Two bills in Oklahoma Legislature promote nonscience agenda

BY DOUGLAS W. MOCK Published: March 16, 2012
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Most of the time, shoddy scientific work is quietly expunged before the press plays it up. So please don't haul out Lysenko's garbage as a serious threat to education. Or the 1912 “Piltdown” hoax. Both of these errors were exposed and corrected by other scientists, not by politicians.

Science has credibility precisely because its methods work. The low scientific literacy of our citizens is a serious concern that's not helped by adding fake controversies. These bills are imported from outside groups (almost verbatim) to promote a nonscience agenda that desperately seeks the credibility of science by masquerading as such.

Ewert quoted “a judge in the United Kingdom” to dramatize his call to arms. I close with a link that anyone can check. In 2005, a Bush-appointed U.S. federal judge listened to six weeks of expert testimony from many of the same folks behind these bills. At issue was whether Intelligent Design belonged in the Dover, Pa., biology classrooms to promote “critical thinking.” His plain language decision is well worth reading at www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf.

Mock is the George Lynn Cross research professor in the University of Oklahoma's department of zoology.