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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Evolution debate hits Louisiana

Evolutionarybiologyhumanevolution If at first you don't succeed, try, try again, right?

Well, it looks like the Discovery Institute and its supporters, who tried to convince Florida lawmakers to allow for some "academic freedom" when teachers present lessons on the evolution of species, have taken their efforts to Louisiana with greater success.

The Louisiana State Senate has unanimously approved a bill that looks strangely like the one that failed in Florida. It's now on the way through the Louisiana House, where one committee already has given the measure the thumbs-up. Here's a piece:

C. A teacher shall teach the material presented in the standard textbook supplied by the school system and thereafter may use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner, as permitted by the city, parish, or other local public school board.

D. This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.

The Americans United for Separation of Church and State already is on the case, calling the legislation a sneak attack to put religion into the classroom: "If this passes, Louisiana legislators will be harming children's education, undercutting the Constitution and holding the state up to national ridicule," the Rev. Barry Lynn, the group's executive director, said in a recent news release.

And to think, that special place in the national spotlight once was ours.

- Jeff Solochek

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:43am]


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