Concerning the recent creationism bill (“academic freedom act”) filed in the state senate:
The St. Pete Times education blog has the news release put out by Terry Kemple’s Community Issues Council. Check this opening paragraph out:
“The evolution ‘sacred cow’ must be submitted to scrutiny in American education,” said Terry Kemple. “Anyone in academia who strays from the ‘doctrine’ of marching lock step in support of the theory of evolution risks persecution and blackballing in their career.”
It also says, “Kemple, President of Community Issues Council, worked closely with the Senate sponsor to get the bill filed in the Florida Senate.” Yes, but who actually wrote this bill, Kemple? The Orlando Sentinel education blog knows what is up:
The bill is much like the sample one posted on the website of the Discovery Institute, which advocates for Intelligent Design. And it is controversial because many scientists (and their backers) say there are no other “scientific views” about evolution, only religion-in-disguise beliefs.
Interestingly, during the debate on the standards, Stemberger and other opponents of the new standards said they were not pushing for the teaching of “any other theory of the origin of life.” They said they want evolution taught but not as “dogma,” and in a way that allows “critical analysis” of it. Much of their agenda — and even some of their catch phrases — seems in lockstep with the the Discovery Institute.
I spoke with a reporter this morning about this bill. I had three basic things to say, but it looks like the media is picking up on some of this nicely on their own.
1 — This academic freedom stuff is merely the next evolutionary step as anti-science folks continue their attempts to shove creationism into the public school classroom. First, there was blatant creationism. Next there was intelligent design. Both failed miserably. Now comes along academic freedom. Same smelly crap, different packaging.
2 — Simply put, there are no other scientific theories challenging evolution. None. Nil. Zero. Zip. So, what is the academic purpose of this bill then?
I’m not giving away any trade secrets here. These are just the ABCs of fighting the anti-science crowd.