Why is the Texas Intelligent Design Bill (HB 2454) Illegal?

Intelligent Design was determined by the United States District Court to be creationism, which is a religious activity rather than a secular one. Since, based on the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution, the government (including federal, state, and local) cannot endorse or otherwise allow the government to be seen to be promoting one religious practice or faith over another.

As written, this bill is illegal by precedent of the federal courts.

It would not have been illegal to write a ‘critical analysis of evolution bill’ (as promoted by the Discovery Institute). However, the application of that bill in a public school classroom very well might have been illegal. (Of course, science teachers should be teaching critical analysis, so that bill is something of a waste of paper anyway. However, as soon as they teach creationism or Intelligent Design based on that law, then they are acting illegally.)

I would encourage you to read up on the Dover vs. Kitzmiller Trial. The entire transcript is here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faq…

I would suggest you pay particular attention to the Michael Behe cross-examination (in which he admits that by his definition, astrology is a science, that ID has no peer-reviewed research, and that believe in ID is directly proportional to ones belief in the Judeo-Christian God) and the Barbara Forrest direct examination (in which she proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Intelligent Design is just creationism with a fancy new name).

I would suggest you read this page at my blog: https://ogremk5.wordpress.com/2…

In which you will see that all of the leaders of the ID movement have directly stated that it is religious… and therefore illegal to promote in public schools or government institutions.

Finally, if this bill passes, then in order to comply with the 1st Amendment, the government MUST allow ANY religious based system the same benefits as ID or it will be illegal. That means that the physics of pyramids must be a tenure track research plan. People who promote faith healing must be allowed into med school and to practice. The creation of the universe by the old ones, the Titans, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and native American mythology (it’s turtles all the way down) must also be allowed to teach in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics classes. Ghosthunters will become an internship for post-doctoral candidates in soul-physics, etc. I could go on, but you get the point.

And that is why, this bill, as written, is illegal. And I, as a parent, former teacher, and resident of the State of Texas, will be the first person in line for the lawsuit… if it actually goes anywhere, which I doubt it will.

This entry was posted in Creationism / ID, Culture, Education, Government, Kookiness, Science, Skepticism, Society, Texas and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Why is the Texas Intelligent Design Bill (HB 2454) Illegal?

  1. ogremkv says:

    This Bill went to the Education Committee on the 13th. This is the letter I sent to the chair and the members.

    Representative Branch,

    Your committee recently received HB 2454. What I call the Texas Intelligent Design Bill. I would encourage you and your committee to sink this bill and never allow it to see the house floor again.

    I will briefly hit the high points. The main reason is that this bill, as written, is illegal based on the US 1st Amendment and the decision of the federal court of Pennsylvania in the Dover vs. Kitzmiller trial.

    Intelligent Design is thinly disguised creationism and that’s all. It is not science. It is a sociopolitical movement based on a specific religion.

    I have a specific section of my blog (here: https://ogremk5.wordpress.com/category/creationism-id/) devoted to the reality of both ID and the claims of the movement.

    If you have any questions, please contact me. I’ve been a Texas public school science teacher and a scientist. I have been battling creationism/ID for over 15 years now and am quite experienced with their tactics and claims, not to mention the complete lack of evidence that would support any part of Intelligent Design’s notions.

    Thank you

  2. ogremkv says:

    Oh, yeah…

    Article 1, Section 4 of the Texas Constitution states:

    “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments,”

  3. ogremkv says:

    Surprisingly, I still haven’t gotten a response from the original author of the bill. I wrote him almost exactly a week ago (check out the first HB 2454 here: https://ogremk5.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/2011-texas-intelligent-design-bill-hb-2454/

  4. Very nicely written letter. I’m a theistic evolutionist, and I say more power to you! That pesky Constitution always seems to get in their way. đŸ˜‰

  5. Myra Sontheimer says:

    What can I do to stop this insanity? Has anyone started a petition? I have not heard anything about this on the local news.

  6. ogremkv says:

    The bill has been sent to the Texas House Committee on Education. This link will take you to that committee page: http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/committee/?committee=400&session=81

    From there you can click on each member and that will take you to their ‘homepage’ and there’s a big “e-mail” button.

    I sent all of them the above letter. Please write each member (even if they are not your representative) that you do not support this bill, as written it is illegal, and if implemented, it will cost the State of Texas a great deal of money in legal fees.

    Remind them of the Dover/Kitzmiller decision and that ID is religion as decided by a federal court.

    This can only harm students and Texas’ reputation as a leader in scientific research.

    I haven’t gotten a response from any of the members, but if enough people e-mail them…

  7. Alsee says:

    While I personally like ogremkv’s letter to the education committee, I suspect it may backfire. There are probably quite a few on the committee who will consider it a vitally important bill to pass exactly because of comments such as:
    I have been battling creationism/ID for over 15 years now

  8. ogremkv says:

    Doesn’t matter. if it passes, I’ll have the ACLU on them so fast, it won’t even have the ink dry on it.

  9. ogremkv says:

    hmmm…. almost a month later and still no response from the author of the bill. Not surprising.

  10. j says:

    All this says is that everyone should be entitled to their opinion on the matter. What could possibly be illegal about that? As a scientist and a Christian, I object to evolution more on scientific than Biblical grounds.
    Why are we treating a theory with next to no proof as a law? It’s just bad science. And just because more bad science had been built upon it is no reason not to examine it critically.
    AN ACT
    relating to prohibiting discrimination by public institutions of
    higher education against faculty members and students based on
    their conduct of research relating to intelligent design.
    SECTION 1. Subchapter Z, Chapter 51, Education Code, is
    amended by adding Section 51.979 to read as follows:
    education may not discriminate against or penalize in any manner,
    especially with regard to employment or academic support, a faculty
    member or student based on the faculty member’s or student’s conduct
    of research relating to the theory of intelligent design or other
    alternate theories of the origination and development of organisms.
    SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
    a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
    provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
    Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
    Act takes effect September 1, 2011.

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