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The Florida legislature failed to pass either of two forms of the Discovery Institute’s draft “academic freedom” bills, and adjourned Friday evening. We have until the legislative session next year to make sure that those in the legislature know exactly what the history and intent of bills like that are. But it doesn’t feel like a “win”; those of us who invested our time in advocating for good science education in Florida essentially got lucky this time.

The “academic freedom” and “critical analysis” bills currently being considered by the Florida legislature are old stratagems borrowed from antievolution efforts in other states. Ronda Storms and Alan Hays have been asked whether “intelligent design” could be taught in science classrooms. Storms and Hays steadfastly refuse to answer the question posed. You have to look at what has been done in the name of narrow religious antievolution and not what is said.

(Originally at the Austringer.)

On Monday, April 14th, Florida Citizens for Science, the Florida ACLU, and many other groups sponsored a press conference and panel discussion criticizing the “academic freedom” and “critical analysis” bills currently filed in the state Senate and House, respectively. The bill in the senate, the one still misusing the “academic freedom” phrase, is scheduled to go to the floor on the 17th. That will be today very shortly. I am not terribly optimistic about the outcome, since it seems that the legislators didn’t bother to turn out for the events on Monday, and the mainstream media invented some stuff out of whole cloth, but mostly failed to report on the full range of reasons why the bills under consideration are bad for Florida’s schools, students, parents, and business.

I’ll summarize what was actually said at the press conference. The segments may incorporate both paraphrased and verbatim passages.

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