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Tennessee Bill Helps Teachers Challenge Evolution

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the dueling-with-zombie-darwin dept.

Education 735

sciencehabit writes "In a 70-28 vote yesterday, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed HB 368 (PDF), a bill that encourages science teachers to explore controversial topics without fear of reprisal. Critics say the measure will enable K-12 teachers to present intelligent design and creationism as acceptable alternatives to evolution in the classroom. If the bill passes, Tennessee would join Louisiana as the second state to have specific 'protection' for the teaching of evolution in the classroom."

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735 comments

My school prayer (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#35756788)

I pray that the day after this law passes, a biology teacher somewhere in the state walks into his classroom and spends the entire day showing how the fossil record contradicts the silly Genesis story in the Bible--knowing he's now protected by a law that says his principal and angry parents can't do jackshit to stop him.

Re:My school prayer (4, Insightful)

Silentknyght (1042778) | about 3 years ago | (#35756876)

I pray that the day after this law passes, a biology teacher somewhere in the state walks into his classroom and spends the entire day showing how the fossil record contradicts the silly Genesis story in the Bible--knowing he's now protected by a law that says his principal and angry parents can't do jackshit to stop him.

That's how I read this language: a teacher could, just as easily, discuss Darwinian Evolution or any other of the various scientific topics usually slandered by the Religious Right without any fear of reprisal. The bill doesn't seem to force the discussion, and so is not the issue. If any beef were to arise from it, I'd point my finger at the "science" teacher.

Re:My school prayer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757188)

hey kids! It's Tennessee Bill!

Re:My school prayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756896)

This would also allow a geology teacher to discuss the controversies related to the widely-discredited-by-Scripture "Round Earth" theory.

And I pray the opposite... (-1, Troll)

howardd21 (1001567) | about 3 years ago | (#35756898)

In the interest of open dialog that truly allows learning and discovery, I pray the opposite of you. I pray that a teacher will actually question the so called science of evolution, as something not observable or repeatable.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#35756954)

not observable or repeatable

In that case, it's just like your religion.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (0)

intheshelter (906917) | about 3 years ago | (#35757068)

Which would put them on equal footing, wouldn't it?

Re:And I pray the opposite... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757236)

The difference still remains, small repeatable experimental pieces align with the larger evolutionary interpretation. When the religious right can repeatibly cause minor miracles to occur then the footing is equal.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756984)

But it *has* been observed. You've heard of antibiotic resistant bacteria, right?

Re:And I pray the opposite... (5, Informative)

spedrosa (44674) | about 3 years ago | (#35756996)

It is both observable and has been repeated in many experiments.

Some of them are not even experiments per se: see antibiotics and bacteria.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757032)

In the interest of open dialog that truly allows learning and discovery, I pray the opposite of you. I pray that a teacher will actually question the so called science of evolution, as something not observable or repeatable.

Not observable or repeatable?!? Talk about showing your own damned ignorance.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (4, Insightful)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | about 3 years ago | (#35757056)

WHY, pray tell, does there have to be a conflict? And, by the way, evolution of simple organisms is observable and repeatable.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757202)

WHY, pray tell, does there have to be a conflict? And, by the way, evolution of simple organisms is observable and repeatable.

Please name one experiment where a simple organism gained information. The increase in genetic information is what is required to jump from microevolution to macroevolution

Re:And I pray the opposite... (3, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#35757244)

Simple organisms like flowers, dogs, horses, etc. Mankind has been running evolution experiments at least for all of recorded history.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (5, Informative)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 3 years ago | (#35757058)

I pray that a teacher will actually question the so called science of evolution, as something not observable or repeatable.

Vaccine resistance.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (2)

FauxPasIII (75900) | about 3 years ago | (#35757072)

In the interest of open dialog that truly allows learning and discovery, I pray the opposite of you. I pray that a teacher will actually question the so called science of evolution, as something not observable or repeatable.

Can't tell if trolling....
or just very stupid....

Re:And I pray the opposite... (5, Informative)

kanweg (771128) | about 3 years ago | (#35757078)

OK, let's suppose you're not trolling and you're not unwilling to challenge your own views. Not unreasonable assumptions, so watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUxLR9hdorI [youtube.com]

And that's based on objective machines (DNA sequencers and computers comparing the sequences). The link is highly recommended for schools and teachers.

That means no Adam, no garden of eden, no eternal sin, no Jesus dying for our sins.

