Arkansas creationism bill fails—but narrowly

April 22, 2021 • 11:00 am

by Greg Mayer

Following up on Jerry’s post about a bill to allow the teaching of creationism in public schools, the bill has failed, on a 3-3 vote in the state’s Senate Education Committee. The bill was introduced, and passed overwhelmingly in the state House, with knowledge that the bill is unconstitutional, but in the explicit hope that the strengthened conservative majority on the Supreme Court would reverse McLean v. Arkansas.

The bill was very short; here’s the core of it:

a) A teacher of a kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) science class at a public school or open-enrollment public charter school may teach creationism as a theory of how the earth came to exist.

(b) This section is permissive and does not require a teacher to teach creationism as a theory of the earth came to exist.

Thankfully, it has died—for now. If history teaches us anything, it is that creationism is a phoenix, and, to mix mythological metaphors, its heads must be continually lopped off.

Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education has the details here.

h/t: Brian Leiter