Tennessee’s 2011 Creationism Bill: It’s Back!

The state of Tennessee is the place we’ve called The Land that Time Forgot. It’s famous for producing the Butler Act and the Scopes Trial. It’s also the home of Bryan College, located in Dayton where the trial was held — a respected and hallowed institution of learning where they are certain they ain’t no kin to no monkeys. It was named in honor of William Jennings Bryan, one of the world’s biggest blowhards and idiots. To Tennessee’s credit, they also produce Jack Daniel’s whiskey, so you can decide, dear reader, if everything balances out.

Tennessee has a continuing obsession with creationism. Last year we thought they’d actually pass such bill, but it didn’t happen. See Tennessee 2011 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead. Actually, it wasn’t dead, it was just placed “on hold” in the state Senate. Now the thing has slithered out and it seems to have a good a possibility of becoming law this year.

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has already posted a few articles about the reappearance of this abomination, starting with “Monkey bill” returns in Tennessee. They say:

Senate Bill 893 — nicknamed, along with its counterpart House Bill 368, “the monkey bill” — is back. In April 2011, its sponsor Bo Watson (R-District 11), assigned the bill to the general subcommittee of the Senate Education Committee, in effect shelving it for the remainder of the year. But on March 7, 2012, it was revived and placed on the committee’s calendar; on March 14, 2012, the committee voted 7-1 (with one member abstaining) to pass an amended version of the bill, although the exact wording of the amended version is not yet listed on the legislature’s website. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Select Committee on Calendar for scheduling for a floor vote.

SB 0893, by Bo Watson, a physical therapist, is the same one we wrote about last year Its companion bill in the state House was HB 0368, sponsored by Bill Dunn, a tree surgeon. That had been approved by the House in a vote of 70 to 23. It was actually drafted by the Discoveroids in Seattle and supported by lobbyists with the word “Family” in the name of their organization. We wrote about that in Tennessee’s Creationism Bill Will Become Law.

Back to the NCSE article:

If the Senate were to approve SB 893 as amended in the Senate Education Committee, the two houses of the legislature would have to resolve the discrepancies between it and HB 368, which passed the Tennessee House of Representatives on a 70-23 vote on April 7, 2011, after a debate ranging over “the scientific method, ‘intellectual bullies,’ hair spray, and ‘Inherit the Wind,'” … . One representative justified his support for the bill by 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.”

A couple of days ago, the Tennessean of Nashville, Tennessee ran this article: Evolution bill back in TN legislature. They said:

An evolution bill that was sitting dormant when Tennessee’s legislative session ended last year has reemerged and is up for a floor vote Monday. Senate Bill 893, sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, protects teachers who want to debate evolution, climate change and other widely accepted science in the classroom.

The bill passed the House last year but would have to go back to address grammatical changes.

If the boys in the legislature can fix up their grammar, then it looks like they’ll have themselves something of which they can be proud — a real, old-fashioned creationism law, just like it was back in grampa’s day. The Tennessean also says:

Josh Rosenau with the National Center for Science Education called it a “zombie bill” today and said teachers in Tennessee and elsewhere oppose it.

Well, let ’em oppose it. Those fancy-pants intellexals never did know nothin’ nohow. Tennessee is gonna go for it this year!

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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2 responses to “Tennessee’s 2011 Creationism Bill: It’s Back!

  1. Tomato Addict

    “A little knowledge would turn your head to atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head to Christianity.”

    For an exceedingly broad definition of “little knowledge”, and an exceedingly narrow definition of broader.

  2. Curmudgeon: “To Tennessee’s credit, they also produce Jack Daniel’s whiskey…”

    Darn, you not only beat me to it, but even spelled it right.