New Scientist has published a worrying feature focusing on the news that on 28th June, The Science Education Act was passed as law in the State of Louisiana in the US. This piece of legislature now allows teachers in this US state to present non-scientific alternatives to evolution, global warming and cloning — including ideas related to Intelligent Design, the proposition that life is too complicated to have arisen without the help of a supernatural agent.
Opponents fear that Louisiana teachers are now free to present evolution and other targeted topics as matters of debate rather than broadly accepted science, and could have national implications.
The act is designed to slip ID in “through the back door”, says Barbara Forrest, who is a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University and an expert in the history of creationism, and who has previously argue against pro-ID legislation. She adds that the bill’s language, which names evolution along with global warming, the origins of life and human cloning as worthy of “open and objective discussion”, is an attempt to misrepresent evolution as scientifically controversial.
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