Saturday, March 7, 2009

Academic Freedom Act Cartoon in Florida Newspaper

The Gainesville Sun posted an editorial and political cartoon criticizing the Education Academic Freedom Act bill filed in Florida.

Also blogged at Florida Citizens for Science.

Way to go Mary Bahr!







From Letter:

Imagine our society without computer networks, electronics, chemistry and modern medicine. Both our lives and economy would be greatly diminished. Biotechnology has created nearly 600 new businesses in medicine, the environment and agriculture in Florida with jobs that pay almost twice the State average. State economic adviser Enterprise Florida has labeled biotechnology a High Impact Industry and recommends legislators make sure we “provide students with the needed skills to work in biotechnology companies and market Florida as a hub for life science research and business development.”


Unfortunately At least one legislator has ignored Enterprise Florida’s advice. State Sen. Stephen Wise, of Clay County, is attacking science in Florida with his Critical Analysis bill SB 2396. Similar bills have been used to introduce Intelligent Design Creationism into science classrooms. Senator Wise recently reported in the Florida Times Union he wishes to do exactly that.


Leaders ranging from a Republican federal judge to the Pope have declared Intelligent Design a religious belief, not a scientific theory, making its introduction into a science classroom unconstitutional. In addition to irresponsibly putting our struggling school districts at risk of millions of dollars in law suits, Senator Wise is attacking the scientific basis of Florida’s Biotechnology economic expansion.


Biotechnology, which promises a more sustainable future, strategies to counteract climate change, medical benefits to prolong and enrich lives and high paying jobs, rests on the framework for modern biology known as the Scientific Theory of Evolution. Our new State Science Standards call for thorough examination of all aspects of science, but critical analysis does not include falsely claiming a religious belief as a scientific theory. Confusing Florida students about the nature of science will not lead to informed citizen scientists required for a prosperous future for Florida. Oppose Critical Analysis Bill SB 2396


Mary Bahr,


Gainesville

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