NSTA opposes West Virginia's former "intelligent design" bill

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The National Science Teaching Association expressed its opposition to West Virginia's Senate Bill 280, a bill threatening the integrity of science education in the state's public schools, in a February 13, 2024, letter (PDF).

As originally introduced, Senate Bill 280 would have allowed the state's public school teachers to teach "intelligent design," and although the Senate Education Committee removed the explicit reference to "intelligent design," as NCSE previously reported, the bill's lead sponsor declared that the revised bill would still protect the teaching of "intelligent design."

NSTA's letter expresses the organization's strong opposition to "attempts to include 'intelligent design' and 'creation science' in the science classroom, adding, "To quote NSTA's position statement on the teaching of evolution, 'Claims by proponents of these views have been evaluated and discredited based on scientific evidence. These claims have no empirical power to explain the natural world and its diverse phenomena. As such, creationist perspectives cannot be considered science, and have no place in science classrooms.'"

NSTA warned, "Enacting SB 280 would engender significant confusion about what West Virginia's public school teachers are allowed to teach, potentially leading to litigation if misguided teachers elect to teach 'intelligent design' under the shield of the law," citing the outcome of Kitzmiller v. Dover in 2005.

The letter concluded that "Neither teachers nor students would benefit from the passage of this bill." Senate Bill 280 is presently with the House Education Committee, whose chair was among the addressees of the letter.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.