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Dear Senator Feldman:

I am writing you re: SB0433. I just learned that a bill has been introduced in the NM Senate that has the potential to weaken science education in New Mexico. This bill is very similar to other bills that have been introduce in other state legislatures, and the all ber the mark of the Discovery Institute, a fundamentalist organization that has been trying to sneak creationism into the classrooms for decades.

The following is a quote from the blog "Stranger Fruit" maintained by Professor John Lynch at Arizona State University:


"NCSE is reporting that a “strengths and weaknesses” bill is on the table in New Mexico. It’s your typical “academic freedom” bill that the DI has been shilling for a while now:

The department, school district governing authorities and school administrators shall not prohibit any teacher, when biological evolution or chemical evolution is being taught in accordance with adopted standards and curricula, from informing students about relevant scientific information regarding either the scientific strengths or scientific weaknesses pertaining to biological evolution or chemical evolution.

The following strikes me as a little strange:

Public school teachers may hold students accountable for knowing and understanding material taught in accordance with adopted standards and curricula about biological evolution or chemical evolution, but they shall not penalize a student in any way because that student subscribes to a particular position on biological evolution or chemical evolution.

I’m unsure how this would pan out in a class room. Can a teacher penalize a student for subscribing to the position that evolution does not occur? Or that there is no common descent? Or that the earth is young? All three positions go against “adopted standards and curricula”."

I urge you, Senator Feldman, to oppose this bill in the interest of good science education.


James R. Swetnam
2215 Rice Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104

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