they spend time, etc. They clearly shouldn’t make choice between empirical scientific fact and pseudoscience.
The synopsis of the bill explains:
This bill would enable public school teachers who teach kindergarten through 12th grade to include, as a portion of instruction regarding the scientific origins of man and the Earth, instruction regarding the Biblical theory of creation, so long as evolution is also taught. This bill would further allow any teacher who desires to instruct students regarding the Biblical theory of creation to read passages from the Bible in class which he or she deems necessary to propel the instruction forward.
Provisions of this bill include the following:
(a) In any public K-12 school instruction concerning the theories of the creation of man and the Earth, and which involves the theory commonly known as evolution, any teacher may include as a portion of instruction the theory of creation as presented in the Bible, and may read passages in the Bible as deemed necessary for instruction on the theory of creation, thereby affording students a choice as to which theory to accept.
(b) For those students receiving instruction as described in subsection (a), and who accept the Bible theory of creation, credit shall be permitted on any examination in which the student provides a response in adherence to the theory, provided the response is correct according to the instruction received.
(c) A teacher in a public K-12 school may not stress any particular denominational religious belief.
Gallup survey says: “More than four in 10 Americans continue to believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago, a view that has changed little over the past three decades. Half of Americans believe humans evolved, with the majority of these saying God guided the evolutionary process. However, the percentage who say God was not involved is rising.”
Apart from being against the Constitution, the introduction of a school subject that does not have any scientific background can even increase the above percentage, which would represent a major step backwards.
Photo Credits: Counsel for Responsible Genetics