UT Science Profs to Legislators: Don't Mess with Science

HB 285 has been pulled from today’s House Higher Education Committee hearing. We will let you know when it comes up for consideration again.


Texas scientists have gotten wind of Rep. Bill Zedler’s proposed legislation forcing the state’s colleges and universities to validate and support “intelligent design.” And they’re not happy.

We’ve obtained a letter signed by 19 University of Texas science professors telling the Texas House Committee on Higher Education to oppose the Arlington Republican’s bill.

Read the letter here.

The gist is that Rep. Zedler wants to bar universities from “discriminating against” faculty members or students who try to pass off “intelligent design” or other religious doctrines as science. So it should come as no surprise that mainstream scientists are concerned about the bill.

The professors write that:

While we strongly support academic freedom and protections for valid scientific research, we don’t think colleges and universities should be required to look the other way when faculty and students distort mainstream science. Yet HB 285’s broad language could require that colleges and universities do more than simply look the other way. By barring discrimination “in any manner,” HB 285 could force our state’s institutions of higher education to fund research that distorts the mainstream science on evolution.

We asked our friends at the National Center for Science Education, who track anti-science measures across the country, and they don’t know of any similar legislation in other states. So we’d be breaking ground with this one, but not in a good way.

Later today the committee will take up House Bill 285, and we will of course keep you posted.

11 thoughts on “UT Science Profs to Legislators: Don't Mess with Science

  1. I called (on the phone) each office of the higher education committee and sent a mass e-mail as well. The staff members answering phones were all very polite and professional. I made it clear that I was vehemently opposed to HB 285. A few asked for my name # & address, most did not. I await the outcome of today’s committee hearing.

    1. Intelligent Design, “God’s Creation” is a faith, and is not a science, but we do science research because we have faith that there are better things that God has for us! Intelliget Design does not stop with faith, but extends itself. Evolutionist should not stop with science, become better scientist by adding faith, there is no limit to possiblities, even discovering the Way to Heaven!

        1. @BWANA86. Thank you for pointing that out. I got lost too, BUT, I wasn’t sure where….

  2. Lengthy multi-conditional subjunctive sentences expressed in the negative and in passive voice? I suspect few will even understand the letter. It wasn’t written for the audience that needs to read it.

  3. Creepy old Bill Zedler is a pharmacist who denies evolution. Since bacteria have been observed to evolve in real time, that means that he believes many of the drugs he dispenses treat illnesses that cannot actually exist. That means that he is clinically delusional. So yeah, he’s the man to overhaul the science curricula. Yessiree.

  4. This Zedler bill is just another example of Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism feeling as if it is on its last legs and the only thing that can save it is the government. It’s on its last legs because it is a religious oddity that arose in the very late 19th and early 20th century here in the USA. The Christian faith as a whole got along very well without it for nearly 2,000 years and will get along just fine without it after it is gone—and it is going. This Zedler bill is just another desperation measure.

  5. Zedler would have made more progress with a bill designed to ban students from riding unicorns on campus.