Academic Freedom Battle Continues State by State

One thing is certain: the creation/evolution conflict is never static. There's always something going on. Recent years have seen legislative battles in state after state as evolution-only public school teaching is challenged. The most recent flurry occurred in Louisiana and has spawned urgent and angry comments from evolutionists around the world.

On June 11, 2008, the Louisiana legislature passed a bill that would allow teachers and students more freedom to study the origins issue. Entitled the Louisiana Science Education Act, it passed unanimously in the state Senate and with a wide margin in the House. On several occasions before this, bills addressing the same general subject were passed in that state, only to crumble in the face of withering legal opposition from the self-appointed scientific elite. Consequently, they were never enacted as intended.

The majority of the people of the state of Louisiana are logically minded enough to know that their children did not arise from random mutations in animal populations, and they don't want such an erroneous view taught in the name of science. They can see the underlying "religion of naturalism" motivating many educators and textbook writers, and they don't want their public schools dominated by a narrow religious viewpoint that goes against the closely held values of the majority of citizens. They want their children better equipped in science, and to not have valuable classroom time taken up by unsupported views of the past with little relevance in the present.

They further see the impact of such teaching on the students. The view that human life has no intrinsic value in and of itself runs counter to what they know is true. They question evolutionary efforts to assign human rights to animals. They know that our morals come ultimately from a higher source, and not from animal behavior applied to humans. They suspect that teaching children they are only higher animals has a negative impact on their morals and worldview.

They also want their students to be able to think critically, the subject this bill mainly addresses. They know one-sided teaching of a controversial subject does not accomplish this. If important evidence that bears on an issue is censored from them, how can they ever learn to think critically? They can only repeat the same errors. Isn't there something better? Shouldn't the "educational elite" want something better, too?

Now that the bill has passed, evolutionists express their worry that its implementation will undermine evolution. They know they can't allow critical thinking in the classroom, for they know that once students have all the evidence to consider and all the options to weigh, evolution's demise is not far behind. They know evolution's foundation rests on shifting sands, not bedrock science. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain by loosening their stranglehold on education.

"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against ... the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Let us put on the whole armor of God, and take a stand for the truth of our Creator (Ephesians 6:12-17).

*Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Morris, J. 2008. Academic Freedom Battle Continues State by State. Acts & Facts. 37 (8): 3.

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