Antiscience legislation in Texas

02.03.2017

House Bill 1485, introduced in the Texas House of Representatives on February 2, 2017, is the fourth antiscience bill of the year, joining similar bills in Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

If enacted, the bill would ostensibly provide Texas science teachers with the academic freedom to teach "the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories" covered in the state science standards.

Specifically identified as controversial "subjects required to be taught under the curriculum framework developed by the State Board of Education" are "climate change, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, and human cloning."

The sole sponsor of the bill is Valoree Swanson (R-District 150), who was just elected to the legislature in November 2016. The last similar bill introduced in Texas was House Bill 4224 from 2009, which died in committee.