[Taxacom] South Dakota Senate Bill (SB) 55

Luis Ruedas ruedas at pdx.edu
Thu Jan 26 12:02:50 CST 2017


In what universe is ID "scientific?"  Last time it was brought up in
court (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District; see below) the judge ruled
(in a decision that makes for compelling reading) that "ID cannot uncouple
itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents" and further,
that ID "is not science and cannot be adjudged a valid, accepted scientific
theory as it has failed to publish in peer-reviewed journals, engage in
research and testing, and gain acceptance in the scientific community".

Now granted, "alternative facts" may warrant reconsideration, but until
then science shall remain science.

I hope.



Excerpts from the conclusion (my emphasis):

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the
Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these
individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious
convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and
disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID
have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly
endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied,
debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is
unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public
school science classroom. Those who disagree with our holding will likely
mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as
this is manifestly not an activist Court.

Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an
ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest
law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination
drove the Board to adopt animprudent and ultimately unconstitutional
policy. *The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when
considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed
through this trial. *The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area
School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal
maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal
resources. To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States
Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will
enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID
Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring
teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and
from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known
as ID. We will also issue a declaratory judgment that Plaintiffs’ rights
under the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania have been violated by Defendants’ actions. Defendants’ actions
in violation of Plaintiffs’ civil rights as guaranteed to them by the
Constitution of the United States and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 subject Defendants
to liability with respect to injunctive and declaratory relief, but also
for nominal damages and the reasonable value of Plaintiffs’ attorneys’
services and costs incurred in vindicating Plaintiffs’ constitutional
rights.

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 9:50 AM, Patrick, Brian <brpatric at dwu.edu> wrote:

Dear Colleagues,
>
> First, apologies for any cross-postings.
>
> Attached is the exact wording of South Dakota Senate Bill (SB) 55, and
> here's the text for you to read:
>
> "No teacher may be prohibited from helping students understand, analyze,
> critique, or review in an objective scientific manner the strengths and
> weaknesses of scientific information presented in courses being taught
> which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to
> 13-3-48."
>
> The bill has already passed the South Dakota Senate and has now moved on
> the House.
>
> I think that the problem arises here: "...in an objective scientific
> manner..." because it doesn't have to be scientific, only scientific in
> manner.  Thus, if one could argue that intelligent design/creationism is a
> competing theory-be it scientific or not-that it may be used to evaluate
> evolutionary theory if done in the very abstract and vague "scientific
> manner."
>
> The inherent problem with this, at least as I see it, equates to raising
> intelligent design/creationism/whatever-it-might-be-called-instead-of-creationism
> to the level of comparison with evolution legitimizes the "competing
> theory" as worthy of equal status.  This is exactly the sort of subtle
> language that IDers have been trying to insert into public education.
> Vague statements that open doors a crack at a time.
>
> It's dangerous and the state legislature has no business mandating the
> minutia of education curriculum.
>
> Colleagues, we need your help!  Please contact as many South Dakota state
> legislators and the South Dakota Governor's Office and encourage them to
> reject this bill!
>
> Best regards, Brian
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> L. Brian Patrick, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor of Biology
> Department of Biological Sciences
> Dakota Wesleyan University
> 1200 W. University Ave.
> Mitchell, SD  57301  USA
> Office:  605-995-2712
>
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched at:
> http://taxacom.markmail.org
>
>
> Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Years, 1987-2017.
>



-- 

Luis A. Ruedas, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Portland State University


More information about the Taxacom mailing list