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Tennessee "Teaching the Controversy" Bill Becomes Law

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the tennessee-legislators-evolved-from-trogdolytes dept.

Education 672

MrKevvy writes "The Tennessee 'Teaching the Controversy' bill was passed into law today. 'A law to allow public school teachers to challenge the scientific consensus on issues like climate change and evolution will soon take effect in Tennessee. State governor Bill Haslam allowed the bill — passed by the state House and Senate — to become law without signing it, saying he did not believe the legislation "changes the scientific standards that are taught in our schools."'" The governor adds: "However, I also don’t believe that it accomplishes anything that isn’t already acceptable in our schools."

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Methinks a law of unintended consequences (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645441)

I can't wait for the first lawsuit involving a teacher fired for teaching kids about gay sex in his sex-ed class, or the first atheist teacher who catches even a sideways glance for teaching about evolution openly in any way he/she wants to.

When I went to school in Georgia many years ago, biology teachers would have killed for a law like this. Not so they could preach about Jesus riding a dinosaur, mind you, but so they could teach *evolution* openly with absolutely no fear of retaliation for it.

Try firing Scopes now, you bible-thumping fucktards.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (5, Informative)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645523)

I don't think this law does what you think it does. I believe the goal of this law is to allow teachers to present creationism as a legitimate scientific alternative to natural selection.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (-1, Offtopic)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645583)

Oh if only I had mod points. +1 insightful to parent

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645611)

...legitimate scientific alternative...

Despite it being none of these things...

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645683)

Modded down? Seriously? How did they do that without thumbs?

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645697)

Meanwhile in China, students are learning.

Surprisingly, not all of them. (5, Interesting)

flyhigher (643174) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646045)

Creationism (as in Biblical creationism) is spreading in China through missionary work:

http://www.skepticblog.org/2009/01/18/chinese-creationist/ [skepticblog.org]

But it's worse than that. US creationist organizations are actively translating their materials and working to disseminate them on a global scale:

http://nwcreation.net/international.html [nwcreation.net]

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645627)

Yes, that's the *goal*. I think you missed to point of my post.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (5, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645853)

Exactly what it is. If I had my child in a Tennessee school and the Teacher started using tax payer money to advance creationism, I would be the first to line up to sue the school, and I hope that is exactly what happens. Tax payer money should not be used to fund religious teachings and any state that thinks this is ok deserves to be hit with a lawsuit.

Stupidity at it's finest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District [wikipedia.org]

For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the religious nature of ID [intelligent design] would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child. (page 24)
A significant aspect of the IDM [intelligent design movement] is that despite Defendants' protestations to the contrary, it describes ID as a religious argument. In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity. (page 26)
The evidence at trial demonstrates that ID is nothing less than the progeny of creationism. (page 31)
The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory. (page 43)
Throughout the trial and in various submissions to the Court, Defendants vigorously argue that the reading of the statement is not ‘teaching’ ID but instead is merely ‘making students aware of it.’ In fact, one consistency among the Dover School Board members' testimony, which was marked by selective memories and outright lies under oath, as will be discussed in more detail below, is that they did not think they needed to be knowledgeable about ID because it was not being taught to the students. We disagree. .... an educator reading the disclaimer is engaged in teaching, even if it is colossally bad teaching. .... Defendants’ argument is a red herring because the Establishment Clause forbids not just 'teaching' religion, but any governmental action that endorses or has the primary purpose or effect of advancing religion. (footnote 7 on page 46)
After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980s; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. It is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research. Expert testimony reveals that since the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena. (page 64)
[T]he one textbook [Pandas] to which the Dover ID Policy directs students contains outdated concepts and flawed science, as recognized by even the defense experts in this case. (pages 86–87)
ID's backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID. (page 89)
Accordingly, we find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom, in violation of the Establishment Clause. (page 132)

The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board's ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents. [...]
The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy. With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (2, Insightful)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646095)

They will be sued...probably later this week.

