Florida Senator Rhonda Storms, likely in response to the colossal and embarrassing failure of creationist school boards to block new pro-science standards in that state, is now proposing a bill that supposedly allows teachers to have more “academic freedom.”
Every public school teacher in the state’s K-12 school system shall have the affirmative right and freedom to objectively present scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific views regarding biological and chemical evolution in connection with teaching any prescribed curriculum regarding chemical or biological origins.
What this essentially means is that teachers can no longer be let go because of incompetence. Implicit in the claims of the bill, which is taken almost verbatim from the Discovery Institute, is the idea that scientists do not present competing claims, controversies, and criticisms of theories within science. In reality, however, this is exactly what is presented. What isn’t allowed are scientifically inaccurate and grossly misleading creationist canards. If Storm’s bill actually meant what it said: that “scientific” material should be allowed, there would be no problem. But with a cagey refusal to define what constitutes a scientific view, the DI and others are basically trying to open up an “anything goes” atmosphere where anyone can claim that their diatribes are scientific regardless of merit.