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TN House Passes Anti-Evolution Bill E-mail
Written by Don Byrd   
Friday, 08 April 2011

By a whopping 70-23 margin, the Tennessee House has passed a bill (HB 368) enabling teachers to undercut the science of evolution in biology classes. On the surface it sounds like reasonable legislation:

The bill, if enacted, would require state and local educational authorities to "assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies" and permit teachers 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."

Understanding, analysis, critique, objectivity, these all sound like great scientific principles right? And would they really need a law to allow for those? What could have the Tennessee Science Teachers Association calling the bill "anti-scientific and very likely unconstitutional"?

The answer comes in the lone examples of the bill provides: "evolution" and "global warming." 

Evolution simply isn't a scientific controversy. Those that would find it to be controversial typically do so on religious grounds, making it an improper discussion for a school science class funded by taxpayers. This bill, and other efforts like it, would compromise scientific instruction, and suggest to parents, teachers and students that religious objections to fundamental principles of biology are appropriate classroom subjects. Courts have found otherwise.