Ball in the House’s court now

Recap: The House and Senate have different versions of the deceptively named “academic freedom” bills. The Senate approved their version and shipped it to the House. The House gutted the Senate version and replaced it with their own entirely different version. They then shipped it back to the Senate. The Senate is now saying they don’t like it and so they shipped their orginial version back to the House:

05/01/08 SENATE Refused to concur, requested House to recede
05/01/08 HOUSE  In returning messages

The returning message says:

II. Summary of Amendments Contained in Message:
House Amendment 1 – 432103 is a delete-everything amendment that differs from CS/SB 2692
in the following ways:

• The Senate bill provided a protected right for teachers to objectively present scientific information relating to scientific views of the teaching of evolution. These provisions are eliminated from the bill. Instead, the House amendment requires teachers to provide a thorough presentation and scientific critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution.
• A similar provision was defeated on 3rd Reading in the Senate.

Now we wait and see if the House will accept the Senate version here at the last minute. The Gradebook blog notes:

Majority Whip Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, has said there is little “appetite” in the House for Storms’ proposal. And session ends tomorrow, meaning it’s slim odds this legislation will pass this year.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
This entry was posted in "Academic Freedom" bills '08. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Ball in the House’s court now

  1. Captdave says:


    There seems to be a problem with your spam filter being extra sensitive right now. Please release it.

  2. Brandon Haught says:

    I have no idea why the spam blocker (Akismet) grabbed a whole bunch of y’all’s comments. I’ve released all I could find.

  3. Bob Calder says:

    I’m confused now. 🙁
    The senate says teachers are protected when they present “scientific evidence.”
    That’s good.
    Scientific evidence has a definition that includes peer reviewed materials.
    That’s good.

    So does that mean the Senate’s bill would be good? (Since there is no scientific evidence for the action of intelligence interfering in evolution.)

    But doesn’t that mean the House by refusing to accept the Senate’s bill is implicitly admitting this and deciding to look like total morons in order to kiss the collective posterior of the Southern Baptist Convention?

    I ran into this, Finke, Roger & Rodney Stark. The Churching of America, 1776-1990. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press (1992; 3rd printing 1997); pg. 184. and thought it might arouse some curiosity:

    “When the Virginia convention gathered in 1898, a prominent leader from Texas announced that at the 1899 gathering of the entire Southern Baptist Convention he would move to dissolve all relations (including funding) between the Convention and Southern Seminary. Faced with the ultimatum, Whitsitt gave in. On July 13, 1898, he sent a one-sentence telegram to the president of the seminary’s board of trustees: ‘I hereby resign my office as President of Southern Baptist Theological seminary and Professor of Church History…’ This episode has drawn contempt and ridicule upon the Southern Baptists from religious historians ever since… Ahlstrom (1975, pp. 179-180) remarked: ‘Rigorous historical scholarship was virtually excluded from Southern Baptist seminaries during the next half-century or more.’ “

  4. Bob Calder says:

    I’m not intentionally singling out any particular group for ridicule. I apologize in advance to those who are offended. For my part, I feel that references to scholarly reflections on theological rigor are germane as long as they reflect a mainstream opinion.

  5. firemancarl says:

    First, thanks Brandon, second, I hope it does fail and next year we get enough Dems to negate any crazy fundie backed bills.

  6. PatrickHenry says:

    It’s not over yet. The Miami Herald, in this article: May 1: The day in Tallahassee, says this:

    Rep. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, who sponsored the House version, said he’s disappointed that the Senate rejected the House language but hopes to bring the Senate version back to House on Friday. While preferring the House version, the Senate bill is better than nothing, he said.

  7. JasonTD says:

    I was looking through the House website on the bill, but I could not find a link to who voted for and against it. Are they just slow in getting that information out, or is it available somewhere else?

  8. Merely asserting that the bill is “deceptively named” will not mask the fact that FCS is against academic freedom.

  9. Ivy Mike says:

    Remember, William…

    “Abstinance ONLY”

    “Harry Potter”.

    “FORCED Teaching of creationism”.

    That’s all you guys, all day long. OPPOSING “academic freedom”, when it conflicts with your religion.

    IOW, you’re a bunch of lying hypocritical religious fanatics whose only goal is to make the public schools into tent revivals.

  10. Green Earth says:

    Yes! Burn all Harry Potter books- he practices witch craft- he must be in league with the devil! Let’s have massive book burnings. You know, for people who keep accusing us of acting like Nazis…..

  11. Walter R. Moore says:

    I see you’ve bought into Rhonda Storms’ little Orwellian game.

    Real academic freedom does not free the scientist professor or teacher from the requirement to teach accurate science to his or her students. Real academic freedom is exercised by professors who submit unpopular conclusions of research to reputable peer-reviewed journals, speek out in public, etc.

    >Quoting William Wallace: “Merely asserting that the bill is “deceptively named” will not mask >the fact that FCS is against academic freedom.”

  12. Walter R. Moore says:

    eek, speak.

  13. Joe Meert says:

    You bet FCS is against this ‘academic freedom’ bill because the actions to be allowed by this bill are antithetical to its name.

  14. grafixer says:

    Mr. Wallace –
    We are against Academic FreeDUMB – not true Academic Freedom. Merely asserting that creationism is science (and deceptively trying to get it into the public schools), does not mask the fact that it is nothing more than a non-scientific religious belief. Nor does it mask that fact that these bills and their supporters are flatly deceitful. Deceitfulness is (especially when lying in the name of jesus)… sinful (according to the bible)… isn’t it?.

  15. James F says:


    In our earlier exchange, I asked you what “alternative possibilities” to evolution would be considered in the context of this bill. You were honest enough to admit that it was intelligent design:

    James F,

    There is a film coming on Friday that may answer the question you’re asking. If you cannot wait, you could listen to the audio linked to at Intelligent Design and Academic Freedom by NPR.

    Intelligent design is based on supernatural causation and as such it is not science. Please, let’s be accurate when discussing these bills: it’s not about “academic freedom;” it’s about introducing the non-scientific concept of intelligent design into the science curriculum by government fiat.

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