Judge Jones (the former liquor control board director famous for his involvement with Frog Beer) ruled in 2005 that it was unconstitutional for teachers in the Dover school district to question Darwinism. Jones viewed himself as the person who would settle the question of Darwinism for all time an eternity. He even went on the talk show circuit boasting of his brilliant cut-and-paste of ACLU opinions.
Thankfully Jones does not speak for all of the United States, and his cut-and-paste ruling apparently has not been able to stifle the first amendment rights of students in other states.
Casey Luskin reports in Florida House and Louisiana Senate Pass Evolution Academic Freedom Bills.
Academic Freedom bills have now passed both the Florida House of Representatives and the Louisiana State Senate. The bills protect the rights of teachers to teach controversial scientific theories objectively, where scientific criticisms of scientific theories (including evolution) can be raised as well as the scientific strengths. The Darwinists in those states do not like this. First Florida Darwinists called academic freedom “smelly crap.” Then Louisiana Darwinists called academic freedom protections a “creationist attack” that is “Just Dumb.” Most recently Florida Darwinists used the “enlightened British will laugh at us argument” to oppose academic freedom. All I can say is, you heard it here first: “For the Darwinists who oppose the bill, this battle is about falsely appealing to people’s emotions and fears in order to suppress the teaching of scientific information that challenges evolution.”
The creationists at Dover did a great disservice to the cause of ID by refusing to heed the wise counsel given to them by the Discovery Institute. The creationists on the Dover school board represented themselves as proponents of ID when they themselves couldn’t even explain the basics of ID. Their indiscretions destroyed the fine work of many in the ID movement.
But finally legislatures are heeding wise counsel. While ID is not explicitly advocated in the latest bills, criticisms of scientific theories (including evolution) can be raised. And that is good enough as far as I’m concenred.
I am ambivalent to the idea of teaching of ID in public schools, and I’m definitely negative on pro-Darwin NEA teachers teaching creationism in public schools.
However, I am a gung ho about exploring evolution in public schools. [A very good outline of how to explore evolution is provided in the book: Explore Evolution. ]. I am also in favor of ID being explored and taught in the court of public opinion and in university contexts like Allen MacNeill’s Evolution and Design course at Cornell…
Freedom has visited the children of Florida to explore evolution! May this freedom visit all the children of the USA one day!