Academic freedom. Sounds pretty good, right?
Except when the words (but not the concept) were used to sell the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), a law that allows “local school boards to approve supplemental classroom materials specifically for the critique of scientific theories”.
In other words, to allow them to inject the teaching of “intelligent” design into the curriculum as if it was actually a valid scientific concept.
The text of the LSEA suggests that it’s intended to foster critical thinking, calling on the state Board of Education to “assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories.” Unfortunately, it’s remarkably selective in its suggestion of topics that need critical thinking, as it cites scientific subjects “including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”
Oddly, the last item on the list is not the subject of any scientific theory; the remainder are notable for being topics that are the focus of frequent political controversies rather than scientific ones.
And the bill was signed into law by the governor of the state, who was a Biology major. At a real college. Now there’s a wasted education.
With any luck someone will challenge the law on Constitutional grounds as was done successfully in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
But how many kids will receive a lousy science education before the courts throw the stupid law out?