Josh Brecheen is an Oklahoma State senator who also owns a motivational speaking business (Brecheen Keynotes and Seminars). Now, when January 2011 marked the opening of a new legislative session in the State senates (as all Januaries do), some idiots have – they always do – to present a ”teach teh controversy” or outright anti-evolution bill. Brecheen was responsible for Oklahoma’s in2011.
Copied and pasted right out of the Discovery Institute’s anti-science strategy ”Academic Freedom”, Brecheen’s version stated that local education administrators ”shall not prohibit any teacher from informing students about relevant scientific information regarding either the scientific strengths or scientific weaknesses of controversial topics in sciences, when being taught in accordance with adopted standards and curricula,” where such topics “include but are not limited to biological origins of life and biological evolution.” That is, “teach all the science”. Of course, the fact that evolution is not a scientifically controversial issue and creationism is not a scientific theory is uninteresting, and what the law is supposed to do is to let any and every teacher spread the most egregious nonsense to students without having to stand up for it.
Brecheen’s defense of the bill was, predictably, filled with all the usual creationist talking points, including conspiracy mongering (“Renowned scientists now asserting thatevolution is laden with errors [curiously none are mentioned] are being ignored”). Fortunately, as every such “Academic Freedom” sponsor is wont to do, they disregard the Discovery Institute’s stealth recommendation and tell the media what they are really trying to achieve. Brecheen promptly spilled the beans: “I have introduced legislation requiring every publically funded Oklahoma school to teach the debate of creation vs. evolution using the known science, even that which conflicts with Darwin's religion.” He admitted that “One of the bills I will file this year may be dismissed as inferior by ‘intellectuals’”. Indeed.
Diagnosis: Dense dullhead with no aptitude for critical thinking, not the faintest what science is or how it works, and no understanding of the fact that he lacks a clue. Such incompetence won’t prevent you from getting into positions of power, however, so Brecheen cannot be completely dismissed as harmless.