The lawmakers are at it again. They’re Hell bent on finding ways to get their religion taught once again in the public schools. The latest gambit involves legislation in South Dakota that would allow teachers to address the supposed “weaknesses in the scientific theories of evolution and global warming.”
But why is legislation necessary to allow teachers to question scientific theories? In America teachers ought to have the fundamental academic freedom to address the weaknesses of any scientific theory as long as they stick to scientific principles. Teachers have always enjoyed that right.
For sure there are palpable weaknesses in the scientific theory of “global warming caused by human activity.” Scientific reasoning abounds on both sides of that controversy. There is no solid consensus among credible scientists. Certainly there is no law in South Dakota I’m aware of that would prohibit teachers from discussing both sides of the “global warming” debate. So legislation is quite unnecessary.
The same is true regarding Darwin’s theory of evolution even though the clear consensus within the scientific community is that the theory has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Still, if a teacher can address supposed “weaknesses” in the theory by using scientific principles and the scientific method there is no law as far as I know which prohibits it. So again, legislation is quite unnecessary.
But the proposed legislation involved here is based on suggestions by the Discovery Institute, which promotes the “theory” of intelligent design as opposed to evolution to explain the origins of life and the variation among the species. That’s why the lawmakers in South Dakota believe that legislation is necessary.
They want another excuse – a legal excuse -- to teach religion in the public schools. These religionists never give up. They want to teach creationism which is entirely based upon religion and thereby plainly violates the First Amendment Establishment Clause. There is exactly zero scientific evidence supporting creationism.
The bottom line is that it’s perfectly OK to question scientific theories with scientific evidence, but it’s not OK to question science with religion in the public schools.
Questions yes; religion no.