A new antiscience bill in Florida

Florida's Senate Bill 330, filed on January 14, 2019, would, if enacted, require "[c]ontroversial theories and concepts" discussed in science standards "[to] be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner."

Although there is no indication in the bill about which "theories and concepts" are deemed to be "controversial," much less any guidance about adjudicating disputes about which are and which are not, it is suggestive that the bill's sole sponsor, Dennis Baxley (R-District 12), has a history of antievolution advocacy. 

In 2005, while serving in the Florida House of Representatives, Baxley introduced House Bill 837, concerning academic freedom in postsecondary education, reportedly citing a "tirade" against creationism he was subjected to as a student at Florida State University as the impetus for the bill. The bill ultimately died.

Similarly, the Orlando Sentinel (November 20, 2017) reported, "Baxley, then [in 2008, when new science standards were adopted in Florida] executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, said at the time he wanted scientists to 'leave the door open a little bit' for the consideration of other evidence about how life on earth developed."

In 2017, Senate Bill 966, also sponsored by Baxley, and House Bill 825, sponsored by Charlie Stone (R-District 22), contained a similar provision about controversial theories and concepts. Both bills died in committee in 2018.