Bert

Re:And I pray the opposite... (-1, Troll)

smelch (1988698) | about 3 years ago | (#35757292)

Your logic skills are fucking awful. Its hilarious that you're standing up for science while being a complete jackshit retard when it comes to basic logic.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (1)

Enry (630) | about 3 years ago | (#35757314)

That means no Adam, no garden of eden, no eternal sin, no Jesus dying for our sins.

No it doesn't. You can be religious and think ID is a bunch of hooey. This isn't an either-or proposition.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (5, Informative)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about 3 years ago | (#35757102)

Not observable?

I guess that depends on your definition of "observable", since it was Darwin's observations that species that had left the mainland had evolved into new species that were better adapted to their new environment. We have observed hundreds of human and pre-human skeletons showing an evolution over a period of a million years from chimpanzees to modern humans. Countless other observations have been made. We have even recently observed that bacteria, when selective pressure (antibiotics) is applied, they tend to evolve (ie, "superbugs").

Not repeatable?

Again, lab experiments have shown this time and again. Take two bacterial colonies, start turning up the heat over a number of generations and you'll eventually have two separate colonies of thermophiles. In the wild, convergent evolution has been seen a number of times. The textbook example are birds and bats. They belong to different classes (mammalian vs avian) and from the fossil record, we know that the wings developed after the species split off, but both creatures have very similar wing structure.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (1)

Inda (580031) | about 3 years ago | (#35757160)

Yep, it's been done with e.coli and fruit flies. Many, many, many times.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (2)

vyld (2036852) | about 3 years ago | (#35757104)

Sure, it's entirely possible that our current understanding of Evolution is wrong. That's not now, and has never been, an issue. What is, however, is the presumption that an explanation cobbled together from ideas in a 2000 year old book, primal mythology, and uninformed fear mongering, is the correct one. If that's the case, how about the Norse, Hindu, Buddhist, or Zoroastrianism, all of which are older and better documented than the Christian slapshot. The fact that one theory might be right doesn't mean that another kooky one is correct and must be accepted without the same scientific rigor that prove the first one wrong (or right, we're not there, yet).

Re:And I pray the opposite... (1)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | about 3 years ago | (#35757146)

Not observed, but we know something occurs in natural systems that results in the change of species over time, usually to match their environments. That's what our current theory of evolution is based around.

Whereas the intelligent design idea is based around evidence that's either nonexistent, anecdotal, or disproven (from what I've read, anyway).

(Not trying to slam religion, here- I think that if God does exist, he could affect the universe to create life naturally. However, applying Occam's razor shows that the conditions for life forming randomly are much higher than some nebulous, as-yet unobserved entity doing same.)

Re:And I pray the opposite... (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 3 years ago | (#35757288)

You can observe it. You just have to use some creature, with small life span, that produce many generation; something like a bacteria or a fungus. I my young time I made P. cubensis strain evolve to resist to a 2% h2o2 nutriment solution. Minus the now illegal part, this experiment should be easy to reproduce into a classroom.

Re:And I pray the opposite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757310)

I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are joking.

Re:My school prayer (4, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 3 years ago | (#35757038)

spends the entire day showing how the fossil record contradicts the silly Genesis story in the Bible

The fossil record does no such thing, and pseudo-scientists waste a lot of time tilting at windmills.

The Genesis story is a lot of things, but scientific theory it is not. It is of no merit to try to disprove it by scientific method.

Let it have its place in the discipline of Theology. I went to a religious school and this is where it was studied. This, or in a more general cultural historical discipline, is where it belongs.

There are so many important things in the world which are being sidelined by astroturfed spats. Once bread and circuses were sufficient. Now the population is moderately educated, so we need bread, circuses and engineered pointless debate (see also: abortion, tea party, gun control).

Re:My school prayer (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 3 years ago | (#35757092)

Yeah. My high school biology teacher had to dance around the topic of evolution but by that time we were all pretty well informed and knew about the bullshit that prevented him from openly discussing the topic. I'd be quite happy if a teacher can present several origin stories and apply scientific method to the lot.

Re:My school prayer (3, Insightful)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 3 years ago | (#35757112)

I for one would hope that there is at least one teacher in the state with guts enough to take advantage of the situation and discuss FlyingSpaghettiMonsterisim.

Re:My school prayer (1)

imroy (755) | about 3 years ago | (#35757138)

That sounds good, but IIRC, recent polls show that more than half of U.S. science teachers would teach creationism.

