Tennessee’s 2012 Creationism Bill Passes Senate

We recently wrote Tennessee’s 2011 Creationism Bill: It’s Back! Now it’s not only back, but it’s back big time.

In the Tennessean of Nashville, Tennessee we read TN science bill protects teachers who allow debate over evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The Tennessee Senate approved a bill Monday that would encourage teachers and students to debate evolution in the classroom, setting aside complaints that the measure would drag the state back onto the battleground over the teaching of creationism.

Yippee! Gimme that old-time religion! They’re finally settin’ things straight in ol’ Tennessee! Here’s more:

Senators voted 24-8 to pass a bill that says schoolteachers cannot be punished for “helping students to understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories” taught in public schools.

It’s about time! The biggest scientific weakness of that [*sneer*] theory of evolution is that it contradicts the bible!

In case you’re new to this, they’re talking about SB 0893, by Bo Watson, a physical therapist. It’s the same bill we wrote about last year Its companion bill in the state House was HB 0368, sponsored by Bill Dunn, a tree surgeon. It had been approved last year 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.

Let’s read on:

The vote sent the bill back to the state House of Representatives, which passed a similar measure a year ago. Gov. Bill Haslam told reporters earlier Monday that he would discuss the bill with the state Board of Education.

The Governor was non-committal. He’s going to see which way the wind is blowing, like any man of principle.

There’s also an article about this in the Knoxville News Sentinel: Anti-evolution class discussions get Senate’s OK. They say:

The Senate approved a bill Monday evening that deals with teaching of evolution and other scientific theories while the House approved legislation authorizing cities and counties to display the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

Ah. Both legislative chambers were dealing with useful subjects. What a state! Regarding the creationism bill, they inform us:

All eight no votes came from Democrats, some of whom raised questions about the bill during brief debate.

Buncha freaks! Probably pre-verts!

Anyway, this is great news! We wouldn’t be surprised if there are sightings of William Jennings Bryan, risen from the grave and strutting around. The good folks of Tennessee are at last going to enjoy some of that good old fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism.

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

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9 responses to “Tennessee’s 2012 Creationism Bill Passes Senate

  1. The intent of Bills like these are obvious especially considering the history behind the debate. Surely they know we are on to them. At some point the Supreme Court will rescue reason right?

  2. Jason Lane: “At some point the Supreme Court will rescue reason right?”

    Ben Franklin’s quote “a republic – if you can keep it” comes to mind a lot lately. While everyone is laughing about “fundies,” enough “non-fundies” have been fooled to allow things like this to happen. It’s only a matter of time before public indifference and apathy will lead to a SC packed with Scalias, who will gladly put pseudoscience on equal footing with science, in the interest of “fairness.”

    Heck, we’re even letting the scam artists control the terms of the “censorship” debate, in that it’s only about whether “Darwinists” censor, and never about whether the scam artists censor, which is demonstrably the case. Just ask some of them how they will teach the refutations to those long-refuted misrepresentations of evolution peddled as “weaknesses.” Trouble is, hardly no one ever asks!

  3. The bill will also allow debate over human contraception, right? It’s a sorta-related issue, according to most creationists and intelligent design advocates. So, certainly, it must be included as protected debate material under this law, right?

  4. why are so many people intent on returning us to the dark ages?

  5. @TJW:

    More accurately, why are they so intent on returning others to the dark ages – at taxpayer expense. The activists and their most paranoid followers almost always home-school their children, or send them to Fundamentalist schools, so that evolution is either censored or misrepresented, and refutations to the bogus “weaknesses” arguments are surely censored. No one deprives them of that right, nor should they.

  6. “helping students to understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories”

    Ah. Now I understand. They want to turn public high school science classes into advanced study post-graduate research labs. After HS the students will be prepared to tackle pre-Doctorate level scientific research, focusing on all those weaknesses in them there scientific theories they studied in HS.

  7. I found a great article in the Vanderbuilt Law Review. It made me feel a little better.

    “Determining the purpose and primary effect of a state action necessarily entails reaching beyond the text and articulated purposes of such actions and realizing that those purposes reveal little about the actual intent behind an act. A debate that has raged in schools, homes, and hearts for over seventy-five years requires that courts will recognize the nature of these strategies and not be afraid to look beyond the face of these actions to determine their constitutionality.”
    Reule, Deborah. Vanderbilt Law Review 54. 6 (Nov 2001): 2555-2610.

  8. Tomato Addict

    Jack Hogan: “Ah. Now I understand. They want to turn public high school science… “

    I think it’s the other way around. By the time these Creationist are done, children will already know everything they are going to before entering high school.

  9. @TA

    I think it’s the other way around. By the time these Creationist are done, children will already know everything they are going to before entering high school

    You’re right of course. I was illustrating the absurdity of what they propose in teaching about “strengths and weaknesses” in HS science classes. Freshmen and sophomore HS kids are just being introduced to science at the most rudimentary level. And the creationists have no interest in teaching them the “strengths” of any scientific theory. They are asserting there are serious “weaknesses” to well established and supported scientific theories (specifically the ToE, of course) that these kids need to know about. “Weaknesses” that post-grad students, doctoral candidates, and PhD scientists do not really concern themselves with. The creationists try to gloss over the fact that studying and addressing “weaknesses in scientific theories” are what practicing research scientists do for a living.

    It’s all dishonest lying BS that most reasonable thinking human beings can see through.

    The creationists’ kids entering HS, especially the Children of YEC, have already been subjected to at least a decade of anti-evolution propaganda and indoctrination at home. The creationists are not really worried too much about them — at least not until they get to college. Their targets are the kids that do not come from creationist families and that have not been previously indoctrinated and brainwashed by anti-evolution crapolla. Which is why parents like the ones in the Dover school district get very angry when any of this thinly veiled sectarian proselytizing manages to make its way into their kids’ HS classrooms.