FROM Casey Luskin
Academic Freedom versus Science Tennessee's Republican legislature has enacted a new law allowing teachers to question the science of Evolution. The legislation protects teachers from helping students "review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories" including… "evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning." It will become law unless Governor Bill Haslam vetoes it today, which he's not likely to do. Is it back to the Scopes trial of 1925? Why is challenging Global Warming also protected? Photo: Clarence Darrow (L) and William Jennings Bryan (R) during the Scopes Trial in 1925
Is 'Academic Freedom' a Disguise for Religion? In 1925, a Tennessee jury convicted John Scopes for questioning the Bible by teaching Evolution. More recently, it's become a required science. But now the legislature has passed a law allowing teachers to raise "scientific weaknesses" about Evolution, along with Global Warming. The new law – which protects teachers from helping students "review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories" including… evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning" -- will become law unless Governor Bill Haslam vetoes it today, which he's not likely to do. Science educators say there are no such "weaknesses," and warn that Tennessee could become a laughing stock for teaching pseudo science. The legal language denies any intention of promoting religion, but the ACLU is threatening to sue. We hear both sides.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.