Controversial Proposed 'OK Science Education Act' Moving Through State House

Friday, April 14th 2017, 10:58 pm
By: News On 6

A controversial science education bill is making its way through the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Some opponents of Senate Bill 393 call it the "Creationism Bill" saying it would give teachers free reign to teach religion. Supporters of the bill say it's not about creationism or evolution, it's all about academic freedom.

One Oklahoma reverend, who believes in the separation of church and said Scripture and science can work together.

"It can coexist. My personal belief in science and my personal belief in the Bible, they mesh together. So, it's all in how you interpret it. It's all in how you take it," said Reverend Evan Taylor.

Taylor believes God created the earth, as the Bible says, in six days - but said the length of a day could vary. He said Creationism is up for interpretation, but facts are facts, and Taylor said science is what students should be learning in school.

"If people want to learn Creationism they need to go to those churches that teach that in Sunday school, not in public education," he said.

Senate Bill 393 is getting heat for that reason. Some say it would open the doors for any sort of theory, including Creationism, to be taught in the classroom.

Part of the bill would make it illegal for the State to keep a teacher “from helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.”

State Senator Josh Brecheen and State Representative David Brumbaugh authored the bill; we couldn't reach them on Good Friday, as it's a legislative holiday.

When they return, Taylor would like to see them focus on something else.

"I wish this guy would focus more on funding education than doing anything like this," he said.

Senate Bill 393, also known as the Oklahoma Science Education Act, passed the Senate and at least one House committee.