The new 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,” and says the goal of science education is to help students “develop critical thinking skills.”
I say three cheers for the Tennessee legislature.
Opponents have derided the new law as a “Monkey Bill,” trying to associate it with the Butler Act and the Scopes Trial of 1925, which earned Tennessee a reputation – deserved or not – as a bastion for backwardness and scientific illiteracy.
“Telling students that evolution and climate change are scientifically controversial is miseducating them,” warned Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE).
“(This law) would gut science education in public schools,” warned Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.
“What it does is bring the political controversy into the classroom, where there is no scientific controversy,” groused Larisa DeSantis, who teaches in the Department of Earth and Environment at Vanderbilt University. “As a science teacher I would say there is no controversy over evolution or climate change in the scientific literature.”
No controversy over evolution or climate change??? Is the woman blind?
The bill received strong bipartisan support, passing the state House and Senate by a three-to-one margin. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam allowed the bill to become law without his signature on April 10, 2012, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal (April 10, 2012).
Opponents argue that the new law is an attempt to introduce religious beliefs such as creationism or “intelligent design” as science, thereby undermining broadly accepted scientific principles and hurting students’ education.
I’m not into intelligent design, as you already know if you’ve read “Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps.” So I’m chagrined that climate change has been lumped together with creationism as just another “religious belief.”
But during a week when 49 NASA astronauts and scientists filed a written complaint about the agency’s global warming activism, to say that there is “no controversy” over climate change is – if not a flat-out lie – at least a complete misrepresentation of the facts.
Thanks to Kevin Uscinski for these links
“I really enjoy checking your website for climate news,” says Kevin. “I think its great!”
“I was listening to NPR last night and they had a conversation about a new law that was just passed in Tennessee that allowed for criticism of evolution and global warming in the high schools. Apparently some teachers felt like the couldn’t say that these two items were not 100% proven, and this law helps protect them. Anyway the people who opposed this bill kept arguing on the radio show that there is absolutely no controversy on whether or not global warming is occurring, and that there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, so why create the law?
I included some links for you to read about the story. One of the last ones includes petition against the law which describes how they know that global warming is 100% real and a man made problem.