As has been said previously, all this accomplishes is a gross waste of taxpayer money.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645855)

As opposed to teaching science in science class.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645871)

I don't think this law does what you think it does. I believe the goal of this law is to allow teachers to present creationism as a legitimate scientific alternative to natural selection.

Yes, but it also allows a teacher to teach that the Crusades were a religiously-inspired invasion of sovereign nations...possibly even terrorism by Christians against Muslims. I wonder if the governor will agree that THAT "accomplishes anything that isn’t already acceptable in our schools."

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645979)

yes that is the "goal" of the law
which is why the parent said he hoped the UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES of this law would be to (ironically) allow people to teach the exact opposite with no fear of retaliation

if the law says you can "teach the controversy" well then here's hoping that some teachers will teach the hell out if it

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (2)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645597)

This was my first thought, exactly. I always view the world as what's good for the goose is good for the gander. So this law protects your ignorant ass lessons about how the world is 6000 years old? Guess what, it protects mine that says that the world was created when God gave Satan a rusty trombone.

What? That's not protected? How so?

People always forget that free speech protects what they hate, not just what they love. I can't wait for this to bite them in the ass.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (4, Interesting)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645607)

My teachers in S.C. just ignored the laws pertaining to religion in schools. There weren't enough atheists, Jews, or other religious minorities around to make it an issue.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645813)

My Biology teacher laid out that he believed in creationism and simply wouldn't teach any theory. He taught everyone about current biology and environment.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645787)

The ones in favor of teaching evolution and climate change as established fact are merely statists who want to increase government power over the church and the individual.

Look at the solutions to the problems brought up by evolution: remove church teaching and authority in favor of government authority.

Look at the solutions to the problems brought up by climate change: remove individual property rights in favor of government authority.

I'm seeing a pattern here.

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (1)

BenLeeImp (1347831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646015)

I'm curious, what problems do you think evolution brings up?

Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (4, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645957)

When my kids were in school their teachers suggested evolution had problems and that creation was an alternative to be considered. The students laughed about it afterwards. They don't live in the cloistered environment their grandparents did

I expect this bill will do more to make students see the wisdom of scientific process than spread any religious philosophy.

Tennessee schools not up to par with universities. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39646071)

See, something like this sort of happened before [firstamendmentcenter.org] and when the University of CA systesm was sued, the judge dimissed it [faith-freedom.com] .

When TN students start getting rejection letters from accredited universities or at the very least colleges that understand that this is the 21st Century, maybe they'll change their tune.

This also happened with Kansas when one of their school boards banned teaching of evolution [holysmoke.org] and California told their students to not even apply to their schools. [holysmoke.org]

In the meantime, the rest of the World - even die hard theocratic countries - are pushing science educatoin. China is already on our heels when it comes scientifc progress.

Religious fundamentalism is destroying science education in this country - and giving everyone else of faith a bad name.

There you have it (4, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645491)

Politicians killing science in the American south. I wonder what they'll try to make controversial next. Gravity, perhaps?

Re:There you have it (5, Funny)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645541)

"Newton was a commie, gravity is actually God keeping you on the ground."

I weep for the future.

Re:There you have it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645709)

Well of course. He doesn't want you to float up to heaven before its time.

Re:There you have it (4, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645727)

Man was created in God's image, so gravity is really just the man keeping you down?

Re:There you have it (0)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646075)

"Newton was a commie, gravity is actually God keeping you on the ground."

I weep for the future.

When I wrote my treatise about our Systeme I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the beliefe of a Deity and nothing can rejoyce me more then to find it usefull for that purpose.
--Isaac Newton

Re:There you have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645589)

Well I am anti-gravity and therefore will continue to presume my stance against the teachings of gravity.

Re:There you have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645701)

Let's see...

A law to allow public school teachers to challenge the scientific consensus on issues like climate change and evolution

1) Why do you need a law to "allow" teachers to speak?

