MADISON- Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), has stated that the media’s reaction to his claim on the age of the Earth illustrates the need for his bill which seeks to crack down on ‘disruption’ from students of UW System schools. In a hearing on his proposal, Kremer stated that the Earth is 6,000 years old. The following news coverage led many on social media to prod at Kremer, and reporters have been asking other politicians about how old they think the planet is. Kremer now maintains that these reactions demonstrate the need for his bill, which also requires that UW System schools be neutral on controversial topics.
Clearly, such neutrality would benefit unfounded and poorly-defended beliefs like Kremer’s. While it is certainly a person’s right to believe what they wish, this does not mean that experts in the UW System should be silenced. Facts are not neutral. People like Kremer who cry about neutrality when challenged should not be given the authority to silence experts.
Jessie Opoien at The Capital Times reports:
Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, is a member of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities and the author of a bill that would create penalties for college students who disrupt speakers on campus and would require University of Wisconsin System schools to remain neutral on controversial topics.
During a hearing on that proposal last month, Kremer was asked by Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, if a geology professor, under the bill, would be able to correct a student who said the earth is only 6,000 years old.
“So, this bill stays out of the classroom,” Kremer answered. “Yes, the Earth is 6,000 years old, that’s a fact. But, we can discuss that outside of this room.”
Scientists have determined the age of the earth to be about 4.5 billion years.
Since the interaction was detailed this week in a Cap Times report on the legislation, that question has gotten plenty of discussion.
Although Kremer called it a fact, he released a statement on Thursday accusing the “elitist media” of “losing their minds over someone with a different opinion.”
Read more at The Capital Times.
With all due respect to the Representative, “controversial” isn’t defined by what you oppose. Recent polls put the number of Americans who believe that the Earth is less than 10k years old at about 10%.
School is for science and facts, and most importantly teaching critical thinking so those facts continue to evolve and improve.
Church and home is for faith and religion. If strong enough, you need not bother what is taught in the schools.