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Lawmaker: Allow Students to Argue Evolution and Global Warming in the Classroom

A Republican state representative in Pennsylvania has ignited a debate about discussing intelligent design in the classroom, after he circulated a memo seeking cosponsors for his new “Academic Freedom” legislation. The law would allow students to openly question and critique “the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories” including global warming and evolution (two examples Rep. Stephen Bloom specifically cited). Though he said the measure “is not prescribing any religious teaching in the school,” critics, like executive director of the National Center for Science Education Eugenie Scott say, “they’ve found a backdoor way of promoting creationism.” Bloom argues that, “In the real world, outside of academia, scientific theory is up for all kinds of argument. If a student wants to discuss a criticism, he or she should be able to.” Similar “academic freedom” measures have failed to pass in other states including Montana, Colorado and Indiana …

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