Question for a Censor: Should a Teacher Be Punished for Telling Students What the New York Times Said About Evolution in 1980?
I'm not sure I'd recommend trying this at home, but...what if a public-school biology teacher in a state where there's no academic freedom law gave her class the New York Times article that Granville Sewell brought to our attention yesterday? The point of such laws is to protect, from administrative retaliation or other censure, instructors who share mainstream scientific criticism of Darwinian theory with their students. Censors like Zack Kopplin oppose legislation like that, claiming they are protecting students from being indoctrinated in "creationism." He's been trying and luckily failing to roll back the Louisiana Science Education Act in his own home state.
"This law allows creationism to be snuck into public school science classrooms," Mr. Kopplin told readers of Britain's Guardian newspaper recently, adding, "This legislation that allows 'critiques' to be snuck into public school classes is the modern day strategy of creationists." He noted also, "Tennessee has a law based off [sic] Louisiana's that allows creationism to be snuck into the classroom." All this is hogwash, of course -- the laws in question explicitly exclude teaching about religious doctrines like creationism from protection.
The article from the New York Times News Service, published in 1980, documents very mainstream doubts about Darwinism from distinguished scientists, of a sort that, as Dr. Sewell points out, would be routine today here at ENV. It's nothing to do with Zack's straw man, "creationism." The question someone should pose to Zack Kopplin is: If a teacher were to share that article with her class, should she be shielded from punishment, or subject to it?
UPDATE: Here, I've just posed the question to Zack. I like the article from the Times because it's written in an accessible way for students and today, of course, the same newspaper would self-censor.
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