Top Florida Lawmaker Resurrects Creationism Bill

Meet the man who could take Florida schools back to the Paleocene.

The original source of all Florida tea partiers

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“Why do we still have apes if we came from them?” state Sen. Stephen Wise of Florida rhetorically asked a Tampa radio host in 2009. He’d just introduced a bill that would have required public school teachers who cover evolution to also discuss intelligent design.  At the time, the ravings of (the ironically named) Wise looked like little more than the quixotic roars of a political dinosaur.

Not anymore.

Wise now has a bunch of new friends in Tallahassee, courtesy of the tea party movement. They’ve appointed him to the chairmanship of Florida’s Senate Education Committee. And guess what?

Wise, R-Jacksonville, thinks his evolution bill may have a better chance this year because there are more conservatives in the Legislature and because he chairs a substantive committee.

“Why would you not teach both theories at the same time?” Wise said, referring to evolution and what he called “nonevolution.”

“You have critical thinking in school,” Wise added. “Why would you not do both?”

Maybe because, until recently, you’ve had a little bit of critical thinking in the state legislature.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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