Tennessee Senate Passes Law Protecting Anti-Evolution Teachers…Is This a Return to 1925 Scopes Trial?
Friday, March 23, 2012
State Sen. Bo Watson
Tennessee, the state that produced the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925, is coming close to adopting a new law that allows teachers to question the “scientific strengths” of evolution.
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Bo Watson (R-Hixson), says that teachers would still be forbidden from discussing their own religious view and that, “The idea behind this bill is that students should be encouraged to challenge current scientific thought and theory.”
Critics of the legislation say it will promote the teaching of creationism in classrooms. Opponents include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the American Institute for Biological Sciences, as well as several news and teachers organizations.
The bill cleared the state Senate 24-8 and now heads to the House, where lawmakers passed a similar proposal last year.
To Learn More:
TN Science Bill Protects Teachers who Allow Debate over Evolution (by Chas Sisk, The Tennessean)
Anti-Evolution Class Discussions Get Senate's OK (by Tom Humphrey, Knoxville News)
"Monkey Bill" Passes Tennessee Senate (National Center for Science Education)
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