Citizens of Illinois: Alert! Alert! Creationist Alert!

I just received this dispatch from Monica Metzler, President of the Illinois Science Council. This is important.

The current leading candidate in the Illinois Governor's race has acknowledged his belief in intelligent design and his willingness to permit individual school districts to allow it to be taught. Teaching ID in schools isn't a top campaign issue and doesn't get addressed in debates, but the outcome of this election could mean a disastrous turning point for Illinois schools and science in general. The situation in Illinois is such that if Sen. Brady wins, many school districts in the southern half of the state may pursue teaching creationism in schools. ...

This clip is State Senator Bill Brady who is the Republican candidate for Illinois Governor in an editorial board interview. Brady is from southern Illinois and extremely conservative both fiscally and on social issues. This is a very heated and close race for governor. Brady was ahead in polls for several weeks but the race is now very close between him and the Democratic candidate, current Governor Patrick Quinn.

Also, in a Congressional race in the very large 14th district, State Senator Randy Hultgren is challenging Congressman Bill Foster in an extremely tight contest. Congressman Foster is currently one of only 3 physicists in Congress. (The others are Vernon Ehlers of Michigan who is retiring, and Rush Holt of New Jersey who is in a close race.) This seat has been targeted by the Republican Congressional Committee and the Tea Party for takeover. It is a swing district (previously held by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert) and if Congressman Foster loses, it will be tough to win this seat back. This clip shows Hultgren stating his belief in intelligent design and willingness to allow school districts to permit it.

The contentiousness of campaigns nationally and the general disaffection people have with politics means most voters know very little about the candidates. I would greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide in getting the word out about these candidates. In races this tight, every bit helps.

This is the web site of the guy who is running against the creationist in the governors race (he is the current gov.)

Here is scientist and congressperson Bill Foster's web site.

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Well I agree that an alternative view to evilution should at least be mentioned. Maybe if you do not like creationism, it is fair to mention to the students that there are alternative ideas to evilution. Where is your tolerance and diversity?

Besides, i would be willing to bet that at least 50% of those students already believe in creation rather than evolution before they ever step foot inot that "science" classroom anyway.

I think teachers should conduct an anonomous poll to see how many in their class really believe in evolution. I bet the "science" teacher would be surprised.

By Professor Smart (not verified) on 20 Oct 2010 #permalink

Besides, i would be willing to bet that at least 50% of those students already believe in creation rather than evolution before they ever step foot inot that "science" classroom anyway.

Yes, it is likely that they have a lot of things wrong, that's why they're in school, to learn!

Maybe if you do not like creationism, it is fair to mention to the students that there are alternative ideas to evilution.

What would those be?

It stands to reason Brady is a creationist; he's a dim bulb who has never met a right wing issue that he didn't like. In nearly 20 years as our representative Brady has never shown a single bit of leadership, and all of the legislative issues he's championed are conservative social issues. All this does is add to the many reasons why even the bumbling incumbent is a better choice. Of course our educational mission in Illinois is to "train workers" rather than educate. Sigh.

I just received this dispatch from Monica Metzler, President of the Illinois Science Council. This is important.

Not if one is talking about the outcome of the Illinois gubernatorial race.

By Narad, the Man… (not verified) on 20 Oct 2010 #permalink

Hmmm. Professor Smart is neither a professor nor smart. He also does not know how to spell or use proper capitalization. Maybe he needs to go back to skool and lern mor hookt on foniks.

Sadly, Hultgren is obviously a descendent of Swedish migrants, judging by his name. The migrants got a big improvement of standard of living once they crossed the Atlantic, but it seems the dominance of literalist christianity "over there" (at least in Illinois) has held back the quality of education...(in the Old Country, the church wisely stayed out of scientific debate).

In contrast, most of the American-Swedish names I come across relate to successful scientists and occasionaly Nobel laureates. I hope Hultgren is a statistical outlier. :(

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 20 Oct 2010 #permalink

After Brady gets done cutting taxes for rich people and eviscerating the state budget, we here in Illinois won't have any schools left for the creotards to preach in, anyway. State government here is so pathetic it's painful to watch.

