Intelligent Design Film Boosts Academic Freedom Bills, Advocates Say

(CNSNews.com) – A documentary released earlier this year may be partly responsible for “academic freedom bills” now advancing at the state level. Those bills are intended to strengthen the free speech rights of those who seek to examine the full range of views on evolutionary theory.

The film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” suggests that biologists, chemists, and astronomers have been censored, denied tenure, and even fired in some cases after raising questions about Charles Darwin’s 150-year-old theory that life results from random mutations and natural selection.

The film has prompted some states to consider legislation that would insulate teachers and students who believe there is evidence of “design” in nature, Walt Ruloff, a co-producer for the film, told Cybercast News Service.

In fact, within the next two weeks, one Louisiana state legislator expects his bill to reach the desk of Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) where it will become law. The Louisiana Science Education Act, which passed by a vote of 35-0 in the state senate, has broad bipartisan support, said Rep. Ben Nevers, the bill’s chief sponsor.
“Some teachers are afraid to teach certain subject matters, and they want to know the materials they bring into the class have been approved, and I think this piece of legislation provides them with protection. It also brings consistency to the school systems in our state.”

Nevers told Cybercast News Service he has not seen the film “Expelled” and is more concerned about keeping the school curriculum up to date with scientific advances.

“This bill does not allow the teaching of any religious belief, or religious theory, so if it’s not science…then certainly it couldn’t be brought into our classrooms in Louisiana,” he added .

Caroline Crocker, a biological scientist who appears in “Expelled,” testified before the Louisiana House Committee on Education earlier this month.

“Our freedom to think and consider more than one option is part of what has given America her competitive edge in the international marketplace of ideas,” she said in her testimony. “The current denial of academic freedom rights for those who are judged politically incorrect may put this in jeopardy.

“But I am also aware that Louisiana prides itself on being a melting pot for all, where people are comfortable with, and respectful of, divergent viewpoints,” she continued. “Therefore, I am in favor of SB 733, which will help ensure the intellectually honest consideration of innovative, and possibly unpopular, scientific theories.

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5 Responses to “Intelligent Design Film Boosts Academic Freedom Bills, Advocates Say”

  1. HackThis says:

    I knew about this film before it came out, and I knew that the few scientists who would be decieved would starts research projects on ID and would get to the point where they would lose all funding, as well as losing their reputation for believing an unproveable idea as if it was a theory.

  2. Steve says:

    Intelligent design and evolution have equal footing, in my mind, as both being unprovable theories.

  3. HackThis says:

    You say that as if creation can be proved.

    Even most creation scientists agree that life is evolving today.*

    Now I know that as a christan you are going to tell me that that is god “testing our faith” or something. That is how you treat all proof that your god doesn’t exist.

    *citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution

  4. HackThis says:

    ‘Evolution is defined as “a change in the frequency of an allele within a gene pool”, an occurrence that causes a population’s genetically inherited traits to change over successive generations.’

    Seems proveable, sensible and downright simple enough.

  5. Steve says:

    HackThis,
    I read the article. It seemed to lend as much doubt this “evolutionary example”as it did credence.

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