Bill Requiring Balanced Teaching of Scientific Theories Introduced in Florida

Silencing Science Tracker

Bill Requiring Balanced Teaching of Scientific Theories Introduced in Florida

On November 17, 2017, Florida State Senator Dennis Buxley introduced Senate Bill 966 which, if enacted, would require “controversial theories and concepts [to] be taught in a factual, objective and balanced manner.” The bill does not define what constitutes a “controversial” theory, but science education groups have warned that it could encompass climate change, as well as evolution. The Florida Citizens for Science group has expressed particular concern that the bill will be interpreted as requiring “balanced” teaching of evolution, leading to creationism and/or other religious beliefs being inserted into science education. They note that Senator Buxley has previously questioned the science of evolution and opposed it being taught in schools. In 2008, when he was the executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, Senator Buxley said that “[t]he controversy [surrounding evolution] will never be over” and asserted that “a number of scientific perspectives . . . and a number of religious and other perspectives” will be “put forward as the years go on.”

Update: Senate Bill 966 died in Committee on March 10, 2018.

 

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