You already know the news that the Tennessee Creationism Bill Passed Both Houses of the Legislature. All that remains for that idiocy to become law is for it to be signed by the Governor, Bill Haslam
Back in 2008 we had the same issue in Louisiana, and we were naive enough to think that their Governor, Bobby Jindal, who had been a biology major in college, might actually have the fortitude to veto it. It was hoped that he would follow the example set by Oklahoma’s Governor Brad Henry that same year, when he vetoed a similar bill which his legislature had passed. But Jindal turned out to be a pandering fool.
What of Tennessee’s Governor Haslam? In the Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tennessee we read Scientists lobby for governor to veto Tennessee evolution bill. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Scientists, including a world-renown influenza expert at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and leaders of the National Center for Science Education, are pushing Gov. Bill Haslam for a veto, saying the bill will take Tennessee back to the laughingstock days of the Scopes trial.
And what is the Governor’s expected reaction? Let’s read on:
Haslam spokesman David Smith expects Haslam will sign it. “Like all bills on the way to his desk, he’ll review it when it gets there, but I anticipate he’ll sign it,” Smith said in an e-mail Tuesday.
One can always hope, but it doesn’t look good. We continue:
David Fowler, head of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, says the scientists are grandstanding because the bill applies only to state-approved science curriculum, which excludes creationism and intelligent design. “It reflects either that they are not capable of reading English or that they don’t care what the bill says because they have a political agenda,” he said.
Ah yes, Fowler. As we wrote last year, he’s the genius behind the whole mess. It seems that the bill was drafted for him by the Discovery Institute, and he passed it on to the legislature (see Lauri Lebo on Tennessee in “Scientific American”). Here’s more from the Commercial Appeal:
Fowler brought the bill to Watson last year after receiving complaints that a teacher’s presentation of evolution “was extremely unbalanced” and that a textbook called the Genesis story was a “creation myth.”
“The purpose of the bill is to let those teachers know it is OK for you and your students to engage in critical analysis of scientific theories. That is how the scientific process works,” Fowler said.
They’re referring to Bo Watson, a physical therapist, who sponsored the bill in the Senate.
At the moment, it looks like Tennessee is going to get exactly what it deserves. We hope they enjoy the results.
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