Re:My school prayer (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#35757256)

If just one teacher in each school would use it to fight against the bible-thumpers, and their attempt to hijack science for their own ends, it would be worth it. Because that would be enough to show them that these kind of cynical laws, passed by politicians only interested in pandering to their religious fanatic voters, can just as easily be turned and used against your beloved religious beliefs.

Re:My school prayer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757184)

While I'm in no way whatsoever against evolution - this might not be all bad. The single most infuriating point of my childhood was debating religion with my history teacher in high school and just as it started to become a good in-depth debate he noticed another teacher walk by in the hall and said "I'm going to have to stop this discussion here, otherwise I could get fired" and it was left at that in spite of repeated pestering to know how he could possibly get in trouble. It's absurd teachers can't speak their opinions - not only because children aren't all the utter retards we aim to regulate for and do in fact make up their own minds, but because there is a good point to be made simply for knowing someone's personal opinions separate from the material they are giving you so that you can know whether or not to adjust for a heavy bias.

Be careful what you wish for... (0, Redundant)

grub (11606) | about 3 years ago | (#35756790)


The knife cuts both ways: Science teachers are now free to say "Creationism is delusional nonsense" without fear of reprisal.

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756844)

But then again, this is the south we're talking about here. It's a miracle any of them are capable of wiping the drool off their own chins, let alone believe anything that didn't spring forth from a book of faerie tales.

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756916)

Really? Do you honestly believe your own dribble? Troll

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756926)

sounds win-win for science from what i read.

if the bill "encourages science teachers to explore controversial topics without fear of reprisal" then they get backing on teaching the scientifically accepted theory of evolution (it's a controversial subject for some non-scientists though).

also the are presumably under no pressure to teach creationism and "intelligent design" as neither of these are science.

i'm perfectly happy for these fairy stories to be taught in their proper classes like religious studies of course.

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (1)

grub (11606) | about 3 years ago | (#35756988)

It'd rather science classrooms kept to science but... What would happen if a student answered "God did it" to "What killed the dinosaurs?" on a test and a teacher marked it wrong?

It's a big can of worms. Watch: once the creationist nuts see things going against them, they'll try to reverse the law.

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (0)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 3 years ago | (#35756990)

> sounds win-win for science

Agreed. I've learned that my grade school teacher believed in creationism but taught us evolution because she had to. But generally, they should be able to talk about both without fear of reprisal, so long as they don't denigrate either. They can poke holes in them large enough to drive a T-rex through, but they should do so respectfully. This insane assumption in the entire mainstream debate that kids are too stupid to hear "the religious right believes X and the secular left believes Y" or to watch the news is... insulting to the intelligence of our children.

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (1)

azalin (67640) | about 3 years ago | (#35757098)

or to watch the news is... insulting to the intelligence of our children.

Judging from the intelligence of the a lot of adults, this is not insulting but rather bitter acceptance

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | about 3 years ago | (#35757142)

But generally, they should be able to talk about both without fear of reprisal, so long as they don't denigrate either.

Not in a science class, they shouldn't. One of the successes of the creationist/ID crowd has been to promote intelligent design as a viable alternate scientific theory to evolution, and argue that both have a place in a science class.

No. One has a place in science classes, and one has a place in the garbage bin of history.

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#35757152)

Except I don't think that is how it will be presented. They will present evolution as flawed and full of holes and without evidence*. Also while some science teacher may present it factually, they may be replaced with other teachers who have no science background but will present it according to the "correct"* way.

*The creationists definition of evidence and correct.

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756960)

I thing you end up being wrong here...

The bill is a one way bill, both in it's wording and thinking behind it. It will likely not protect anyone who wants to teach science since it is not considered controversial, yet with the bill in hand, School boards can now go out and distinctly hire creationist and bible swingers for "science" jobs, without this bill they face problems from normal parents in the school district.

In the end the bill will "force" a bigger divide in the US by letting the conservative "science is evil, learn everything from the bible" people group up together and force families with hopes for their children to move to a different area where education is valued.

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (1)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | about 3 years ago | (#35757088)

This is even coming after the fact that the vatican has specifically noted that the Bible is not a Science book and never will be. For 1 simple reason, science books change over time as we learn new theories and make new discoveries. The Bible never changes in its overall concept. The interpretations may change along with a few words here and there but the overall context has remained constant for centuries.

