Dave Agema, a West Michigan member of Michigan’s House of Representatives, recently joined with Representative John Moolenaar of Midland to introduce legislation that would support the teaching of intelligent design–otherwise known as creationism–in Michigan’s schools. The legislation, HB 6027, is based on draft legislation prepared by the Discovery Institute, a leading religious right think-tank on the issue of creationism and intelligent design.
The bill is designed to make the issue one of “academic freedom” rather than intelligent design, with advocates of the legislation arguing that it will “protect” teachers and enable them to teach about the strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories such as evolution and global warming. However, critics argue that it is “Trojan horse” legislation that instead encourages teachers to bring incorporate material that has no scientific basis and material that has been declared to be unconstitutional to teach.
In The Grand Rapids Press last week, Agema said that he believes “Nothing in science should be beyond scrutiny, not global warming, not intelligent design or cloning” and that “Students and teachers should be allowed to use facts to present alternative views.”