A Virginia lawmaker has received sharp criticism from evolutionists after introducing a bill which would encourage public school teachers and students to examine the strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, Christian News reports.
Richard “Dickie” Bell is a Republican who represents Virginia’s 20th legislative district. In keeping with his educational policy goals, Bell introduced House Bill 207 (HB207), which calls for an amendment to Virginia’s science education policy. The bill specifically encourages candid discussions of scientific questions, evidences and theories in public schools.
Though the bill reads, “[N]othing in this section shall be construed to promote or discriminate against any religious or nonreligious doctrine,” evolutionists disagree.
On his Why Evolution is True blog, Jerry Coyne referred to the bill as “antiscience,” saying Bell is attacking evolution and climate change. He maintains evolution and climate change are not “differences of opinion… they are scientific conclusions.” “[T]here should be no ‘respect’ implying that creationism and climate-change denialism are credible views,” Coyne writes.
Still, Bell maintains that the goal of HB207 is not to promote any particular viewpoint, but rather to protect honest conversation in the classroom. “We’re not asking everyone to believe the same thing,” Bell says. “We’re asking for teachers to be protected when they allow discussions about different opinions to take place.”
Publication Date: January 13, 2014.