Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Academic Freedom" Bill in Missouri

The Discovery Institute has set its sights on Missouri with House Bill 656, as reported by the NCSE. They write:

The bill would, if enacted, call on state and local education administrators to "endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues, including such subjects as the teaching of biological and chemical evolution," and to "endeavor to assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies." "Toward this end," the bill continues, "teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of theories of biological and chemical evolution."

Compare that to the wording on the Academic Freedom Petition web site:

Providing teacher rights and protection for a public school teacher or a teacher at an institution of higher education to present scientific information pertaining to the full range of scientific views regarding biological and chemical evolution in applicable curricula or in a course of learning; providing employment and tenure protection and protection against discrimination for any public school teacher or teacher at a public institution of higher education related to the presentation of such information; and providing student protection for subscribing to a particular position on views regarding biological or chemical evolution.

There is no doubt this is a spearheaded campaign to discredit evolution in a way that will pass constitutional muster. The bill is being sponsored by four Republican state representatives. Why is it always Republicans that sponsor these things?


  1. Why is it always Republicans that sponsor these things?

    Because the Republican Party, like the Democratic Party, is a populist outfit. It just caters to a different populace.

  2. You are right. I just wish it was a different constituency, sometimes.