Re:Be careful what you wish for... (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | about 3 years ago | (#35757036)

This is exactly what I thought. In theory it allows science teachers to teach science freely but, of course, it will be used by many science teachers to proselytize schoolchildren. I'm glad when I was in school evolution was taught as science and not preached. ID deserves nothing past a mention in a SCIENCE classroom, not because it is harmful or silly, just because it is not SCIENCE. Secondly, as a practicing Baptist in Georgia, I have been able to reconcile my faith with evolution (and the Big Bang for that matter.) I honestly hate how some people (a loud minority in my experience) feel the need to invent conflict.

by proxy (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 3 years ago | (#35756796)

I have the right to teach Evolution in Sunday School?

Re:by proxy (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 3 years ago | (#35756814)

If it's a public school, you just might.

Re:by proxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756854)

Considering churches are on permanent tax welfare from the government, they seem pretty damn public to me.

Re:by proxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757082)

Priests are basically con men who make money off of the fear of the weak minded. They interfere in government and antagonize people into committing nefarious acts. And best of all, they do this tax free! Seriously, this needs to stop.

TAX CHURCHES

Re:by proxy (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 3 years ago | (#35757030)

a. a Sunday school is be definition not a public school.
b. that would depend on the church.
c. Are you a Sunday school teacher.

BTW I am and one of my lessons for the ages 12 to 14 was on the value of education including science, math, history, and literature.

Re:by proxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757100)

I learned about evolution in my Sunday school. Maybe you need a better church.

Nice! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756820)

Now the students can write "God did it" on every question without the fear of getting a bad grade.

Re:Nice! (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 3 years ago | (#35756998)

I just got a "You've already posted something in this discussion" so you can't have a +1 funny, but you should have got it.

Re:Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757196)

got you covered man!

Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756830)

It is unfortunate that once again a group tried to legislate into "fact" what it cannot argue or demonstrate to be factual.

Shall we give equal rights to other religions? to be taught as facts about the formation of stars? Mohammedism? Buddhistology? shall we make the celestial teapot fact, by law?

Flame War (1)

billyea (2029384) | about 3 years ago | (#35756838)

The quote "explore controversial topics without fear of reprisal" sounds like the kindle for a flame war to me. It just means that teachers can make fun of or downplay topics that other teachers are teaching "without fear of reprisal".

This story disproves evolution. (2, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 3 years ago | (#35756864)

Because apparently, we're devolving into a nation of idiots.

Re:This story disproves evolution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756976)

Evolution isn't necessarily progressive in nature, you know. We can all become stupid (which we are) and it's still evolution.

Re:This story disproves evolution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757114)

Even Forrest Gump had a child. Being an idiot does not preclude reproduction -- in fact, I'd argue the opposite -- a nation of idiots is FAR more likely than a nation of brilliant people, so long as contraceptives and delayed family-building remain voluntary choices. (No I am not arguing for government interference with family planning... just an observation).

Obligatory Futurama Quote (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756868)

"Freedom of speech may be part of the Constitution, but I know of a place where the Constitution doesn't mean squat."

(The Supreme Court)

The first thing could come up with? (4, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 3 years ago | (#35756884)

Requoting a sentence :

"...a bill that encourages science teachers to explore controversial topics without fear of reprisal."

So the article went straight from that wonderfully enlightened bill and went for creationism? Not partner preference, abortion, unsafe health conditions, or stem cells?

You could write 100 articles from that bill.

Re:The first thing could come up with? (5, Informative)

Johnny5000 (451029) | about 3 years ago | (#35757014)

Well, the bill itself specified "[t]he teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to,
biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human
cloning"

So it could apply to any of those things you talk about, but the bill itself is specifically aimed at the topics a certain segment of society finds especially distasteful.

Re:The first thing could come up with? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757260)

"...a bill that encourages science teachers to explore controversial topics without fear of reprisal."

So the article went straight from that wonderfully enlightened bill and went for creationism?

You're just being thrown off by the weasel words the cdesign proponentsists have been using to push their "teach the controversy" rhetoric.
They can't say "teach Genesis", so instead they say: "teach what you want... *nudge* *wink*".

"There has been a widespread pattern of discrimination against educators who would challenge evolution in the classroom," Casey Luskin, a policy analyst for the pro-intelligent design Discovery Institute, in Seattle, Washington, told ScienceInsider. "Schools censor from students the evidence against evolution. This protects the rights of teachers to teach in an objective way ." The Discovery Institute supports the bill and others like it in other states.

If the "Discovery Institute" supports something... it must be bad for science.

It's right there in the bill:

This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not
be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination
for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination
for or against religion or non-religion.

You know it has to be promoting something it's not supposed to because they're making a big deal about how it isn't.

