We’re not sure how this is news in Tennessee, where schoolteacher John Scopes lost the “Scopes Monkey Trial” (in both the state courts and the U.S. Supreme Court) back in 1925-26, but “Tennessee’s Republican-dominated House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would protect teachers who want to challenge the theory of human evolution.” Well, sure, whatever, fine. Does it ultimately matter whether the illiterate children of Tennessee sit through an hour or two of evolutionary biology in high school? When the entire graduating class of 2012 applies for the same three night-shift part-time shelf-stocking jobs at the Wal-Mart, does anyone care if the kids believe dinosaur bones were hidden in the Earth by The Devil to trick wayward wingnuts?
Thursday’s 70-28 passage of HB 368 was hailed by sponsor Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, who said the proposal was designed to promote “critical thinking” in science classes.
That’s one way of seeing it. However, the Tennessee Science Teachers Association is on record describing the bill as “unnecessary, anti-scientific, and very likely unconstitutional.” Although the document is worded so as not to promote any particular doctrine, the thrust of the proposed law would elevate creationist theories about human evolution to the same status accorded by most educators to Darwin’s research.
Please click the linky, just so you can see the accompanying news photograph. [CBS News via Wonkette operative “Matt N.”]