Here we go again. Getting started early in the new year, we have Randy Brogdon, of Oklahoma, sponsoring a bill in the state Senate to assist teachers in “teaching the controversy”. I certainly hope students in Oklahoma will win by not having to put up with this nonsense, thereby getting real opportunities in the biotech world of the future.
Senate Bill 320 (document), prefiled in the Oklahoma Senate and scheduled for a first reading on February 2, 2009, is apparently the first antievolution bill of 2009. Entitled the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act,” SB 320 would, if enacted, require state and local educational authorities to “assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies” and permit teachers to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.” The only topics specifically mentioned as controversial are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”
On second thought, that should be easy. Evolution. No controversy. Done. Weaknesses? After 150 years of solid research, the evolutionary theory is as sound as ever. The only controversy that exists is that which exists soley in the minds of creationists/ID-iots as they continue their valiant struggle against reality. If we want real controversy, how about string theory vs. quantum gravity? Let the kids decide.
Or better, what about this whole business about heavy objects falling at the same rate as lighter ones. Controversial that! Those evil Galileoists are trying to infect our kids’ minds with their godless religion. Objects going around Jupiter rather than the earth? Who can fall for such fairy tales except immoral scientists? Why don’t ya know, the godless Galileoists will try to tell you that the sun is not pure but has spots! Unbelievable. These controversies need to be addressed in our schools.
Tip ‘o the hat to PZ Myers at Pharyngula.