Tennessee Creationism Bill is “On Hold”

We didn’t see this coming. As you know, we’ve been predicting that Tennessee’s Creationism Bill Will Become Law. The good people of Tennessee, who still revere the memory of William Jennings Bryan, and who are certain that they ain’t no kin to no monkeys, were all oook-ooking and swinging from tree branches in anticipation of a legislative victory for creationist “critical thinking.” Tennessee seemed to be The Land that Time Forgot.

HOUSE BILL 368 (2-page pdf file), drafted by the Discovery Institute and sponsored in the Tennessee legislature by Bill Dunn, a tree surgeon, had been approved by the House in a vote of 70 to 23. Bo Watson’s identical SENATE BILL 893 seemed all but certain to pass in the Senate.

But we just learned from the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) that Tennessee’s “monkey bill” on hold.

Could that be? NCSE cites a blog of the Knoxville News Sentinel, which says, in ‘Critical Thinking’ Bill (or ‘Creationism Bill’, if you prefer) Sidelined Until Next Year?, that Watson had “quietly sidelined” his bill. We can’t find any newspaper stories on this yet, and although NCSE always knows what’s going on, we’d like to see something more than just one item in a blog.

So we used this link for tracking the progress and status of SB 893. There we can see that Watson’s bill had been scheduled for a vote in the Education Committee on 20 April; but on that date it was assigned to the General Subcommittee of the Education Committee.

So there you are. NCSE is right again. And your humble Curmudgeon’s prediction about the Tennessee legislature was totally wrong. That’s okay; we’ve been wrong before, and this time we’re delighted at the way things seem to be working out.

This would leave Louisiana as the only state in the US to have adopted one of the Discovery Institute’s anti-science bills. They must be so proud!

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “Tennessee Creationism Bill is “On Hold”

  1. Gabriel Hanna

    From TFA:

    A particularly noteworthy moment of the House debate occurred when Frank Niceley (R-District 17) misinvoked the authority of Albert Einstein in support of HB 368, quoting the physicist as saying, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel (April 8, 2011), “A little knowledge would turn your head to atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head to Christianity.” Beyond the fact that the passage is a paraphrase of a saying of the philosopher Francis Bacon, not a quotation from Einstein, it suggests that Niceley understood the bill to involve the promotion of Christianity, despite the protestations of its sponsors.

    They just can’t help themselves. They can’t stick with wink wink nudge nudge, they always HAVE to come right out and say it!

  2. Darn!!! I thought Tennessee was going to take some of the heat off Louisiana. So we’re still the stupidest state in the Union. Oops! That’s not a good word around here either. I’ve lived in La La Land for 33 years, having grown up in Texas, and the South is still fighting the Civil War after 150 freaking years. What does that say about us?

  3. Sometimes it’s wonderful to be proven wrong. I’m still very confident that Missouri’s bill will die, and relatively confident that the Texas and Florida bills will die, but Tennessee was really worrying me. I love the smell of theocrat failure in the morning.

  4. James F says: “Sometimes it’s wonderful to be proven wrong.”

    Happens to me all the time. It keeps me humble.

  5. I’m keeping my fingers crossed about Missouri. We’ve already got enough problems dealing with people who can’t even pronounce the name of our state…. mizzerah…. shudders down my spine.