You must not live in Minnesota, where running across a Swedish (or Norwegian) name is as common as finding tomatoes in the grocery store.

As someone who is a scientist (evol ecol) at a research university, and grew up in Latin America, where local control doesn't exist, I find the idea of local school control highly ridiculous. The board of my school district has seven members, of which only three have college degrees, none in science, one in communications and the other two in business. ALL are highly religious conservative and do not believe in evolution. Evolution, although part of the curriculum, for all intents and purposes is not taught. Furthermore, science is taught as a long list of fact, ie, list the planets in the solar system or the table of elements. As far as I know, this is typical across southern Illinois and much of rural Missouri.

By TrekJunke (not verified) on 21 Oct 2010 #permalink


This is a Distraction Tactic to take our eyes off of the topics most important to the Illinois People.

Cut this Crap Out. Stick to the Issues.

Economy, Jobs, and Taxes.

We need to keep eyes on the topic and on message right now.


By Cary D Conover (not verified) on 21 Oct 2010 #permalink

Yes, we should be aware that crappy science educations are bad for our economies and lead our children to fewer choices in living-wage jobs, both of which erode the tax base.

The controversy over what should or should not be taught in science classes regarding evolution and "intelligent design" is a straw man. The sad truth is that evolution is NOT now being taught competently anywhere in the U.S. In MANY cases, science teachers defy state standards and refuse to teach evolution. This is due in some instances to their religious beliefs, but mostly to the fact they don't understand evolution themselves. I never met a person who did.

By Dale Headley (not verified) on 21 Oct 2010 #permalink

Strong point, Dale. It is astounding how few people comprehend how generational mutation and natural selection subtlety, continuously, alter the characteristics of a species, gradually over time - a long, long time.
How hard can it be?
Very difficult if all you know is the name Charles Darwin - many only know his surname.
It means nothing in our culture whether or not you understand who you are, how you came to be, or how that priceless bit of information would impact your intellectual growth and shape who you become as an individual in this species - takes no education and little intelligence to believe in a god.

"Science" has been going down the tubes ever since Darwin published his naive atheistic creation story. Now you wanna make evolutionism the official national creation story.

So what, adaptation does occur. But, it's no advanced design engineer by any means. By denying ID, you debunk your own theory. By admitting ID, you debunk atheism. That puts you, my friend, between a Rock and a hard place.

So, why are you so worried about students getting wise to all this? Do you have personal interests? Or, are you just ignorant of the very real problems in your "science"?


Wayne, who's claiming evolution is an "advanced design engineer"? If life were being engineered, it would presumably be more sensical and less entertaining.

Wayne, Darwin's story isn't a creation story, it's a theory of how life evolved AFTER creation..... just so you know.

'By denying ID, you debunk your own theory.' Care to explain how you come to that conclusion?

'By admitting ID, you debunk atheism.' Phew.... luckily i don't admit to ID.

Huh.....i must be ignorant too, because i can't see the very real problems in MY "science". Would you care to point those out for me too so that i may overcome MY ignorance....

From Wayne's blog:

I was introduced to the Bible while working on an auto assembly line back in the mid 70âs.

So, that's how he figured out how the current state of science. And here the rest of us were just doing research, getting degrees.

Look, I'm an atheist and don't like supporting creationist-style thinking, but the questioner sets up a false choice when he states that "Either you believe that the earth was created in six days or you believe in evolution." There are more than two options here. It sounds to me like Brady is saying that God created the earth and allowed it to evolve. I think Brady assumes that God knew which direction evolution would take.

Personally I think that this is magical thinking, but it not that uncommon a view. It's common crazy. No crazier than any other religious person who believes in a magical invisible man in the sky who takes you to his cloud castle after you die if you worship him, or sends you to an eternal torture chamber if you don't.

Bill Brady.... how refreshing to hear some one support the truth. Only a fool can see the word and deny a creator.'s even in the Declaration of Independence. I hope he wins.

By Helen Smith (not verified) on 23 Oct 2010 #permalink