Creationist legislation in Brazil

11.21.2014

Map of Brazil with flag, via Wikimedia CommonsA bill introduced in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies would, if enacted, require creationism to be taught in the country's public and private schools. Introduced by Marco Feliciano, a controversial federal deputy and Assembly of God pastor, on November 13, 2014, bill 8099/2014 calls (PDF) for the inclusion of "the ideas that life has its origin in God, the supreme creator of the whole universe and of all things that compose it."

Accompanying the bill is a justification that complains of the existing curriculum as "propagating [the idea that] life originated from a 'primitive cell' that was set in motion by the 'Big Bang'" and charges that teaching evolution without teaching creationism violates the Brazilian constitution's guarantee of freedom of conscience and belief, especially "since the creationist doctrine is prevalent throughout our country."

Maurício Tuffani, blogging for Folha de S. Paulo (November 15, 2014), described the bill as "a monument to ignorance," and disclosed that the bill repeated, almost verbatim, a bill filed in the Paraná state legislature in 2007. In a later post (November 16, 2014), Tuffani quoted the president of the Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência as saying that her organization "will stand forcefully against this bill."

According to a report of a 2005 poll using a version of the Gallup questions, 31% of Brazilian respondents preferred the "God created human beings" option, with 54% preferring the "God guided process" option and 9% preferring the "God had no part in the process" option. Additionally, 89% of respondents supported teaching creationism alongside evolution, and 75% supported teaching creationism instead of evolution.