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Friday, June 27, 2008

Louisiana's "Academic Freedom Act" Is Signed

Welcome to Dover 2.0: Governor Bobby Jindal has signed Louisiana's "academic freedom" bill, known officially as the Louisiana Science Education Act, which lets teachers supplement state-approved science textbooks with other materials about evolution, human cloning, and global warming. It's unclear when, exactly, he signed it, but the Louisiana State Legislature's Web site updated the status of the bill on Wednesday.
There's not much left to say about this bill. As we've highlighted on this blog many times, a great number of people see it as an attempt to undercut the teaching of evolution and sneak religious ideas like creationism and "intelligent design" into public school science classrooms, even though supporters claim the bill hopes only to promote an environment of "critical thinking" (and the bill itself claims not to promote any religious doctrine).
Many residents and scientists—including Arthur Landy, Jindal's own genetics professor at Brown University (where he was a biology major) and a group called the Louisiana Coalition for Science—had strongly urged the governor to veto the bill. And the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana threatened legal action should the bill be signed. Stay tuned for more on this developing story. —Heather Wax