Florida Legislator Cites “Inherit the Wind” as Authority for Opposing Academic Freedom in Evolution Debate

Now we know where some Florida legislators who oppose academic freedom in the evolution debate are getting their ideas about evolution. And it’s not from any science textbook. It’s from the bombastic play Inherit the Wind, long discredited by historians for its fantasy version of the history of the Scopes trial. Last week, Florida’s Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller cited Inherit the Wind in his attack on the proposed Academic Freedom Act in his state that would prevent teachers from being disciplined or terminated “for objectively presenting scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific views regarding biological or chemical evolution.”

Ben Stein Promotes Academic Freedom in Florida

The Tallahassee Democrat has just posted an updated article about the Florida Academic Freedom Act press conference earlier today: Actor and social activist Ben Stein visited Florida’s capitol today, urging lawmakers to pass an “academic freedom” bill that would protect teachers and students from questioning evolution under newly adopted science curriculum standards. Stein also joined John Stemberger, head of the Florida Family Policy Council, and Casey Luskin, a lawyer from the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, in defending a private screening of Stein’s new film that has been arranged tonight for legislators. They showed a brief preview of the film, in which Stein recounts his meetings with teachers and scientists who have been shunned for questioning evolutionary theory. You can read the Read More ›

Prepared Remarks for Florida Academic Freedom Bill Press Conference

Discovery Institute’s Casey Luskin is in Florida today participating in a press conference with sponsors of the proposed Academic Freedom Act there. The press conference also featured actor Ben Stein, who will be screening a pre-release version of the film Expelled for Florida legislators tonight. The press conference just concluded, and so here is the text of Luskin’s prepared remarks. (Because of limited time, some parts of these remarks may not have been actually delivered.)

A Successful PSSI Lecture Tour in Spain

Over an eight day period last January, Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (aka DoctorsDoubtingDarwin.com, a rapidly growing, 277-member, physician group from 17 countries) sponsored a lecture tour in Barcelona, Malaga, Madrid, Leon and Vigo. It was titled “Lo Que Darwin No Sabia,” or “What Darwin Didn’t Know.” Tom Woodward, Ph.D. (author of Doubts About Darwin and Darwin Strikes Back) and myself (author of What Darwin Didn’t Know and Billions of Missing Links) lectured on eight occasions to exceptionally large audiences. Santiago Escuain was our translator extraordinaire. Rich Akin, the CEO of PSSI, put in enormous hours into making this trip a huge success. We were originally scheduled to give ten lectures (two per city), but the University of Leon Read More ›