Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tennessee enacts evolution, climate change law; America is doomed

Neela Banerjee in the Los Angeles Times: Tennessee enacted a law Tuesday that critics contend allows public school teachers to challenge climate change and evolution in their classrooms without fear of sanction.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam allowed the controversial measure to become law without his signature and, in a statement, expressed misgivings about it. Nevertheless, he ignored pleas from educators, parents and civil libertarians to veto the bill.

The law does not require the teaching of alternatives to scientific theories of evolution, climate change and "the chemical origins of life." Instead, it aims to prevent school administrators from reining in teachers who expound on alternative hypotheses to those topics.

...The bill's critics, which include the Tennessee Science Teachers Assn. and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, counter that teachers currently have no problem addressing unconventional ideas and challenges that students bring up. They argue, instead, that the measure gives legal cover to teachers to introduce pseudoscientific ideas.

...The law is likely to stoke growing concerns among teachers around the country that teaching climate science is becoming the same kind of classroom and community flash point as evolution. Tennessee is now the second state, after Louisiana, to allow the teaching of alternatives to accepted science on climate change....

John T. Scopes, shortly before the infamous 1925 Monkey Trial, in which he was found guilty of teaching evolution in a classroom, the brute

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