They Ain’t Monkeying Around in Tennessee!
Tennessee has a long and storied tradition of being at the forefront of the drive toward the 19th century. After all, it’s the home of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that Tennessee is again poised to to make “Monkey Law” history:
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. (Think Progress)
Just to be clear, they aren’t actually outlawing the teaching of evolution this time – they’re just going to allow “Science” teachers to criticize Science. And this time, it’s not just evolution! The “theories” that are fair game this time would also include climate change, the origins of life, human cloning (really? Is this a hot topic in high school classrooms?) and more.
It’s the ” and more” part that really gets me. I suppose it will be perfectly fine for Tennessee “Science” teachers to question the “theory” of a round Earth, or that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Just imagine the possibilities! I can’t wait to see all the science and tech companies that will soon be flocking to the Great State of Tennessee now that “Science” is taking over.