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Texas Is Considering A Bill That Could Let Science Instructors Teach Creationism

11:34 pm - 03/17/2017

Lawmakers in Texas are considering a bill that could make it easier for science teachers to present religious concepts alongside scientific theories like evolution.

The proposed legislation, introduced in February by Republican state Rep. Valoree Swanson, could allow public school teachers to present alternative theories to subjects that “may cause controversy,” including climate change, evolution, the origins of life and human cloning.

The bill is currently under committee review. If passed, it would go into effect for the 2017-18 academic year.

“Some teachers may be unsure of expectations concerning how to present information when controversy arises concerning a scientific subject; and the protection of a teacher’s academic freedom is necessary to enable the teacher to provide effective instruction,” HB 1485 states.

Swanson did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

The bill defines “academic freedom” as a teacher’s ability to present scientific information without discriminating in favor of or against any set of religious beliefs. It also notes that the legislation isn’t intended to promote religious doctrine.

But some Texas teachers say the bill could allow them to more easily blend science and religion in the classroom.

“I simply tell my students [that] as educated young adults they have a right ... to choose what they believe ,” high school science teacher Angela Garlington told AFP.

Similar bills have cropped up South Dakota, Oklahoma, Iowa, Alabama, Indiana, Florida and Arkansas in recent months. Critics say these bills could make it easier for teachers to present creationism and other religion-inspired topics as scientific theories.

Glenn Branch, deputy director of the education nonprofit National Center for Science Education, said the Trump administration’s questioning and denial of climate change and evolution could encourage legislators around the country to push for new anti-science legislation.

“The prominence of science denial in the new administration may embolden creationists and climate change deniers to pressure their local teachers,” Branch told The Washington Post. “Even in the absence of such pressure, it may cause teachers to self-censor in order to avoid the possibility of conflict over these socially — but not scientifically — controversial topics.”

More than one-third of U.S. adults polled (34 percent) reject evolution and believe humans and other living things have existed in their current form since the beginning of time, according to Pew Research Center’s 2015 Religious Landscape Study. Sixty-two percent of Americans say humans have evolved over time, but just half of those respondents believe it was due to natural processes alone. Twenty-five percent say evolution was guided by a supreme being.

Source: HuffPost

Really, Texas? REALLY?

tilmon 18th-Mar-2017 08:48 pm (UTC)
So, in the name of academic freedom? Where is their concern for academic freedom when history teachers teach about Jim Crow in Texas, or what really happened to Native Americans (hint: they didn't just "disappear"), or the expropriation of land from Tejanos? Oh, what's that? They aren't allowed to teach those things because those things aren't in the curriculum and state approved textbooks? Funny how teachers get all the "freedom" they need to teach what conservative religionists want taught, and no support at all to teach actual facts.
moonbladem 18th-Mar-2017 11:38 pm (UTC)
Might I suggest a tag? "Evolution--it's just a theory!"

I think history and science are subjects where facts matter. We shouldn't whitewash our history, no matter how bad it makes us look and we shouldn't allow fiction like creationism in Science classrooms. Facts matter, and this attempt to insert religion into Science is unacceptable.

We are NOT a country of stupid people, but there are stupid, religious fanatics out there who want to bring their anti-Science, anti-fact agenda to the fore, at the expense of our children's education. We CANNOT allow this travesty to happen. We are already behind other nations when it comes to scientific funding. Look at what's already happening... we'll be paying Russia $81 million per astronaut by 2018 to get them to the International Space Station, when we are perfectly capable of launching our astronauts there ourselves, not to mention it might even be cheaper.

Edited to add the link to the article.

Edited at 2017-03-18 11:41 pm (UTC)
moonshaz 19th-Mar-2017 04:12 am (UTC)

I second the motion for that tag. I think it would be quite useful.

ladycyndra 19th-Mar-2017 05:40 am (UTC)
Creationism is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Like seriously it boggles the mind.
flyingpigs_live 19th-Mar-2017 03:36 am (UTC)
Tbh i'm surprised this is not already a thing in Texas. I know there are schools throughout the south that teach creationism.
ladycyndra 19th-Mar-2017 05:37 am (UTC)
*rubs face* As a Christian living in Texas, this is so stupid. This damn state continues to make me regret ever being born and raised here. No to this bill! NO, TEXAS!!! BAD!!!! ugh
sabrinita 19th-Mar-2017 06:02 pm (UTC)
..except creationism has absolutely zero to do with science. In a religion classroom? Sure, eat your heart out. But keep that shit out of a science classroom. It has no basis in scientific fact
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