FROM Edward Larson
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.
California Science Center Settles Suit with Intelligent Design Filmmakers In 2009, the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles rented its IMAX Theater to the American Freedom Alliance for a film to be followed by a panel discussion. Darwin's Dilemma advocates Intelligent Design, an alternative theory to evolution. The Center cancelled the screening, the Alliance sued, and the case dragged on until this Monday, when the Center paid the Alliance $110,000 and the Alliance declined an invitation to show the film after all. Edward Larson, Professor of Law at Pepperdine University, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Summer for the Gods : The Scopes Trial and Americans Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion.
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