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Thursday, April 05, 2012

When you read Inherit the Wind in high school, did you ever think that we'd be having this argument again in the 21st century?
Posted by Jill | 5:34 AM
America: Looking forward into the 13th century:
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) announced yesterday that he will “probably” sign a bill that attacks the teaching of “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning” by giving broad new legal immunities to teachers who question evolution and other widely accepted scientific theories. Under the bill, which passed the state legislature last month:

Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or any public elementary or secondary school principal or administrator shall prohibit any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping 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.

Although the bill is written to seem benign, as it neither specifically authorizes the teaching of creationism nor permits teachers to do more than criticize scientific theories “in an objective matter,” the practical impact of this bill will be to intimidate all but the heartiest of school administrators against disciplining teachers who preach the most outlandish junk science in their classrooms. Because the bill provides little guidance as to what constitutes an “objective” criticism of a scientific theory, any principal who reigns in teachers who force creationism or Pastafarianism upon their students risks finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.

I grew up in a country that envisioned space travel and technology and science and discovery as good things. Today I live in a country that is one step away from burning witches.

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Anonymous Charlie O said...
The GOP wants to take the country back. Back to 1850.

Blogger Elizabeth Adams said...
As a 7th grader in the '70's, I was living in Louisiana. I can still picture my science teacher who, on the first day of class said, "YOU'RE ancestors may have been apes, but MINE were NOT!" And in a large-print strip around the walls in the room were: "Man was created in God's image so that He may rule over all the animals." I also remember the 300 pound vice principal walking around the campus with his wooden paddle in hand, ready and willing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Never ceases to amaze me, that at the beginning of the 21st century, large numbers of Americans want to return to the mental level of a medieval peasant--and make the rest of us that way by force of law...

Hmmm...I wonder if there's any validity to the concept of Devolution.If so, is America becoming the leading example of same?

Blogger Buttermilk Sky said...
I had a biology teacher in New Jersey who insisted that evolution was "just a theory." They're out there, waiting for laws like this to give them permission to teach mythology instead of science.