(Think Progress) A new bill, up for consideration this year in the Virginia General Assembly, would give Virginia’s public school teachers permission to teach about the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of “scientific theories” like evolution and global climate change. The bill is part of a national trend of legislative proposals, led by creationist organizations like the Discovery Institute and climate-change deniers such as the Heartland Institute.
Virginia State Delegate Richard “Dickie” Bell (R) pre-filed House Bill 207 over the holidays for consideration by the House of Delegates when it reconvenes this week. His proposal would require Virginia elementary and secondary schools to teach about “scientific controversies” in science classes. It would require:
The Board [of Education] and each local school board, division superintendent, and school board employee shall create an environment in public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about scientific controversies in science classes..
My goodness, how awful to expose children to alternate points of view to make them think, to provide them with knowledge rather than indoctrination. If “climate change” and evolution are true, then they should be able to stand on their own.
More significantly, it creates a right for teachers to teach kids to be skeptical of “scientific theories” — even when overwhelming scientific consensus exists:
My goodness, isn’t that what science is all about, being skeptical? It’s surely not about consensus, which is not science.