2) Why weren't teachers already encouraging children to challenge all authority? Authority is the enemy of science.

3) The nature of gravity is controversial and it would be even better, I think, if teachers encouraged children to look at the scientific debate surrounding the unifying theories of physics.

Look, humans are causing global warming, philosophical induction says evolution happened by chance mutations, and religion managed to co-exist with science at school for centuries until the powers that be needed to find something more sophisticated than "the abortion debate" or "the gay debate" to distract the semi-educated masses from shit what matters.

Re:There you have it (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645785)

1. Because before, some teachers could actually face diciplinary action for peaching in classs! Now they teachers are protected form this. Not that it happened very often - teachers have to do some really crazy religious stuff, like burning a crucifix into students' arms, before most schools would dare to incur the anger of the conservative pressure groups.

2. Because teaching time is valuable, and when there's a curriculum to meet and exams to pass teachers just can't afford to explore every aspect of the subject. If it isn't on the test, it'll be passed over for something that is.

3. See 2.

Re:There you have it (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645803)

Politicians killing science in the American south. I wonder what they'll try to make controversial next. Gravity, perhaps?

... Well Gravity is only a theory after all.

Re:There you have it (2)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646031)

And those who don't believe the theory should be encouraged to personally test it.

Tennessee is doomed... (2, Interesting)

ocean_soul (1019086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645497)

I weep for the kids in Tennessee.

Re:Tennessee is doomed... (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645525)

you just noticed?

Re:Tennessee is doomed... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645637)

It's not just Tennessee, it's a good chunk of the South (and Texas). Are there non-Southern states which are into this anti-science education trend? I would have guessed a midwestern or western state might pick up on it, but I think the infection hasn't spread outside the area yet.

Re:Tennessee is doomed... (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645793)

Well, if nothing else, Southerners will be so pig-ignorant in a few generations that they will make much more compliant domestics and pool cleaners for the Mexican-Americans when they take over.

Re:Tennessee is doomed... (1)

Oswald (235719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646041)

With the exception of the east half of Lawrence, pretty much all of Kansas seems to sympathize strongly [wikipedia.org] with Tennessee's view of these "controversies".

Re:Tennessee is doomed... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645851)

"I looked at my dog, and he said;
time to head away from tennessee, jed!"

Teach the controversy (5, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645499)

Aliens built the Pyramids
Teach The Controversy

http://controversy.wearscience.com/ [wearscience.com]

Re:Teach the controversy (4, Funny)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645693)

We'll start this chapter by watching the first few seasons of Stargate SG-1.

Re:Teach the controversy (-1, Troll)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645703)

Today we'll be discussing the controversy over whether or not Jesus was gay, kids.

Re:Teach the controversy (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645775)

Of course! They were landing platforms for their spaceships. On the plus side, their lessons will consist of watching Stargate and debating who was the better O'Neill.

Re:Teach the controversy (4, Informative)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645927)

This is Slashdot, but did you even think to browse the page and a half bill? It's quit simple in saying that only discussions with scientific merit are worthy and to be sensitive to other views and discuss that the controversy exists and not that it is right.

Re:Teach the controversy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645987)

The Earth is flat.

http://theflatearthsociety.org/cms/ [theflatearthsociety.org]

Teach The Controversy

Not Financially Conservative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645529)

When will people realize that "conservatives" are fiscally extreme, both in tax policy and wasteful spending? Yay! We blew millions by passing yet another unconstitutional law that will clearly be overturned by the courts after wasting millions in taxpayer funded legal fees. How anyone who approves of this nonsense can call themselves" financially conservative" or "against wasteful spending" is beyond me... sheer stupidity.

Re:Not Financially Conservative (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645821)

Because conservatives are not unified. There are at least three major factions within - the social, political and fiscal conservatives. They are allied in the US only because it brings mutual political advantage - by rallying together in the republican party they can most effectively fight their common enemy, the democrats. If the two-party system didn't force them into this alliance, they'd be opposing each other.

