Louisiana Maintains Right to Critique Evolution

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Louisiana maintains right to critique evolution, according to AAAS Policy Alert 2 June 2011 and Miami Herald 26 May 2011. In 2008 the US state of Louisiana passed an act to allow teachers to analyse and critique controversial issues including, but not limited to, evolution, human cloning and global warming, and use extra source materials as well as the standard textbooks provided the extra material did not contain any religious content. A group of scientists and one Democrat Senator sought to repeal the law, but the other Senators on the State Education Committee and the State Governor voted against repealing the 2008 law. Those who wanted the law repealed are outraged, and claim the present law is a threat to the teaching of science. Harold Kroto, a Nobel Prize winning chemist claimed "The present situation should be likened to requiring Louisiana school texts to include the claim that the Sun goes round the Earth". However, Stafford Palmieri, of the governor's office explained "This (repeal) bill is seeking to remove protections for teachers that give them the ability to teach the full breadth of scientific teaching”.

Editorial Comment: The 2008 law does not require teachers to teach anything beyond the standard beliefs about evolution, global warming or any other topic. It just allows them and their students to analyse and critique them if they want to. Analysing and critiquing are essential processes in scientific progress. Demanding that politicians give evolution, global warming and human cloning legal protection from analysis and criticism does not make them right. The irrational comment by Harold Kroto reminds us this is not an issue about science. It is an issue of world views and people feeling threatened when their world view is challenged. We can only suggest the evolutionists must feel they are on shaky ground if they cannot defend their world view on its own merits. (Ref. education, politics, philosophy, world views)

Evidence News 9 June 2011

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