Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow students and instructors to examine views critical of Darwinism.
The Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act allows teachers to present and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories. The bill also protects students from being penalized if they want to discuss other opinions.
“We’re simply trying to codify what should be the standard for science education anywhere,” said Dr. Bill Reeves, assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma and vice president for Oklahomans for Better Science Education.
Last year, Louisiana passed an academic-freedom bill. New Mexico has similar legislation pending.
“This is very exciting to see people getting excited about the importance of protecting the rights of teachers to talk about both sides of the evolution debate,” said Casey Luskin, a spokesman for the Discovery Institute.
He said it’s unfortunate legislation is needed in the first place.
“There is a lot of intolerance in the Darwinist community toward those who disagree with their viewpoint,” Luskin said. “They do not want to tolerate people to talk about scientific problems with evolution in public schools.”
Thursday is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth.
— Josh Montez