Having failed to turn Muslims into felons, the holy warriors in the Tennessee legislature now are trying to turn science teachers into Sunday school teachers.
A bill that would “allow” science teachers to teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution, climate change and other “scientific controversies” sailed through requisite House committees and has been placed on a similar fast track in the Senate.
Science teachers and scientists see this sort of “strength and weaknesses” legislation for what it is:
A back-door attempt, under the guise of “academic freedom,” to encourage public schools to teach Creationism and Intelligent Design in science classes.
Good morning, class. Today, we’ll look at a commentary on the ”weaknesses” of evolution and other secular humanist theories. Please turn in your text books to Genesis, Chapter 1.
In a devilish twist, supporters of the bill are enlisting the memory of John Scopes himself, the Tennessee science teacher tried for teaching evolution in the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925.
“Today’s evolutionary scientists have become the modern-day equivalents of those who tried to silence Rhea County schoolteacher John Scopes for teaching evolution in 1925, by limiting even an objective discussion of the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory,” David Fowler, head of the Family Action Council of Tennessee and chief lobbyist behind the legislation, wrote recently in an op-ed in the Chattanoogan.
Employing Scopes to defend a bill that encourages science teachers to teach theology instead of science is like using the apple that fell on Newton’s head to explain the apple that triggered “the Fall” in the Garden of Eden.
As journalist Lauri Lebo has reported, the bill’s official sponsor, state Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), got the bill from Fowler’s Family Action Council of Tennessee, an organization associated with James Dobson’s conservative Christian Focus on the Family.
Fowler told Lebo that he drafted the bill based on sample legislation from the Discovery Institute, which promotes Intelligent Design.
Earlier this year, two other Tennessee legislators sponsored a bill that would have made it a felony to practice Islam. They didn’t write the bill; they got it from the conservative advocacy group, Tennessee Eagle Forum. (Sanity prevailed and the legislobbyists revised the ”anti-terrorist” bill and removed all references to Islam and
Do state legislators ever write their own bills? Should we just cut the middlemen and allow lobbyists to submit their own legislation?
Am I being naive? Are we all being naive?
As Sarah Palin once said, “Science should be taught in science class.”
Creationism isn’t science.
Or as The Tennessean explained in a recent editorial, the language used by whoever wrote the science class bill “is cover for their real intent: to require teachers to concoct a phony debate over evolution, global warming and cloning as being matters of scientific controversy when they are only politically controversial.”
Now there’s a subject worth studying in high school.
Good morning, class. Today we’re going to examine the strengths and weaknesses of political controversies such as Creationism, school prayer, the war on Christmas, foreign-born Muslim presidents and so forth. Please turn on your TV.