Anti-science bills in the South

Glenn Branch of NCSE reminds us of antiscience bills in Florida and a new bill in Alabama.

According to the NCSE link, Brandon Haught of Florida Citizens for Science writes in the Orlando Sentinel that

Science education in Florida’s public schools is facing an unprecedented assault that started last year and has the high potential to escalate this year. Evolution and climate change are the targets of a coordinated attack as detractors of these concepts seek to balance lessons with some forms of creationism or denial of human-caused climate change.

Mr. Haught warns of a new law that, incredibly, allows any citizen to challenge instructional materials that they do not like. Another pair of bills would allow school districts to set their own science standards and allow “controversial” theories to be “taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner.” Balanced treatment; critical thinking. I think we all know what that means.

Perhaps worse, a bill introduced in the Alabama House would

allow teachers to present “the theory of creation as presented in the Bible” in any class discussing evolution, “thereby affording students a choice as to which theory to accept.” The bill would also ensure that creationist students would not be penalized for answering examination questions in a way reflecting their adherence to creationism, “provided the response is correct according to the instruction received.”

The bill, according to NCSE, is modeled on a Kentucky law that was enacted in 1976, before the Supreme Court killed the balanced-treatment ruse. NCSE calls the Kentucky law unconstitutional.