You know about the pending creationism bill in Tennessee. We last wrote about it here: Any Moment Now. We’ve all been waiting to learn whether Governor Bill Haslam would sign it into law or would — as many science organizations had urged — veto it.
The deadline was today, and a decision has been made. According to television station WRCB of Chattanooga, Haslam won’t sign “Monkey Bill”, will allow it to become law. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Governor Bill Haslam says he will not sign a controversial bill regarding evolution.
Ah, but will he veto it? The story continues:
“I have reviewed the final language of HB 368/SB 893 and assessed the legislation’s impact. I have also evaluated the concerns that have been raised by the bill,” Governor Haslam said in a release Tuesday. “I do not believe that this legislation changes the scientific standards that are taught in our schools or the curriculum that is used by our teachers. However, I also don’t believe that it accomplishes anything that isn’t already acceptable in our schools.”
In other words, he says it’s a useless bill. That’s not accurate, as it provides cover for creationist teachers, and Haslam surely knows this. Here’s the last of the story:
“The bill received strong bipartisan support, passing the House and Senate by a three-to-one margin, but good legislation should bring clarity and not confusion. My concern is that this bill has not met this objective. For that reason, I will not sign the bill, but will allow it to become law without my signature,” Haslam added.
So Tennessee joins Louisiana in having an anti-evolution, anti-science “academic freedom” bill. There will be rejoicing tonight in Seattle.
Sorry, Governor Haslam. You coulda been a contender.
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