As you all heard from PZ, WHOOOO!!! Oklahoma governor Brad Henry vetoed Kerns ‘Crazy Christian Bill of the Week’ (I told you he is a nice guy).

As Vic Hutchison, head of Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education noted in his newsletter to OKers, Gov. Henry could have let this bill just die. But he didnt. He vetoed it.

This is a major victory for supporters of separation of church and state and of quality in public education. LARGE numbers of individuals sent messages to legislators and the Governor in opposition to this bill as it worked its way through the process. To those, and to the organizations that fought this silliness, THANK YOU. This proves again that numbers do count and that organized efforts of citizens still work in our democracy.

So THANK YOU, all you ERV readers who dropped Gov. Henry nice notes! We need all the help we can get at the gates of Mordor…

Comments

  1. #1 Barklikeadog
    June 6, 2008

    Abbie, it wouldn’t have happened w/o you & Vic at the front leading the charge. It’s the first time I ever wrote an elected official about anything. I’m thrilled to know it worked along w/ all the others. Keep vigilant, the IDiots will try again next year. I’ve been here almost 1/2 of my life and these hicks in the Legislature will try again. Kudos to Vic & you.

  2. #2 John Kwok
    June 7, 2008

    Abbie,

    You and Vic deserve all the credit for leading the defense against the DI forces emanating from Mordor. Now, your next task is Texas….(see my next comment)

    Appreciatively yours,

    John

  3. #3 John Kwok
    June 7, 2008

    Here is The New York Times’ editorial on the so-called “weaknesses” of evolution:

    Editorial
    The Cons of Creationism

    Published: June 7, 2008
    When it comes to science, creationists tend to struggle with reality. They believe, after all, that evolution by means of natural selection is false and that Earth is only a few thousand years old. They also believe that students who are taught a creationist view of biology – or who are taught to disregard the Darwinist view – are not being disadvantaged.

    The Texas State Board of Education is again considering a science curriculum that teaches the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution, setting an example that several other states are likely to follow. This is code for teaching creationism.

    It has the advantage of sounding more balanced than teaching “intelligent design,” which the courts have consistently banned from science classrooms. It has the disadvantage of being nonsense.

    The chairman of the Texas board, a dentist named Don McLeroy, advocates the “strengths and weaknesses” approach, as does a near majority of the board. The system accommodates what Dr. McLeroy calls two systems of science, creationist and “naturalist.”

    The trouble is, a creationist system of science is not science at all. It is faith. All science is “naturalist” to the extent that it tries to understand the laws of nature and the character of the universe on their own terms, without reference to a divine creator. Every student who hopes to understand the scientific reality of life will sooner or later need to accept the elegant truth of evolution as it has itself evolved since it was first postulated by Darwin. If the creationist view prevails in Texas, students interested in learning how science really works and what scientists really understand about life will first have to overcome the handicap of their own education.

    Scientists are always probing the strengths and weakness of their hypotheses. That is the very nature of the enterprise. But evolution is no longer a hypothesis. It is a theory rigorously supported by abundant evidence. The weaknesses that creationists hope to teach as a way of refuting evolution are themselves antiquated, long since filed away as solved. The religious faith underlying creationism has a place, in church and social studies courses. Science belongs in science classrooms.

  4. #4 Paul Lundgren
    June 7, 2008

    Abbie: I KNEW IT!!!!! I knew you’d do the fish comment as soon as I read PZ’s blog post. Love it.

    @ John Kwok: Thanks for the link to that NTY commentary. Despite the hiring of William Kristol in recent months, the Old Gray Lady still has some common sense and a scythe to cut through the bullstuff. “…a creationist system of science is not science at all….The religious faith underlying creationism has a place, in church and social studies courses. Science belongs in science classrooms.” Love it, love it, love it.

  5. #5 John Kwok
    June 7, 2008

    Paul,

    You’re quite welcome. IMHO The New York Times has the best scientific writing staff of any newspaper in the country.

    On a slightly different, but related, topic, I encourage you to buy a copy of Ken Miller’s “Only A Theory”. I am in the midst of writing an extensive Amazon.com review of it; it is the most succinct, best-written tome rebuking ID and explaining why it is an idea whose potential acceptance by most Americans would result in the decline of American scientific and technological superiority.

    Appreciatively yours,

    John

  6. #6 Der Bruno Stroszek
    June 8, 2008

    Applause is merited for Abbie and her readers in the States – and John, that sounds like a damn good book. I’ll order a copy once this ridiculously huge stack on my bedside table goes down a bit.

  7. #7 Paul Lundgren
    June 8, 2008

    John,

    In the spirit of adding to one’s already-crammed reading list, may I suggest Carl Sagan’s “The Demon-Haunted World?” Arthur C. Clark said that book should be required reading for all high school science students, and I concur.