We, the undersigned members of institutions of higher learning in Iowa, urge our legislators to reject passage of “The Evolution Academic Freedom Act” (HF 183) introduced by Rod Roberts (R-Carroll). The language of this bill comes primarily from the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which has conducted lobbying efforts and political activism against the teaching of evolution since 1994.
Evolution is as established a scientific theory as any other theory in science. It is misleading to claim that there is any controversy or dissent within the vast majority of the scientific community regarding the scientific validity of evolutionary theory. Since there is no real dissent within the scientific community, then “academic freedom” for alternative theories is simply a mechanism to introduce religious or non-scientific doctrines into our science curriculum.
Similar efforts to undermine the teaching of evolution in schools repeatedly have been found to be unconstitutional, something witnessed most recently in Kitzmiller v. Dover (2005) in Pennsylvania.
We, therefore, urge our legislators to recognize HF183 as part of a long history of creationist assaults on science education, and reject passage of this bill.