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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Michigan Follow-Up ("Academic Freedom Act")

Out of Michigan comes news that another "academic freedom" bill was introduced in the Senate last week and referred to its Committee on Education. The bill is the same as a House bill introduced by Republican Representative John Moolenaar in April. That bill is still in the House Committee on Education.
Both bills label "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, human impact of climate change, and human cloning" as "scientific controversies" and claim that teachers could better address these issues if they were allowed "to help pupils understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught." Keep in mind that evolution is not a point of controversy or debate in the scientific community, and that, according to the National Center for Science Education, Moolenaar has previously co-sponsored two bills that called for the teaching of "intelligent design." —Heather Wax