The forces opposed to teaching evolution in U.S. public schools just got a new reason to resent the bedrock scientific theory: A researcher has used the principles of evolutionary biology to show that laws ostensibly aimed at improving science education are firmly rooted in efforts to make classrooms safe for creationism.
The analysis of dozens of bills introduced in state legislatures around the country reveals how a single innovation from a small Louisiana parish (population 156,325) was incorporated into 32 subsequent bills through a process the study describes as “descent with modification.” Two of those 32 bills became law and now “negatively affect science education” for students throughout Louisiana (population 4.7 million) and Tennessee (population 6.5 million).
“The creationist origins of modern antievolution strategies are clear,” according to the study by Nicholas Matzke, who recently became a research fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra. The findings were published Thursday in the journal Science.
Continue reading: Study tracks the evolution of pro-creationism laws in the U.S.