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NABT opposes Oklahoma's antiscience bill

The National Association of Biology Teachers expressed its opposition to Oklahoma's Senate Bill 1765 (document), which, if enacted, would deprive administrators of the ability to prevent teachers from miseducating students about "scientific controversies." Although no scientific topics are specifically identified as controversial, the fact that the primary sponsor of SB 1765 is Josh Brecheen (R-District 6), who introduced similar legislation that directly targeted evolution in two previous legislative sessions, is suggestive. The bill is presently before the Senate Education Committee.

Dated February 12, 2014, and addressed to the chair of the Senate Education Committee, NABT's letter (PDF) warned that the bill "could easily permit non-science based discussions of 'strengths and weaknesses' to take place in science classrooms, confusing students about the nature of science. Well-established scientific principles and theories such as cell division, photosynthesis, or evolution should not be misrepresented as controversial, or in need of special exploration. Instead, they should be presented to students as they are understood by both the scientific and education communities."