A Democratic lawmaker says that Colorado is about to say "no" to anti-intellectualism in the form of saying no to HB13-1089, which would mandate creationism to be taught in the classroom. HB 13-1089 was introduced by Colorado Republicans Stephen Humphrey (R-District 48) and Scott Renfroe (R-District 22), with a whole horde of Republican sponsors. Listed as cosponsors are Perry Buck (R-District 49), Justin Everett (R-District 22), Chris Holbert (R-District 44), Janak Joshi (R-District 16), Dan Nordberg (R-District 14), Lori Saine (R-District 63), and James D. Wilson (R-District 60) in the House, and Kevin Grantham (R-District 2), Ted Harvey (R-District 30), and Owen Hill (R-District 10) in the Senate.) Like most creationist bills, it looks innocent enough in its wording:
The bill creates an "Academic Freedom Act" (act) for both K-12 public schools and institutions of higher education in the state of Colorado (act). The provisions of the acts direct teachers to create an environment that encourages students to intelligently and respectfully explore scientific questions and learn about scientific evidence related to biological and chemical evolution, global warming, and human cloning.
On the outside, the average person would seem to be behind this 100%. Some would wonder "isn't intelligent discussion already going on in the classroom?" And nobody would question the true intent of a bill like this until it was too late. Since the resounding defeat of so-called "intelligent design" parading as science, sponsors of such bills have been increasingly choosing extremely sneaky and underhanded tactics to ensure thatfundamentalist evangelicals turn the public school into fundamentalist centers of anti-intellectualism in order to force society into a paradigm they believe would be more amenable to the return of Jesus Christ. The National Center for Science Education says that the bill is rabidly anti-science. "HB 13-1089 is a typical instance of the "academic freedom" strategy for undermining the teaching of evolution. As NCSE's Glenn Branch, Eugenie C. Scott, and Joshua Rosenau explained in 2010, such bills tacitly license and encourage teachers "to miseducate students about evolution, whether by teaching creationism as a scientifically credible alternative or merely by misrepresenting evolution as scientifically controversial." The effect on the teaching of climate change is similar. Colorado's new bill is unusual in targeting higher education as well as K-12 education, however."
There is one lawmaker who has already declared the bill dead on arrival. Democratic Representative Claire Levy , Chair of the Colorado House Appropriations Committee had this to say on the radio according to Slate:
Representative Claire Levy (D-District 13), the Chair of the Colorado House Appropriations Committee, said a bill that would allow “academic freedom”—code for allowing creationism to be taught in the classroom—is “DOA”.
She appeared on Denver’s AM 760 radio talking to host Geoff Berg (she comes on at the 19:30 mark). He asked her about the bill, and she replied:
“The bill looks innocuous enough when you read it…but when you look beneath the surface it’s pretty obvious it’s…allowing science teachers to teach creationism and deny global warming. Democrats are about teaching real science and giving students a good education. So I don’t think it’ll make it out of committee.”
Berg later said, “It sounds [like], at least from what you’re saying, that House Bill 13-1089 is DOA.” And Ms. Levy replied, “Ah, yeah, I think that’s safe to say.”