Re:Not Financially Conservative (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645861)

I was against the idea at one time, but I'm thinking the time is come to make it a crime to pass legislation that blatantly violates the constitution. Obviously it will always boil down to intent, but the judge did manage to find intent in the Dover decision, that the school board had deliberately set out to teach a specific set of religious beliefs, thinly masked to be true. If they could be criminally prosecuted, say, for violating the constitution, as opposed to just escaping with a court loss, I'd wager this would disappear pretty fast, along with all sorts of other legislation.

What about all the good things slavery did? (2)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645531)

I mean they're just competing narratives, aren't they? I can hardly wait for the Gay Nazis for Christ to teach their 'controversy'. It will be awesome.

Cults: 1 Logic:0 (3, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645535)


So when can science teachers start to tell these cults what sort of nonsense to spew in their brainwashing sessions every Sunday?

He should have vetoed it. (5, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645537)

Not because the bill means anything - I agree that it probably has no effect relative to what is currently allowed - but because we, as a nation, need to get over this urge to make meaningless laws.

If the law has zero net effect, than DON'T MAKE IT LAW!

And if the legislature makes meaningless laws, veto it as a statement of principle. If they want to override, that's their privilege.

Re:He should have vetoed it. (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645825)

Exactly. If it doesn't change anything, then it isn't a necessary law, and ABSOLUTELY should have been vetoed. Every unnecessary law cost you.

Re:He should have vetoed it. (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645839)

I'm fairly certain he wanted to, but as a republican in TN, he has to appeal to his voting base.

Lovely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645567)

Now even more of the constantly-slashed school budget will be wasted on teaching kids useless crap. When they're not busy teaching them how to pass state-mandated tests, that is.

Idiots (0)

Ryushe (225750) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645569)

Where the hell do they get the idea that a single schoolteacher can simply challenge subjects backed by scientific consensus? Or are the various anti-science groups in the US going to provide said teachers with ammo now to be able to counter scientific consensus? Either way, this is not a day Tennessee should be proud of by any means.

Re:Idiots (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645923)

They don't need "ammo", just natural laziness.

Teacher: "OK Kids, we can either learn the stupid belief that people were once monkeys and then I have to test you on it, or we can just all agree that God made us and move on to fun stuff."

Kids: "God made us"

Teacher: "Good, you all pass, lets move on."

Re:Idiots (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646011)

Or are the various anti-science groups in the US going to provide said teachers with ammo now to be able to counter scientific consensus?

They [wikipedia.org] have the textbooks [wikipedia.org] ready.

Just a sec while we run

sed -e 's/Creationism/Intelligent Design/'

bad bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645603)

I think this is a very bad law.

Does this formulier maken [cloudformz.com] work?

Teaching kids to think requires controversy (3, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645609)

Throughout history, ideas have warred it out through the process of open discussion and debate. Right now, this issue is totally Balkanized and neither side is talking to the other. Opening it up to discussion might allow us to get farther than trying to pick on side or the other.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (5, Insightful)

macromorgan (2020426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645725)

What debate though? One side is backed up by reason and evidence, and the other is not. There's a lot of facts on one side, and a lot of plugging fingers in ears screaming "I can't hear you" on the other side.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645729)

One 'side' isn't science.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (4, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645749)


This isn't a matter of picking a side, it's facts and evidence vs. fairy tales.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645811)

You're assuming both sides have valid positions. They don't. One side is based on the principle of scientific inquiry, the other one on a book written by goat herders a couple of thousand years ago.

