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A link to the bill is:(underlining is my emphasis, not John's)
The original was from
John R. Staver, Ed.D.
Center for Science Education
254 Bluemont Hall
1100 Mid-Campus Drive
Kansas State University
Through the NARST site.
Yes indeed the article is purple prose, and very inflammatory, and of course
the bill appears to be very neutral. All bills appear to be very neutral,
because the legislators can not appear to be inflammatory. It is written in
gray legalese. However, I suspect that the bill may actually be an attack
on the teaching of evolution because it talks about the rights of students
to have their "religious beliefs" respected, and serious alternatives should
be presented (intelligent design???).
Just from reading it, I would agree that it might have the effect of
imposing indirect censorship on college professors. Of course we will
really not know the actual effect unless it is enacted. It is very
difficult to gauge the actual effect of a law until it has been enforced and
gone through the courts, especially when it is regarding an issue about
which there are no laws. Can a professor kick out a disruptive student when
the student claims the disruption is about their beliefs? Does this impact
the ability to teach cosmology? The issues are certainly there. How would
the courts interpret the law? If the suits are civil rather than criminal,
the rules can change dramatically. I would suspect that the courts will
side with science vs religion in science classes, but all bets are off in
history or economics classes. If the courts are packed with religious
fundamentalists, all bets are off on the science issue.
John M. Clement