New Mexicans For Science And Reason has been watching since the session began almost two months ago. Their report:
NM Creationist Bill Has a Sponsor...Here's the money graf:
OriginsEducation.org, the new Intelligent Design Creationist website for supporting anti-science legislation in New Mexico, reports that "NM Origins Bill to Get New Sponsor State Senator Steve Komadina helped get the NM Biological Origins Education Bill started, and then he sponsored it in the NM Senate in 2007. Unfortunately, he will not be able to sponsor the bill again because he was not reelected, but we really appreciate his initiative. Senator Kent Cravens has agreed to sponsor the bill in the 2009 session. Let's support him in getting this legislation through the Senate. ..."
Who wrote the legislation? Would you believe... the Discovery Institute? (Shocked! Shocked, I say...) Check out the Institute's "Academic Freedom" site : http://www.academicfreedompetition.com/freedom.php (A simple WHOIS inquiry will verify that this is from the Disco Institute...)
This page offers a "sample academic freedom bill." From that model legislation:"Section 5. Students may be evaluated based upon their understanding of course materials, but no student in any public school or institution of higher education shall be penalized in any way because he or she may subscribe to a particular position on any views regarding biological or chemical evolution...."
Compare this to this sentence from the proposed NM bill: " C. Public school teachers may hold students accountable for knowing and understanding material taught in accordance with adopted standards and curricula about biological evolution or chemical evolution, but they may not penalize a student in any way because that student subscribes to a particular position on biological evolution or chemical evolution...."
A little subtle, but I could swear I see a wisp of smoke emanating from the barrel of a Colt revolver...
"[NEW MATERIAL] TEACHING OF BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS.--Followed by the necessary, mendacious 'disclaimer': B. This section pertains solely to the teaching of scientific information and specifically does not protect the promotion of any religion, religious doctrine, or religious belief.
A. The New Mexico Public Education Department, school district governing authorities, and school district administrators may not prohibit any teacher, when biological evolution or chemical evolution is being taught in accordance with adopted standards and curricula, from informing students about relevant scientific information regarding either the scientific strengths or scientific weaknesses pertaining to biological evolution or chemical evolution. A teacher who chooses to provide such information shall be protected from reassignment, termination, discipline or other discrimination for doing so.