Evolution In Public Schools Under Attack In Fla.

An anti-science bill filed in the Florida legislature concerns critics, who say it is designed to open the door to creationism in public schools.

The bill, House Bill 825, if implemented as is, would require “[c]ontroversial theories and concepts ... [to] be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner,” in public schools.

Glenn Branch, the deputy director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), analyzed the measure in a Nov. 20 NCSE blog. Branch noted that “al­though there is no indication in the bill about which ‘theories and concepts’ are deemed to be ‘controversial’, much less any guidance about adjudicating disputes about which are and which are not, it is suggestive that the bill’s sole sponsor, Dennis Baxley (R-District 12), has a history of antievolution advocacy.”

Other advocates expressed concern about the bill’s intention, noting that similar bills are designed to attack sound science.

“There are plenty of other things in this new contro­versial theories bill about other academic subjects that could potentially raise alarms for those teachers and subject matter experts. But our focus is, of course, the clear attack on science education, specifically evolution and climate change,” Brandon Haught of Florida Citizens for Science remarked in a blog.