John G. West Political Scientist and Cultural Critic

Florida House Republicans Kill Evolution Academic Freedom Measure

Published at Evolution News

Well, it’s official. The Florida House of Representatives refused today to pass the academic freedom measure on evolution previously passed by the state Senate, and so the measure is now dead because the legislative session has ended. Supposedly, the Florida House refused to pass the Senate bill because it favored a stronger measure to require the critical analysis of evolution. As a former political science professor, I can tell you that this explanation doesn’t hold water. If the Republican House leadership in Florida really supported academic freedom on evolution, they would have passed the Senate bill.

Instead, they shamefully passed a bill earlier this week with language that the Senate had previously rejected, knowing full well this would likely mean the death of any legislation on the topic. What has just happened in Florida smacks of classic back-room politics by politicians who are trying to play both sides of an issue. Maybe I’m wrong and something else was going on, but I’ve yet to hear any credible explanation for why the House did what it did. If you are a Florida citizen concerned about academic freedom in your state, you should start demanding some answers right at the top, starting with Florida’s Republican Speaker of the House, and the House sponsor of the poison pill “critical analysis” bill that everyone knew the Senate wouldn’t accept. At the very least, those responsible for this shouldn’t be allowed to take credit for trying to pass an academic freedom bill that they obviously wanted killed.

The good news in all of this is that this issue isn’t going away. There are still bills active in Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, and Michigan, and we understand that legislation is going to be proposed in even more states. More importantly, we still live in America, and although Darwinists are doing their best to shut down and intimidate anyone who raises questions about Neo-Darwinism, we still have free speech, and they can’t prevent people from hearing about the debate in the public arena, no matter how hard they try.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.
Discovery Institute