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.
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.