It looks like Buttars bill has been leaked, and both Deseret News and KSL have published portions of it as it stands now. I don’t have much time today so let me just make a few quick comments on some portions of the Deseret News article.
[Buttars proposal] aims to halt teachers from telling students they evolved from apes, Buttars said.
Maybe this isn’t all that significant, but evolution doesn’t say we evolved from apes. It says both humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor. Of course I am probably just splitting hairs here, but if you’re going to criticize evolution at least criticize it correctly.
"It doesn't hinder them about talking about evolution at all," Buttars said.
Neither did the Kansas School Board’s change of policy, nor Dover’s statement for that matter. But that didn’t stop the justified criticism and a court judgment.
“It's a small step, but it's a big step…”
And you can add – it’s a first step. If this bill passes there will be others. The goal being to get their foot in the door and to pry it open bit-by-bit.
Buttars says he has received "eight or 10" calls from parents statewide complaining their children are being taught they evolved from apes
That’s it! Eight to ten people! I wonder how many calls he has received from folks who think his ID idea is bad. I know he has received at least one – a letter from me!
After a local TV station reported about the bill, Buttars agreed to give the draft to the Deseret Morning News, saying "obviously, it's been leaked."
If anyone would be kind enough to pass me a copy of that bill, or post it on the web and let me know where it is, I’d be grateful. I’d like to read what it says as a whole.
[From the bills opening statement] In order to encourage students to critically analyze theories regarding the origins of life or the origins or present state of the human race, consider opposing viewpoints, and to form their own opinions…
I think people are forgetting something that I know from experience (and I know this would be a little controversial to say, but I think it should be discussed more in relation to this issue) – propaganda works, peoples opinions are being manipulated, and many of those who are backing ID and creationism are much more adept at propagandizing than those who support evolution. So the idea to let teens “form their own opinions” may sound altruistic, but the goal here is to suppress good science for religious purposes.
"The bill avoids talking about specifically the theory of evolution or intelligent design, but it's clear it's asking for other theories to be discussed, and there are many, many theories about the origin of life that have no scientific basis," said [state curriculum director Brett Moulding].
The goal is obvious – to discredit evolution, a solid scientific theory, to reduce it to just one among many “theories”, and thus allowing the door to open for other pseudoscientific theories to compete with it on an equal footing.
Now I could get nasty here and exclaim that this opens up the door for people to teach Navajo creation stories in science classes, but that would be hyperbole. None the less, for those interested, I might recommend a book, Dine Bahane: The Navajo Creation Story, by Paul G. Zolbrod, it’s got good reviews on Amazon (an authority on quality books) and it looks like it would make a great textbook for science class. Plus, that theory has historical precedence for Utah – it’s been taught here longer than biblical creationism or evolution combined. And the teens I am sure would love to experiment with some of those puberty rite rituals that are related to the “theory”.