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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Short, Sweet, and Illegal

By Phil Plait

I have to hand it to the South Dakota Senate. When its legislators introduce an illegal bill, they make it brief:

An Act to prohibit schools from preventing the instruction of intelligent design.
Section 1. That chapter 13-33 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
No school board or school administrator may prohibit a teacher in public or nonpublic school from providing instruction on intelligent design or other related topics.

Thatâs the whole bill, folks. Heck, the summary is almost longer than the bill itself!

Of course, brevity and legality are two different things. As I have pointed out many times before, teaching intelligent design in public schools is illegal, because ID is the same thing as creationism, and thatâs religion, which is a no-no to teach in schools. In fact, itâs unconstitutional (that link goes to the written opinion of Judge John Jones in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover caseâa federal judge, and, Iâll note, a conservative one).

I have no idea what chance this bill has of being passed. But if you live in South Dakota, I urge you to contact your local representatives and let them knowâpolitely, pleaseâthat what they are trying to do is a bad idea. The sponsors of the bill should probably understand this as well.

Tip oâ the Cdesign Proponentsists to, of course, Zack Kopplin.

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