February 10, 2014
AIBS sent the following letter to the members of the Oklahoma Senate Education Committee.
Dear Senator Ford:
On behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), I write to urge your opposition to SB 1765, the "Oklahoma Science Education Act." This legislation is bad for science and bad for science education and should not be enacted into law.
Scientists in Oklahoma are deeply concerned about this legislation and the negative message it sends to the rest of the country. The best and brightest scientists, whether working for a university, teaching in a K-12 classroom, or working for a private sector company, want to work in an environment that appreciates the nature of science, not one that periodically redefines science in service to political agendas.
The economy and jobs of the future, whether in manufacturing, research and development, or energy and aerospace, require workers who have an understanding of scientific concepts and are practiced at thinking scientifically. This requires a quality science education, one free of political mandates. If enacted, SB 1765 would merely offer a vehicle for advocates of particular non-scientific belief systems to introduce their personal ideologies into the curriculum.
This legislation is similar to measures supported by advocates for creationism in other states. Advocates for this and similar legislation often assert that evolution and climate change are controversial subjects. Any controversy is purely political. There is no legitimate scientific controversy about evolution or climate change. Scientists have, and continue to, empirically test these concepts and with each test the evidence grows stronger and our understanding more thorough.
We urge you to respect science, science teachers, and religion by opposing passage of SB 1765 from the Senate Education Committee.
Richard T. O'Grady, Ph.D.
Cc: Senator Gary Stanislawski
Senator Susan Paddack
Senator Earl Garrison
Senator Wayne Shaw
Senator Jim Halligan
Senator Ralph Shortey
Senator David Holt
Senator John Sparks
Senator Clark Jolley
Senator Ron Sharp
Read more AIBS Position Statements