Sunday, March 28, 2010
Political Cretin Science like Kudzu
The big idea to improve Arkansas public education back in March 1981 was passage of Act 590, mandating the teaching of “Creation Science” in any public school classroom where evolutionary biology was mentioned. This offended almost everyone except a few zealots and was quickly declared unconstitutional. How did such an embarrassing travesty come to pass?
Wendell Bird of San Diego’s Institute for Creation Research helped write a draft for a state act mandating the teaching of creationism alongside evolutionary theory that ended up in the hands of State Senator James Holsted of North Little Rock, who introduced the bill into the Arkansas Senate, where it passed without hearings on March 13, 1981. The House of Representatives held no hearings either, debating the bill for only fifteen minutes before passing it by a vote of 69–18, with the support of Rep. Bill Ramsey of Prairie Grove. Governor Frank White signed it into law on March 19, 1981. After a vigorous and very expensive defense by Attorney General Steve Clark, the bogus bill was declared unconstitutional on January 5, 1982.
You'd a thunk the legislature would catch on about the constitution, but no. In 2005, Rep. Mark Martin of Prairie Grove tried the same stunt with a different name, introducing a bill to require the teaching of "Intelligent Design" in the public schools of Arkansas, although his own children do not attend the public schools. That ruse has also been discredited and declared unconstitutional.
Here we are in 2010, and they are still with us. Bill Ramsey, the former state representative from Prairie Grove who supported the Creation Science bill, is running to represent Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas campus in the legislature. He says he has some "innovative ways to address our educational concerns." I'll bet. Mark Martin, the current state representative from Prairie Grove who introduced the the Intelligent Design bill, is the Republican nominee for Secretary of State. If elected, he will certainly have some zealous ideas for the intelligent design of state legislative districts in Arkansas.
Of course, it's just a theory.