The biggest problem in the US right now is that everyone is assumed to have a valid opinion. in the vast majority of cases, there are a few valid opinions, and a whole lot of completely wrong intuitions, gut feelings and "everyone knows" positions.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (5, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645819)

Without evolution, nothing in biology beyond the 4th grade level makes sense. Morphology, Anatomy, Physiology, Cytology, Embryology, Ecology, Taxonomy, Genetics, Paleontology, Microbiology... nothing, nothing, nothing in any of those fields can be adequately explained without bearing evolution in mind. Debating evolution in a biology class is like debating Netwon's third law of motion while riding a rocket to the moon.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (2)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645829)

Throughout history, ideas have warred it out through the process of open discussion and debate. Right now, this issue is totally Balkanized and neither side is talking to the other. Opening it up to discussion might allow us to get farther than trying to pick on side or the other.

Right. Have open debate in a high school class whether heat is molecular motion or phlogiston. Or whether Einstein or Newton was right. Whether disease is due to germs or evil humours. Or whether the planets revolve around the earth or the sun. Because science is so simple and easy to learn that there's lots of time to spend re-debating questions that were decided (at least as far as science is conceded) many decades ago.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645907)

The modern theory of evolution was produced by open discussion and debate. The problem is that a large group of people refuse to accept it due, mainly, to ideological reasons, while the rest refuse to accept the "alternatives" as they are based purely on ideology and not on evidence.

In this case it isn't a problem of discussing the issue to find a compromise. We know evolution is correct (barring small details which are not relevant unless you are a serious researcher in the area) and the only way the issue is going to resolved is by evolution being accepted or the scientific method being abandoned. There isn't any room in science for a compromise on this issue.

Education is required and its education that is being damaged by this bill.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645933)

Agreed. Black History Month should be matched by a White Supremacy month. Controversy!

There is no scientific element to creationism or intelligent design. So what would it do in a science class? It's more fitting instead to teach alchemy or the phlogiston theories as alternatives to modern science, or the body fluid balance theories in medical class. At least those were scientific in nature even though they have long since been abandoned.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645949)

What's there to talk about. There is no controversy in the scientific community. Creationism was rejected more than a century ago. It's only a real controversy when a meaningful number of authorities in the same or similar fields disagree, like say, string theory. That's a scientific controversy. But no one in any of the sciences related to biology has seriously thought Creationism was rational, let alone, scientific in generations. Even one of ID's chief formulators, Michael Behe, doesn't disagree with evolution or common descent. There's certainly no generic conflict with Christianity, as most of the major churches have had no objection to evolution for decades.

So "balkanized" is an absurd word to use, because it to somehow suggests there is a middle ground. But there is no middle ground.

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645967)

Agreed. Then again, seeing how so many are flaming you, it's easy to see how difficult such a task would be. Likewise, there are many on the other side of the argument who are just as "fanatical" and refuse to conduct themselves with decorum and grace in a discussion.
Until people learn how to learn and to ask questions, your country (and others) are doomed to suffer the consequences.

Posted as AC because in the past 12 years of visiting this site, I couldn't be bothered to sign up for an account.

Oh, you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39646023)

"Hey we have pretty conclusive proof for evolution. Look, see, this bacteria right now is even evolving as we introduce barriers to it. It is also demonstrating natural selection, whereby some bacteria die in favor of those who got past the barriers"
"Yeah well my deity done that."
"Yeah well you are but a figment of my imagination, which I control 100% and do everything. You are all me, I am all you. We are one."
"None of this even exists. None of you even exist. Neither do I." (okay I am stretching with this one)

WHAT DISCUSSION?
This Bill is quite literally being passed so teachers can stop pretending to be dumb and actually BE dumb without consequence.

I am fine for discussing science as science and beliefs as beliefs, but neither of them can ever be on friendly terms. They are mutually exclusive systems.
One requires direct proof, the other is completely based on belief.

