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Uproar continues re Tennessee teacher protection bill


Further to “Tennessee teacher protection bill passes; Darwin’s folk are teed off,” further comment, from our moral and intellectual superiors:

At the Washington Post, from Valerie Strauss:

The law encourages teachers to “present the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.” But, as noted by the nonprofit National Center for Science Education, the only examples given in the bill of “controversial” theories are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”

She wants more? How about the fact that 47 cancer studies can’t be replicated, many of them highly cited? There’s no shortage of more, it’s a question of what students realistically have time and awareness for. Best to focus on the rubbish they regularly hear on TV.

From The Tennesseean:

“It was presented as giving more flexibility to teachers to discuss controversies, but really this has always been about evolution,” said Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “This has always been a way for teachers to interject their religious viewpoints if they contradict evolution.”

So all those other controversies (“the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning”) don’t matter? News around here: global warming doesn’t matter? Some of us guess that, in many places, it will be a bigger news draw than mindless evolution. Especially when folks start getting the bill for planet saving ventures.


Tennessee Education Association lobbyist Jerry Winters said the soon-to-be law sends a bad signal.

“Tennessee has a long history when you talk about the problems of teaching evolution,” he said. “And with all the emphasis on science, technology and engineering and math, it just seems to be moving totally in the wrong direction.”

And what has Darwinism done for engineering or math lately, Mr. Winters? Aren’t those just the areas in which Darwinism is slowly being fried? Oh wait, you wouldn’t know, would you? See this comment, also.

The Sensuous Curmudgeon is upsmacked. See thiscomment, also.

At Knox News, ACLU’s Hedy Weinberg advises us,

By allowing teachers to deviate from the established science curriculum, we take the risk that our students will be unprepared for advanced college work and at a disadvantage in our increasingly global economy. Tennessee may also be less appealing to employers offering science-based jobs. This bill could have serious consequences for the future well-being of our children and our economy and our state overall.

So, doubt Darwin and you could be out of a job? What they smoke down there in Tennessee? In a lot of places, no one really cares.

Even august Nature weighs in, to no particular effect.

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At least in their desperation they are not articulate to the majority of Americans, 70%, who want both sides taught in origin contentions. That they fear free speech and free investigation is a bigger lesson to the kids who are aware of this subject then anything else. All these negative commentators believe they are smart enough to know what kids should be taught and how the kids can't figure out good arguments from bad ones. These commentators seek to persuade but then deny others the right to do so. They truly are dumb and arrogant and weird and foreign to what make North America better then elsewhere. I'm glad they are bitter about this defeat. More to come. Robert Byers
Has there ever been any evidence that viable sci eng tech firms don't locate in a community simply because folk doubt Darwin? News
Yeah, I'm finding these (admittedly, summarized fast for a news article) objections to be pretty lame. nullasalus
Quite honestly, I get sick of hear this driven by these people: By allowing teachers to deviate from the established science curriculum, we take the risk that our students will be unprepared for advanced college work and at a disadvantage in our increasingly global economy. This drivel translates to: Teach kids what to think, not how to think. Teach them to just accept scientific dogma from the current priesthood and suppress their skepticism. Teach them that it is not acceptable to challenge certain "holy" ideas like Darwinism. Teach them not to question Darwin's priests and cardinals, and instead just bleat and baaa like everyone else. The bleatings of these people are pathetic, morally and intellectually. Christian-apologetics.org

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