From Wired Magazine, an example of how skeptical views on climate change have now become mainstream enough to earn a level of protection when educators want to explore both sides of the issue. It is unfortunate that Wired magazine chose to label the idea as “anti-science”.
House Bill 302, as it’s called, states that public school teachers who want to teach “scientific weaknesses” about “controversial scientific topics” including evolution, climate change, human cloning and — ambiguously — “other scientific topics” may do so without fear of reprimand. The legislation was introduced to the New Mexico House of Representatives on Feb. 1 by Republican Rep. Thomas A. Anderson.
Supporters of science education say this and other bills are designed to spook teachers who want to teach legitimate science and protect other teachers who may already be customizing their curricula with anti-science lesson plans.
“These bills say, ‘Oh we’re just protecting the rights of teachers,’ which on the face of it isn’t wrong. But they draw big red circles around topics like evolution and climate change as topics to be wary about,” said Joshua Rosenau, a policy and projects director at the National Center for Science Education. “It suggests this kind of science is controversial, and would protect teachers who want to teach anti-evolution and climate-change-denying lessons in classrooms.”
The bill is one of five already introduced to state legislatures this year. While more than 30 such bills have been introduced since 2004, only Louisiana adopted one as law in 2008.
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