Now start teaching proper sex education... (5, Insightful)

Cutriss (262920) | about 3 years ago | (#35756888)

...and see how long it takes for this law gets amended.

Re:Now start teaching proper sex education... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757076)

Or start teaching that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe and heaven (with a beer volcano and strippers) or about Scientology or any similar "non-standard" belief in Tennessee and see how long the law stays unamended.

Misread.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756892)

At first I thought 'Tennessee Bill' was some sort of Tea Party superhero.

Re:Misread.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756940)

You're confused with Hillbilly Jake.

Bible school? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756894)

If I wanted my kids to learn about creationism or intelligent design wouldn't I take them to a church? Or teach them myself? If my kids are learning about creationism in school and NOT evolution, I should be able to choose, and be funded by the state, to send my kids to a school that teaches observable science. Church/School/State should always be separated imo.

Hold on to your pirate hats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756938)

Personally I would take this opportunity to enlighten students in the way of Pastafarianism, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster...

No surprise to me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756946)

When I made the mistake of moving to Tennessee from Florida, my children were way ahead of the others in both high school and middle school. They became bored. I was very surprised and disappointed to find the local high school was promoting religion instead of spending more time on the basics. When we moved back to Florida they had a lot of catching up to do -- initially it was tough but I'm lucky they're bright kids.

Tennessee is a state where you still have white people calling black people "boy", where the people I met were alarmingly uneducated, and where kids have no bright futures waiting for them. It is a backwoods stretch of stench, a blight to our nation.

Re:No surprise to me (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | about 3 years ago | (#35757302)

Don't say that to the people that live there...they'll fucking shoot you.

I live in Kentucky and outside of the city I live in it's a very similar story; they might be ignorant and backward but they are violently loyal to their roots and defend to the death their heritage. I think it's just the way the South is, unfortunately. I'm lucky enough to be able to afford private schools for my kids because with exception of a couple, the public school system here is among the worst in the country.

Academic freedom vs science. (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 3 years ago | (#35756966)

Hey there are teachers at universities that teach that the 9/11 attacks where a plot by the US government and they get defended on the grounds of Academic freedom.
http://media.www.smithsophian.com/media/storage/paper587/news/2007/09/20/News/Umass.Professor.Supports.911.Conspiracy.Theory-2984244.shtml [smithsophian.com]
Where do you draw the line? I agree that Creation science isn't but then I have heard teachers spout all sorts of tripe over the years. I know of one child that actually had a teacher that when she found out that she was a member of a certain religion start teaching a course about the history of the religion from a very negative view point and full of miss information. The school defended her teachers right to teach history how she saw fit and that was in high school.
So do you want the government to tell teachers what they can and can not teach?

Re:Academic freedom vs science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757140)

So do you want the government to tell teachers what they can and can not teach?

We call this a "curriculum".

If the teacher is a teacher at a public school, the government is their employer, and they do that already. Trivial example: the music teacher teaches music, not physics, except possibly where the two subjects intersect.

Re:Academic freedom vs science. (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 3 years ago | (#35757182)

There's a higher standard for the hard sciences than for the soft sciences. Physics and Biology can be tested, Religion and 9/11 theories less so.

Re:Academic freedom vs science. (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | about 3 years ago | (#35757232)

I want the government to force religious education into private schools. Private schools still can apply for government grants, and its the business of the state and the feds to decide how many grants they want to have available to private religious schools, but government is supposed to be secular so they should only be allowed to fully fund secular education.

Re:Academic freedom vs science. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757268)

Where do you draw the line?

Primary and Secondary school. Post-secondary students can generally choose which university/college to go to, and generally what classes to take, if they even go to a university instead of something like a trade school. Under-18, you have no choice. You either fork out big bucks for private school, or you go to your local public one. And if your local public school is now allowed to teach you that the scientific method is bunk, then you're going to be woefully un-prepared for anything more advanced.

Intelligent design isn't just bad science. It's bad fact-checking, bad journal publishing, bad sourcing, bad record-keeping. If anything, ID should be held up not as an "alternative" to evolution, but as a case study in "how to get any BS published".

My statistics class had such a study. We had to go through papers and show how the author twisted his stastistics and "massaged" results to get the data he wanted to conclude. ID would be a perfect example.

Re:Academic freedom vs science. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757284)

But that professor wasn't teaching it in the classroom or at least the article doesn't say that she was. She just believes it and has signed statements supporting that theory. There's no problem with a teacher believing Creationism or even writing statements in support of it outside the classroom. However, the minute they start teaching their sectarian fringe religious dogma as scientific fact, there's a problem.

