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April 9, 2012 / George

Creationists Attempting To Ruin Science In Tennessee

Sigh.

Tennessee’s Republican-dominated House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would protect teachers who want to challenge the theory of human evolution.

Thursday’s 70-28 passage ofHB 368was hailed by sponsor Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, whosaidthe proposal was designed to promote “critical thinking” in science classes.

That’s one way of seeing it. However, the Tennessee Science Teachers Association is on record describing the bill as “unnecessary, anti-scientific, and very likely unconstitutional.” Although the document is worded so as not to promote any particular doctrine, the thrust of the proposed law would elevate creationist theories about human evolution to the same status accorded by most educators to Darwin’s research.

The bill’s provisions call upon state schools and administrators “to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.” It also contains a provision saying that “teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.”

Presumably, that would also extend to teaching about alternative theories to global warming, a hot-button issue among conservative groups.

Tennessee’s Senate Education Committee is slated to vote on asimilar billby the end of the month.

via Creationists notch big win in Tennessee – Tech Talk – CBS News.

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