The furor over teaching evolution’s shortcomings has moved to a small town in Louisiana. As reported in November 2006 by Louisiana news sources, the school board of Ouachita Parish adopted a policy with two seemingly innocent provisions:

  • “[The parish] encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately to differences of opinion about controversial issues.”
  • “Teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.”

While academic freedom and critical thinking sound like noble goals, not everyone was pleased. “This is, I think, the next wave of attack by anti-evolution forces to get their materials into public schools,” warned Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. University biology professors wrote a letter urging school board members to reconsider, and a lawsuit is likely.

Will students ever be free to learn the whole truth about evolution, warts and all?

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