May 07 2008

Florida Academic Freedom Law Killed

I wrote previously that the Florida state senate passed a version of an “evolution academic freedom” bill. This bill represents the latest strategy of the anti-evolution movement – the claim that the academic freedom of those who have legitimate scientific doubts about evolution are being oppressed. Such laws are unnecessary, and they single out evolution simply because the true purpose of such laws is to create a back door through which creationism and other pseudoscientific evolution-denial can be introduced into the classroom.

Well now I am happy to report that the Florida bill was defeated in the House. For now, it is dead. But it seems that the death of this bill was due at least partly to stubborn differences in proposed language between the senate version and the house version. So it may have been bureaucratic inefficiency, not common sense, that killed this bill.

Also, this bill is only the tip of the iceberg. There are forms of this bill in several other states – Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, and Michigan – and the Discovery Institute is pushing this hard as their latest attempt to undermine the teaching of evolution. It looks like this is going to be the battle ground for the next few years.

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