David Frum

02.19.13

What Scientific Method?

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A bill being considered in the Oklahoma House of Representitives would prevent teachers from giving a student’s paper a failing grade if it tries to disprove biological evolution or anthropogenic (human-driven) climate change.

Gus Blackwell, the Republican state representative who introduced the bill, insists that his legislation has nothing to do with religion; it simply encourages scientific exploration. "I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks," says Blackwell, who previously spent 20 yearsworking for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. "A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations."

HN 1674 is one of eight anti-evolution bills that has been introduced in the Oklahoma state legislature since 2004. While none have passed (yet), these types of legislation seriously hinder the integrity of the scientific method. There is nothing wrong with believing the Biblical story of creation. Calling it science, though, is insulting.