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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Louisiana Follow-Up ("Academic Freedom Act")

There'll be debate in the House today over Louisiana's "academic freedom" bill, which was approved by the state House Education Committee last month. The bill would allow science teachers to use supplemental material "that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning." Critics say the bill is really an attempt to sneak religious theories like creationism and "intelligent design" into the science classroom—and that's "not science," the Rev. James Carter, a physics professor at Loyola University told a local news station. “Students are encouraged to think something that’s bad science is good science in order to get an idea that belongs in the philosophy or religion classroom, but not the science classroom.” Both proponents and opponents, however, seem to think the bill, supported by Governor Bobby Jindal (who some are now speculating could be John McCain's running mate), will pass. —Heather Wax