Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The "Academic Freedom Bill" Rises Again

Rhonda Storms has proposed the Academic Freedom Bill in the Florida State Legislature. Tampa Bay Online has this to say:

Storms said the new bill merely says teachers should have the freedom to teach what they want, including theories that may contradict the prevalent theories of biological and chemical evolution. The bill does not mention creationism or intelligent design.

The basis of her bill came from activists who failed in February to persuade the state Board of Education to allow the leeway. The board voted 4-3 two weeks ago to explicitly require the teaching of evolution.

Here is where the problem occurs. My wife and I teach our kids at home, in large part because we don't like the education in the public schools. It also allows us to tailor our education to the kids to maximize their learning potential. In our defense, our son Marcus took the first grade Stanford Achievement Test earlier this year and blew it out of the water. The key is that we teach well-grounded math, literature and science. Allowing teachers to teach "what they want" is not the same thing. I don't teach my children the theory of phlogiston, or Lamarck's theory of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Why? Because it is not good science. I might teach science more rigorously than the public schools, and make it more fun for my kids than they would, but it is not junk science. If there are legitimate alternatives to evolution, they should be taught. As of now, there are no legitimate alternatives. ID argues from negative evidence.

Just because my theory is wrong doesn't make your theory right. And right now, there is not much evidence that my theory is wrong.

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