I didn't know separating church and state was easy (1)

anyGould (1295481) | about 3 years ago | (#35756974)

Just say:

The bill also says that its "shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine."

And apparently it's all OK.

But yes, I look forward to a few teachers starting to teach the wackiest stuff they can think of. I'd pick old-school, myself. The four humors and all that.

Just to clarify (1)

nullCRC (320940) | about 3 years ago | (#35757052)

Over 92% of Americans believe in God, but most Slashdotters don't, correct? I mean, not just saying they don't but degrading or belittling anyone's belief if they do.

Re:Just to clarify (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about 3 years ago | (#35757176)

I am one of the 8% but I am pretty sure that believing in a god or multiple gods does not in any way prevent you from also believing in evolution. These people are trying to teach a very specific type of interactive god.

I've never heard of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757064)

Who is Tennessee Bill?

Not mutually exclusive. (2, Insightful)

thefolkmetal (970306) | about 3 years ago | (#35757130)

Most Christians are pretty ignorant as to what the bible actually says, so let me offer what might be a different view than has been presented here before:

It would be pretty stupid for any Christian to say that the Earth is a meager 6000 years old, yet they do it anyway. However, there is pretty clear text that says that to God, time is of no consequence. "A day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day" and all that. Now, consider that in the "seven days" that he created the world, day and night didn't even exist until the 4th day (correct me if I got the "day" wrong), which means that the way that we're measuring this time is wrong. So, the entirety of the creation process that is documented in the Bible is not something that Christians should be using to try and disprove Evolution, because it makes no mention whatsoever about how the inhabitants of the planet were created, and why would it be so wrong to believe that a creator would use the biological laws of the world he'd created to achieve said end?

Just consider it.

Where's FSM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757132)

Oh no. Does this mean teaching of the FSM is legalized?

Can I teach that Thanksgiving was invented by the Turkey Voluntary Extinction movement?

In school (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 3 years ago | (#35757136)

I really want my child to learn about atheism. On Sunday we will sit and read Richard Dawkins books. Which is a bit hard going as I agree with him; but he is a bit too smug.

Tennessee.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757166)

Dueling Banjos is the state song. And on the ballot is Toothless Man vs. Mountain Man. If they don't secede, can we kick them out of the union to keep them out of DC?

Begging the question (1)

srussia (884021) | about 3 years ago | (#35757190)

This whole debate has everyone asking the wrong questions.

The problem is public education in the first place. Allow people to create schools however they want (without being crowded out by public education) and let the fittest survive.

Re:Begging the question (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | about 3 years ago | (#35757278)

Yeah, and then the poor could not afford to send their kids to school. Fix the poverty problem first, redistribute the wealth, and maybe then I could agree with you.

What is wrong with this bill as written? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 3 years ago | (#35757216)

I just have one question. What is wrong with this bill as written? Go to the link and read the bill. It is amazingly clear for a law. I do not see anything in the bill that disagrees with positions taken on slashdot everyday by people from every ideological perspective. Just the other day we had a topic on here about how for most people science is something they take on faith. People were talking about how science is designed to be critiqued. This bill proposes that science teachers teach students how to do that "in an objective manner".
Forget what you think is wrong about the motivations of those who have written this bill. Evaluate this bill on the basis of what it actually says. I do not see any hidden phrases that allow it to enable some religious takeover of science education.

hymen remains unproven as natural development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757218)

so who needs it? that answer straightens out quite a bit of theatrical prop work? on to the tower of babel? convergences are pending.

using the genuine native american elders rising bird of prey leadership initiative (teepeeleaks etchings), there's more bad behavior than just real sex religious training, physical alterations & mutilations, depopulations, exterminations etc.. in our real history. our minds & spirits are also affected, but not dead yet, either. the planet will repair itself. will we? could probably breed out that hymen thing in a 1000 years or so, if nobody goes deity holycost on us again, ever. monkeys don't have one.

Tennessee Bill? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757254)

Who is Tennessee Bill, and why hasn't our FSM reached out to him?

That is all.

Dead on Arrival (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about 3 years ago | (#35757276)

The anti-establishment clause of the First Amendment to the US constitution still trumps state law. Since the US Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that Creationism, "intelligent design", etc. are religious doctrine, they still cannot be taught in public school science classes, even in Tennessee. Just because this bill says they are not promoting religious doctrine doesn't make it so. If this passes, it will get tossed out as violating established constitutional law.
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