Target: Senate Education Committee of South Dakota
Goal: Thank education committee for killing anti-science bill.
Lawmakers in South Dakota attempted to pass a bill that would make it easier to teach creationism in the science classroom, but the National Center for Science Education reports that the bill died after a hearing in the Senate Education Committee. According to an article in Argus Leader, the bill would have permitted teachers to address the perceived weaknesses in the current model of biological evolution. On the surface, the bill sounds like a perfectly valid measure to promote free thought within schools. The reality, however, is that our current understanding of evolution is the best explanation we have for how life on Earth reached its present state. Evolution is widely accepted in academia, and it is corroborated by expansive research in a wide variety of fields, including genetics, paleontology, geology, and chemistry.
Students should not be taught that there are any realistic alternatives to biological evolution, because there simply aren’t any. Attempts to present an alternative are merely efforts by the Christian right to impose religion as scientific theory. Although it would be perfectly reasonable to teach students about the historical conflicts between science and religion, this should not be done in the science classroom. Science should be left to its own devices. It should be allowed to pursue the truth based on where the evidence leads, unencumbered by any theological baggage.
Please sign this petition to thank the Senate Education Committee for killing this bill and keeping religion out of the science classroom.
Dear Senate Education Committee of South Dakota,
I want to thank you for your recent decision to dispose of a bill that would have made it easier for science teachers to endorse creationism or “intelligent design” in their classrooms. Although the bill might have seemed harmless, or even necessary, I believe that it was really an attempt to sneak religion into the science classroom.
This bill would have been damaging to college-bound students, because an understanding of biological evolution is required in many fields of study. Ideas of “intelligent design” are not taken seriously by mainstream academics. Not only would the students have found themselves at a disadvantage, but professors would have had to reteach material that the students should have been taught in high school.
Regardless of your religious affiliation, evolution is a solid fact that cannot be denied. It has been corroborated by decades of scientific research. What’s more, evolution is not necessarily irreconcilable with an open interpretation of the Bible. Indeed, many religious leaders have come to accept the evidence for evolution. We should continue to ensure that students are taught verifiable science, rather than half-baked ideas from the religious right.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Amy via Flickr