Stranger Fruit

And it’s Mississippi’s turn …

PZ is reporting that Mississippi is considering one of those inane textbook disclaimer bills (HB 25), the sort of thing that occurred in Alabama and Georgia.

AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO INCLUDE CERTAIN LANGUAGE EXPLAINING THAT EVOLUTION IS A THEORY IN THE INSIDE FRONT COVER OF CERTAIN PUBLIC SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

The disclaimer would read:

The word ‘theory’ has many meanings, including: systematically organized knowledge; abstract reasoning; a speculative idea or plan; or a systematic statement of principles. Scientific theories are based on both observations of the natural world and assumptions about the natural world. They are always subject to change in view of new and confirmed observations.

This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life’s origins should be considered a theory.

Evolution refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced living things. There are many topics with unanswered questions about the origin of life which are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the sudden appearance of the major groups of animals in the fossil record (known as the Cambrian Explosion); the lack of new major groups of other living things appearing in the fossil record; the lack of transitional forms of major groups of plants and animals in the fossil record; and the complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body possessed by all living things.

Study hard and keep an open mind.

Veteran creationism watchers will recognize most of the verbal tics that are present here: misuse of the concept of “theory", creation of a “controversy,” conflation of evolution with abiogenesis, creation of doubt regarding the fact of evolution due to “unanswered questions,” and the ever popular mentions of teh Cambrian Explosion and complexity.