Tennessee About To Dump Darwin

The anti-science, anti-evolution bill passed in Tennessee is all but certain to become law as Gov. Bill Haslam (R) announced that he’d likely sign the bill.

The bill attacks the teaching of “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning” by shielding teachers who question evolution and other widely accepted scientific theories.

On it’s face the bill doesn’t specifically authorize the teaching of creationism nor does it permit teachers to do more than criticize scientific theories in an “objective” manner. Instead, it makes it nearly impossible to discipline teachers who push junk science.

And its another disturbing example of the insistent march against science coming from the right and in every direction. When science is no longer science then legislation based on science is at best special interest pandering and at worst just a theological imperative.

The scientific community is against this bill specifically because it endorses the idea that any idea is a valid idea, even if that idea is not supported by a process that objectively evaluates claims before endorsing them as truths.


Related Stories:

More Creationism Bills Advance

Conservatives Lost Trust In Science

Photo from gwire via flickr


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

I know there are stupid people and ignorant people and stupid, ignorant people, but they shouldn't be in charge of education and science. In science, things are tested before they are given any credence. Statements that the earth is 6,000 yrs old because the biblers say it is, should not be given the same weight as the scientific evidence that shows the world to be billions of years old. Flat earth vs round earth? should not be in the same discussion. Religion is a private belief for people in their churches, and not to be taught in schools as science. The Founding Fathers knew what they were talking about in separating church and state.

lis Gunn
lis Gunn5 years ago

I am amazed at some of the comments posted here. By all means present students within the educational system with evidence based information so that they may think critically, analyse and make up their own minds. The problem is that creationism, intelligent design or religiously based dogmas are not based on evidence or scientific fact.
I feel quite sorry for the teachers and academics of Tennessee. Their academic credibility and qualifications will be jeopardised. I don't think their will be too many astronomers, physicists and other pure scientists and researchers graduating from Tennessee's universities comfortable in the knowledge that their fields are on a par with creationism and theology. And I can't bear to think what Clarence Darrow and Scopes might be thinking while turning in their graves. Talk about regressive!!!
@Stephanie D. "Hard and practical science"like engineering and technology are applied sciences rather than pure sciences. (Think of Einstein and Russell for starters).

Brenton P.
Brenton Potts5 years ago

Judith H. that is exactly what this is all about. It´s about teaching analysis and critical thinking, no where does this bill say anything about Christian teaching, that part is all journalistic spin.

But didn´t stop 99% of Care2 Readers jumping to conclusions, and rambling on about how much they hate religion.

you are 100% right, let the students decide for themselves.. but to do that you have to present them with information on which to base that decision. Thus the ability to critique evolution. It makes sense to any thinking person.

Judith H.
Judith H5 years ago

Shame on Tennesee, schools are supposed to 'school' not pass judgement. Let the students decide for themselves as they learn and understand science teachings.

Darryll Green
Darryll Green5 years ago

why aren't you jumping on Jessica Plecko, this story is totaly false. i have checked everywhere i could for any information on this and i could not find one word about this as usuale she either makes some of her articles up or she twists them around where they don't resemble the actual acticle, this is the fifth time i found her stories to be just that. stories Kandy left a comment on the following article:

Tennessee About To Dump Darwin
Why is it that religion has to be a part of EVERYTHING? Why does it have to be pushed on EVERYONE? This is just another tactic to brainwash people and to make them mindless zombies following whatever they say. They know that young children are impressionable; so hell- let's remove ALL scientific knowledge from the classroom and just go completely based off of religion..let's teach children that if religion doesn't support it- it never existed EVEN though there is plenty of science to support it's existence! Beautiful way to develop young minds! People need to wake up and realize what the people behind religion are propagating!

David left a comment on the following article:

Tennessee About To Dump Darwin
Fundamentalist Christians seem to be hell-bent (used advisedly) on creating a theocracy, which they protest vehemently about over Iran, in the US. It is, so far, unclear as to where all this will end, but the trajectory they are on is disturbing to say the least.

J L Angell
JL A5 years ago

Apparently Tennessee intends to import all workers needing scientific skills and knowledge later this century since they do not plan to provide this requisite education to their own citizens...will it be from Asia? Do they plan on slave labor or what?

Bernard Cronyn
5 years ago

Over the centuries in many lands the cycles in the rise and fall of scientific activity are exactly opposite to the rise and fall in the power that religious bodies have over the incumbent rulers. What I always fail to understand with those that deny science and modernity whilst extolling "ancient wisdom" is the way they cherry pick. "Your science and culture is wrong but I'll use your scientifically created antibiotics to save my child's life." "Your culture and way of life is at odds with mine but I will use your inventions to travel on pilgrimage."

Ken W.
Ken W5 years ago

just get rid of all schools ----- that way the gop/tp can get more votes -----

David H.
David H.5 years ago

Fundamentalist Christians seem to be hell-bent (used advisedly) on creating a theocracy, which they protest vehemently about over Iran, in the US. It is, so far, unclear as to where all this will end, but the trajectory they are on is disturbing to say the least.

Redgie H.
Redgie H5 years ago

Stefanie D,
So you would agree with my observation that people in today's world can at best hope for a fuzzy glimpse into the lives and cultures of peoples who lived thousands of years ago. It is dogmatic to assert that our nervous systems process information in the same manner as those in the distant past. And without any direct observation of their societies, it is absurd to suggest that we can more than grossly approximate the meaning of their written languages. It would be insane to believe in the literal truth of even first person accounts, and impossible to believe in the literal truth of 3rd and 4th person accounts.

And I know what you mean about raw light/heat energies; if left alone with them, the giant conifers of the northwest US would probably completely disintigrate in 2 or 3 thousand years.