Teach creationism in a religious class, be it RE, RMPS or whatever other forms they come in.
Teach science in a science class.
They both have merits, to certain extents.
They are both knowledge in the end, which is more valuable than gold-pressed latinum. (I had to)

Re:Teaching kids to think requires controversy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39646057)

There's no debate, no controversy whatsoever. Creationists wish there was, but the fact is that no such debate has existed in any meaningful form since the times of the Inquisition. And there's no such thing as "scientific consensus". Science is not made by consensus, but by experiment and facts: your theory matches them (and lives) or doesn't (and fails). Creationism fails even the simplest tests. Time to get over it.

Immaculate conception (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645629)

Don't forget to teach about immaculate conception in biology class too...

Re:Immaculate conception (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645795)

Don't forget to teach about immaculate conception in biology class too...

Yup, that could save a little embarrassment. Lots of miraculous baby Jesus deliveries coming soon...

All I can say... (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645653)

Double Faceplam [photobucket.com]

"Test today, class!" (2)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645655)

"Okay, students. Today we're going to 'challenge evolution'. Open your tests and follow the instructions. Be sure to use the scientific method to prove or disprove all of evolution's theories and predictions listed.

Pencils down. What was the answer -- Billy? Yes, that's right, Billy, we have challenged evolution and proven that it is true using the scientific method. Isn't that an interesting result? Well done, everyone!"

qualifications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645681)

I don't see a problem with teachers challenging scientific consensus, provided they're qualified to do so. I had a couple profs who disputed the textbooks, but they were probably correct, or at least they could make good sound arguments for doing so. For a teacher to simply say something they really know nothing about is wrong just because they don't like it is a bit scary.

Re:qualifications? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646039)

How many high school teachers do you suppose are capable of challenging biological evolution in a substantial and meaningful way? We all know what this means. It means Creationist teachers can pass around Answers in Genesis pamphlets and Jack Chick comics.

It will, of course, be overturned, as such attempts have repeatedly been, but is there no sense of shame in Tennessee, no sense that the only people on your side elsewhere in the world are the kinds of lunatics that preach that it's good to strap nail bombs to your chest and blow yourself up in night clubs where Jewish kids are dancing? Is there no sense that the state and its inhabitants look like contemptible fucking retards?

Scopes Monkey Trial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645705)

Which they seem intent to cause again.

Staying Competitive in a Rapidly Changing World (3, Insightful)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645735)

How can allowing teachers the ability to teach such utter bullshit help the U.S. stay competitive?
IMHO this sort of thing will only hinder the U.S. in the coming decades.

Let's teach dogmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645759)

Science needs challenges and criticism. You are not allowed to challenge or criticize dogmas.

Re:Let's teach dogmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645989)

Agreed. Especially this "Theory of Gravity" thing. Everyone knows it's just that the Earth sucks. Controversy!

Sign or Veto (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645765)

The governor adds: "However, I also don’t believe that it accomplishes anything that isn’t already acceptable in our schools."

So why don't you veto it to prevent cluttering up the lawbook with unnecessary laws?

Re:Sign or Veto (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645883)

Because Governor Janus is talking out of both sides of his face.

Whose version of "controversy"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645833)

Are they going to teach, that there is absolute no controversy at all in regard to evolution being real anywhere but in the fundamentalist religious circles? Or are they going to teach the fundamentalist lie that there is controversy? Also, all American presidents so far were reptilians. Teach the controversy!

Monkey Law (3, Informative)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645837)

A very appropriate name. Kids raised in TN are destined for failure. I'm sure there are some smart people there, but they moved in from out of state and/or are the exceptions.

I moved there in 2004, couldn't believe the ignorance, and ran out last year. That place is scary.

To be honest this is the kind of lawmaking I would expect from people there, a waste of time and further dragging the country down with more uneducated bible thumpers.

I would actually teach Intelligent Design... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645849)

...right after a unit on what is a Testable Hypothesis and why they are valuable to science.

Shine the light on ID and let the young minds decide for themselves that it's total bunk, at worst, or untestable non-science, at best.

Consensus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645867)

"A law to allow public school teachers to challenge the scientific consensus on issues like climate change and evolution will soon take effect in Tennessee."

