The Tennessee legislature passed a bill yesterday (HB368) that will likely undermine the teaching of science, and evolution in particular, to Tennessee students. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has a statement condemning the bill’s passage, which they label the “monkey bill.”
(1) Create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues; and
(2) Assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies.
A bill that did this would be wonderful, as it would allow science teachers to teach evolution without issue, as the controversy around evolution are in now way “scientific” but entirely personal and/or political. The intent of the lawmakers responsible for this bill seems to be to confuse students by confusing scientific controversy and political controversy.
Also, why do “evolution” and “global warming,” two readily demonstrable scientific observations, end up getting lumped in the bill with human cloning?
I actually spent part of my morning today doing a live Skype discussion with my brother’s high school biology class in Alaska talking about issues related to human evolution and the fossil record. I guess I’m lucky he doesn’t live in Tennessee.