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Arizona Republicans Proposing "Academic Freedom" (a.k.a. Anti-Evolution) Bill

Here, in the year 2013, lawmakers would like teachers to be allowed to address "weaknesses of existing scientific theories."

The language sounds fairly innocuous on its face, until you discover that the language in the proposal -- from a handful of Arizona's Republican lawmakers -- matches that of "Academic Freedom" bills, which let a little less science, and a little more Jesus, into the classroom.

Part of the bill says that it's trying to get school districts and schools to "assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies."

"Teachers shall be allowed to help pupils understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught," the bill says.

Those "controversies" are addressed several paragraphs later.

"The teaching of some scientific subjects, including biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning, can cause controversy," according to the language in Senate Bill 1213.

This language is extremely similar to the pro-creationism Discovery Institute's proposals, dubbed the "Monkey Bill" last year in Tennessee.

Indeed, the anti-creationist National Center for Science Education has caught on to Arizona's -- and other states' -- proposals for this very type of law.

You can see its alert on "Antiscience legislation in Arizona" here.

The bill's sponsors, Republican Senators Chester Crandell and Judy Burges, did not immediately respond to New Times' request for an explanation.

The bill's text can be found here.


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