Of course, the fallacy is that there exists scientific consensus on issues like this. I applaud this law.

Re:Consensus? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646003)

I wonder if hands with no thumbs make a different noise when clapping.

Well.. (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645879)

I can only hope that this allows teachers to truly teach the controversy, and why science is science, and that faith is faith. And be able to lay down all the facts without worrying about getting fired. You can imagine that a teacher trying to teach science would get spooked by a student asking about creationism: are the parents going to bitch to the school? is the teacher going to get hung out to dry to appease the conservative christian parents? I feel bad for teachers and today's ultra-reactionist society who want to blame everyone else for bad kids or for not agreeing with them.

As an aside, I'm Christian and don't believe in creationism. In fact the Bible/Genesis has _two_ versions of creationism, so it doesn't even agree with itself.

Turning Back the Clock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645887)

This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

A Walk in the Woods (5, Funny)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645903)

As Bill Bryson quipped, this is just "proving conclusively that the danger for Tennesseans isn't so much that they may be descended from apes as overtaken by them."

A million years from now (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645917)

I would love to be able to come back a million years from now and hear our N-great grandchildren arguing about whether they are descended from us.

"become law without signing it" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645921)

fucking wuss.

"Facts are Stupid" - Ronald Raegan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39645935)

And Bill O'Reilly once said, "and that's good enough for me."

Fundamentalist views on religion and "tradition" are just people who are too stubborn to admit they are wrong regardless of irrefutable facts... All it takes is faith!

So let's challenge the Holocaust by claiming it was fake.

Let us challenge the time in which life begins... at conception, hence abortion is murder, but once that baby pops out we could care less about it. and who cares if it's a black baby.

Let us challenge evolution: "I didn't come from no monkey's butthole." Grandma Squid (from squidbillies)

Learning math and science is what breaks you from being gullible and prone to exploitation by those who make a fortune exploiting the stupid (i.e. corporations, political parties, pastors, governments, etc.).

Oblig Comedy Centrail referenece (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645945)

There's only one thing left to do when this happens, teach our kids how to play Crossballs. (Anybody remember that show?)

The problem here... (0, Troll)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645983)

...is that the scientific allegation of spontaneous generation of life has never been proven. Do we have proof of evolution? Most definitely so. Do we have proof that mixing together chemicals creates life? Nope.

Ergo, until that is done repeatedly under laboratory conditions, atheists, your theory of the origin of life remains exactly that. A THEORY.

It's the basis of science (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39646005)

The basis of science is to challenge currently accepted beliefs, even those that are considered physical laws. It was once a scientifically accepted belief that if you sailed too far from home, you'd fall off the edge of the world. Scientists knew that gravity pulled down, and that the Earth was round. Someone eventually challenged that belief and found that you wouldn't fall off the edge of the world. As I understand it, time was proven to be constant until someone came along and discovered relativity. While the intent and practical effect of this law may have a negative impact on scientific learning, in principle it supports the teaching of science.

Theory or fact? (-1, Troll)

one_who_uses_unix (68992) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646021)

These stories always amuse me.

The folks that are religious about the "truth" of the big bang, evolution, climate change or any other theory try to defend presenting the THEORY as scientific fact in the name of good science. Whether you believe in it or not, it is just plain silly to present it as fact. Theory and fact are two very different things.

It is dishonest to present these theories as fact, no matter how convinced you are of their truthfulness, they remain theories. There are plenty of goons on both sides of the argument, but you have to admit that there are just as many people who are closed minded and simply unwilling to accept reality who are in favor of these theories as are against them.

Africans were never slaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39646029)

Blacks were not slaves, but guests of the nice white people who even paid their journey to the USA. Teach the controversy!

And the lesson is... (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646035)

...socialized schools are their own reward!

Does this apply to history as well (2)

moocat2 (445256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39646079)

Can they teach the controversy that George Bush stole in 2000 election?

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