I recently predicted that Darwinists in New Mexico would oppose an innocuous academic freedom bill which protects the teaching of science, and science only, in the science classroom, even if the science challenges neo-Darwinism. As the bill states, “‘Scientific information’ does not include information derived from religious or philosophical writings, beliefs or doctrines,” but teachers will be given “the right and freedom, when a theory of biological origins is taught, to objectively inform students of scientific information relevant to the strengths and weaknesses of that theory.” How could this bill possibly allow the teaching of anything but science in the science classroom? Darwinists’ attacks upon the bill have already begun, as Marshall Berman presented a talk at Los Alamos National Lab on January 22 entitled, “The ‘Intelligently Designed’ Attack on Science and Society.” As predicted, the talk opposed such freedom of inquiry on evolution.
The New Mexico bill is not about intelligent design. Even Berman admits in his talk that it “[d]oes not mention Intelligent Design, creationism, religion or God.” Yet Berman’s talk contained more than 30 slides about ID out of 40 (which I will discuss in a forthcoming post), suggesting that, given his focus, it is all about intelligent design. In Berman’s own words, he described the bill as the following:
- “Give teachers the affirmative right and freedom” to inform students of other “scientific information” about biological origins and protect them.
- “Encourage students to think critically” about biological origins
- Does not mention Intelligent Design, creationism, religion or God
- Real but unstated goal is to allow teaching ID creationism in science classes!
- Legislation is nearly identical with that proposed in OK, AL, and other states.
(Marshall Berman’s PowerPoint Presentation)
Berman thus made no critiques of the actual bill but merely expressed his conspiracy theory that this is somehow going to let religion into the classroom. Keep in mind that the bill states “‘Scientific information’ does not include information derived from religious or philosophical writings, beliefs or doctrines.” What the bill is about is allowing teachers to “objectively inform students of scientific information relevant to the strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories of biological origins. If Berman doesn’t even consider ID science, why is he so worried about the bill? In fact, who would oppose a bill that protects the teaching of science, and science only, in the science classroom? Yet Berman tells people to “[o]ppose the bill and resolution that will be presented at the NM Legislature.”
Perhaps Berman’s true reasons for opposing the bill were actually presented in his own talk when he discussed the arguments from proponents of objective science in Kansas: “Critics … are trying to censor science, they’re trying to stifle science, they’re afraid to let students learn about some of the problems with evolutionary theory.”