The following was sent out to the media today:
Response to today’s House vote passing the deceptively named “academic freedom” bill.
April 28, 2008
Contact: Brandon Haught, Florida Citizens for Science
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.flascience.org / (Media Page available)
Rep. D. Alan Hays wants to know what people are afraid of when they stand in opposition to his deceptively named “academic freedom” bill.
We are afraid of the stunting effect this legislation will have on science education, as students will be exposed to old, discredited arguments against evolution that have their roots in religious protestations against that science, and be misled into thinking those arguments have the same weight as the real scientific findings. This will hamper their ability to succeed in the scientific field in college and beyond. Florida public school teachers are given free reign by Hays’ bill to espouse personal belief dressed up to look like science, and, whether intentionally or not, confuse students as to what science actually does and says.
We are afraid of the corruption of the very phrase “critical analysis,” using it as a political sledgehammer, no different than wrapping oneself in an American flag and denouncing anyone opposed to your personal ideas as unpatriotic.
We are afraid of people like Rep. Hays, who clearly demonstrate a profound ignorance of science and yet propose laws to regulate that subject.
We are afraid that a Florida school district will face a legal fight that will cost millions of wasted taxpayer dollars, exactly like what happened during a 2005 high profile court case in Dover, Pa. It should be noted that the idea of intelligent design was deceptively passed off in public schools then as scientific, but was later proven to be just the opposite.
Yes, Rep. Hays, we are afraid. But not for the reasons you claim.
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