We've moved!

Check out our new site at
and be sure to update your bookmarks.

Monday, May 19, 2008

South Carolina's "Academic Freedom Act"

Another "academic freedom" bill has popped up, this time in the South Carolina Senate. The bill, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education, states that the "teaching of biological and chemical evolution can cause controversy" and that "public school educators must be supported in finding effective ways to present controversial science curriculum and must be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review the scientific strengths and weaknesses of theories of biological and chemical evolution in an objective manner." Like the similarly worded "academic freedom" bills in Michigan and Louisiana, the South Carolina bill claims it has nothing to do with any religious doctrine, but keep in mind that evolution is not a point of controversy or debate in the scientific community.
The National Center for Science Education also points out that Republican Senator Michael Fair, the lead sponsor of the bill, has a history of similar legislative efforts, aimed mainly at trying to get religious alternatives to evolution like "intelligent design" (which Fair sees as a "scientific alternative") into public school science classrooms. —Heather Wax