What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 11, 2012

More Anti-Science Down South

From the National Center for Science Education:
Governor Bill Haslam allowed Tennessee's House Bill 368 to become law without his signature on April 10, 2012, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal (April 10, 2012). The law encourages teachers to present the "scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses" of topics that arouse "debate and disputation" such as "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning."
I'm not sure if they have it exactly right, however.  Take a look at the summary of the bill:
This bill prohibits the state board of education and any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or principal or administrator from prohibiting 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, such as evolution and global warming.
Unless I am missing something (and that's always completely possible) the bill isn't necessarily encouraging teachers to (as others have put it) "teach the controversy" as much as it prohibits their administrators from stopping them if they decided to do so.  (I guess that could be "encouraging" but my point is that it's a little more subtle than that.)

So if Mrs Dellert (my science teacher when I was in High School) decided to spend a week or so presenting the "science" that questions evolution, she would be free to do so in the state of Tennessee.

Even though that science doesn't exist.

She'd be free to move from science to anti-science in a science class and remain blissfully unperturbed by any school administrator or bureaucrat who'd want her to, you know, teach science in a science class.

This is what happens when a theocratically tinged legislature seeks to decide scientific questions.  This is what's going on in Tennessee.

 (By the way, I don't know what became of Mrs Dellert - she was a fine chemistry teacher and looking back I wish I'd been a better student.)


SamStone said...

So will they also teach astrology, alchemy, aether, and all the other controversies that have as much scientific weight as creationism? No. Of course not. It is just evolution and global warming on their chopping block.

It is worth noting that we are ranked 33 out of 34 in the Western world with regard to "accepting" evolution. (Turkey is 34). This bill will only make it worse, if is allowed to stand.

Most likely, the courts will strike it down, fueling the conspiracy theories against religion.

Heir to the Throne said...

Please provide a link that explains the process where the 13 amino acids became functioning life.

Best I could find.

Claim CB025:
Stanley Miller's original abiogenesis experiment produced only four of the twenty amino acids from which proteins are built, and later experiments still have not produced all twenty amino acids under plausible conditions.

Miller's experiments produced thirteen of the twenty amino acids used in life (Henahan 1996). Others may have formed via other mechanisms. For example, they may have formed in space and been carried to earth on meteors

It is not known which amino acids are needed for the most primitive life. It could be that the amino acids that form easily were sufficient and that life later evolved to produce and rely on others.

Brandt Hardin said...

This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

EdHeath said...

HTTT, please provide a link that proves God created the world.