Honoré Daumier, Le Ventre Législatif  (1834)

I’m sometimes asked, even by my colleagues, what it takes for a bill to be counted as antiscience at NCSE. Precisely what is it about a piece of legislation that makes our flesh crawl, our brows furrow, and our hackles rise—and, less physiologically, impels us to summon defenders of the integrity of science education in the affected state to the ramparts?

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Enrico Fermi

Once in a while, a journalist will ask a question that really makes me think. Such a question arose recently, when I was asked whether Missouri’s House Bill 1472—which I earlier said “would eviscerate the teaching of biology in Missouri”—was the worst antievolution bill to come down the pike in a long time. At first, I was inclined to respond by saying that they’re all horrible, which indeed they are. But pondering it further, I realized that there was enough survey data available for me to make a back-of-the-envelope estimate of the expected effect—measured in lost student-hours of effective evolution education—of the two antievolution bills currently before the Missouri General Assembly.

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