Seven Iowa Republicans have filed a bill, House File 480, that would require public school teachers who bring up evolution, global warming, the origins of life, or human cloning to “include opposing points of view or beliefs relating to the instruction.” Even when there are no credible opposing points of view.
This goes far beyond the already disastrous bills floating around in various states permitting teachers to bring up pseudoscientific ideas like Creationism or climate change denial. This forces them to introduce students to bullshit instead of ideas actually backed up by the evidence.
There is a slight “disclaimer” offered at the end of the bill:
This section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.
Don’t let that fool you, though. Bringing up Creationism or Intelligent Design, for example, is nothing more than advocacy for Christian mythology. And the fear with a bill like this is not that it promotes or rejects religion, per se, but that it miseducates students about the power of the scientific method and how much evidence we have in support of basic scientific concepts.
This is the party of “smaller government” telling teachers how to do their jobs properly: By wasting students’ time with concepts that have no basis in reality.
Given how the Republican Party operates these days, it’s not surprising to see them embracing this, but that doesn’t mean legislators who care about education should go along with it.
This bill needs to die a fast death in the Education committee.
(Thanks to Justin for the link)