Proliferation of Academic Freedom Bills Is Darwin Lobby’s Worst Nightmare

The recent front page New York Times article on academic freedom legislation offers a stark reminder that the intelligentsia is very worried about the prospect of teachers gaining academic freedom, as a bill presently in the Kentucky legislature would allow, “to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner, including but not limited to the study of evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” From 2008-2009, 12 academic freedom bills were submitted into state legislatures, including Florida, Alabama (2), South Carolina (2), Missouri (2), Michigan, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Iowa, and New Mexico. Now in 2010, there are 3 bills already, including bills in Kentucky, Missouri, and Mississippi. The Kentucky bill contains an excellent Read More ›

Vandalizing Bookstores and Censoring Books in the Name of Darwin

Just in time for Academic Freedom Day, Feb. 12 (aka Darwin Day), graduate student Michael Barton at Montana State University boasts of regularly going into his local bookstore and purging books critical of Darwin from the science section of the store and reshelving them in the religion section. This past Sunday Barton posted a report about his most recent act of vandalism: Today I moved [Michael Behe’s] The Edge of Evolution and [Benjamin Wiker’s] The Darwin Myth away from the shelve directly under where copies of Dawkins’s The Greatest Show on Earth were, and placed them next to—I just had to—the Adventure Bible and the Princess Bible in the religion section. Whatever Barton claims, his actions constitute censorship, pure and Read More ›

Darwinist Opposition to Academic Freedom Bills Demonstrates the Need for Legislation to Protect Academic Freedom

Much to the chagrin of those who wish to prevent students from learning about science that challenges neo-Darwinism, academic freedom bills have been submitted to the legislatures of five states so far this year. The arguments from critics against these bills are utterly predictable — but they unwittingly demonstrate the need for academic freedom legislation. Before the Oklahoma Academic Freedom Bill died in committee last week, two Oklahoma Darwinists created a scare-FAQ to lobby Oklahoma legislators, stating: “This bill is designed to cast doubt on science as a valid way of understanding the world and to promote ideas based on religious faith. … This is a ‘Trojan horse’ bill intended to open the door for the teaching of religious concepts Read More ›

Dover Plus Three: The More One Looks, the Less That’s There

Today marks the third anniversary of Judge John Jones’ attempt to ban science classroom discussions of intelligent design in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. In the three years since Jones’ decision was announced, it has not worn well. Judge Jones’ supposedly devastating critique of intelligent design turned out to be cut and pasted (factual errors and all) from a document written by lawyers working with the ACLU. Law professors (including some who oppose intelligent design) have skewered Jones’ embarrassing judicial opinion as poorly argued and unpersuasive. And many of the alleged factual claims on which Judge Jones based his opinion have been refuted. In the meantime, public interest in intelligent design has continued to grow, as has support for academic Read More ›

Personal Persecution Story Inspired Alabama Academic Freedom Bill

Introduction The Alabama Academic Freedom Act was originally proposed by Senator Wendell Mitchell (Democrat) in the Alabama State Legislature in 2004 to protect the rights of teachers and students to present scientific views and hold positions regardless of their views on biological evolution. It was re-proposed this year. This legislation is needed in light of the threat to teacher academic freedom to present scientific evidence that might challenge evolution, prohibited by Judge Jones in his Kitzmiller ruling. Sadly, it looks like the bill will not pass this year because Alabama State Senator Jim Preuitt (Democrat) pulled an unfair political power-play and demanded that the bill have its application to the K-12 grade levels removed if he were to permit it Read More ›