2. Louisiana Implements Academic Freedom Act.
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted unanimously on January 15, 2009 to adopt rules implementing the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), the landmark academic freedom bill passed the previous summer. The Louisiana Darwin-lobby didn’t give up, and it was not until September, 2009 that rules respecting the intent of the law were finally safeguarded. The rules approved by the BESE allow teachers to use supplementary materials to teach controversial scientific theories without threat of recrimination. According to Discovery Institute education policy analyst Casey Luskin, “This is another victory for Louisiana students and teachers academic freedom to learn about scientific controversies over evolution and other topics in the curriculum.” Several Louisiana scientists testified in favor of academic freedom of evolution-education, including biologist Wade Warren, biochemist Brenda Peirson, and chemistry professor Joshua Williams. Meanwhile published protests against the vote exposed the intolerance of some scientists who oppose the use of critical thinking skills on controversial scientific theories such as evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and human cloning in public schools.
For links, you must go here.
[Again, we must ask to what extent science classrooms are used to teach cult membership. I remember reading a textbook, years ago, that assured me that scientists were sure to discover the origin of life because scientists have often discovered things in the past when they really tried. If I were a child, I might have been convinced.. As a middle-aged person, I was on my guard. It all depends on whether the question is even researchable.
What makes this a problem is that many cultural assumptions can be conveniently concealed in minimally researchable or unresearchable questions. In fact, they are the ideal place to conceal them. In this case, the “scientism” was evident. And, as for critical thinking skills, shall we leave them to consumer education alone? So critical thinking only helps us buy a better stove or fridge? What does it say for science if critical thinking skills are not needed there?]
Here is the #3 story.
Here are the previous three years’ top ten stories:
2008 Darwin and design
2007 Darwin and design
2006 Darwin and design
ARN also offers “top ten” resources that are worth checking out if you follow the controversy.