This month the Tennessee House voted 70 to 28 (not even close, people!) to pass a bill (HB 368) that would allow science teachers to discuss "alternatives" to scientifically accepted schools of thought on certain "controversial" issues, including biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning. Although cloaked in language of "respect" for "differences of opinion," what this bill essentially says is that it is now fine for a science teacher to tell his or her students that the theory of evolution may not be correct and that there is room in the science curriculum for creationism. What these backwoods yahoos don't seem to realize is that no matter what they believe, creationism is Christian theology and has no place in a public school classroom.
I was able to pull up some video of the Tennessee House of Representatives debating House Bill 368. Watch this on an empty stomach or what you see may cause you to revisit your lunch. If you are unable to view the video, I'll provide you with a brief summation of the circus of idiots that passes for government in Tennessee.
First, we have Representative Frank Niceley, who begins by quoting one of the greatest scientists of all time, Albert Einstein,who was basically an agnostic Jew. According to Mr. Niceley, Einstein said that "a little knowledge would turn your head toward atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head toward Christianity." I guess Mr. Niceley has been reading some of the more obscure biographies of Einstein because I have never heard that particular quote attributed to him.
Another highlight of this intellectual firestorm is Representative Sheila Butt. She expounds on her "Aquanet Theory" of global warming, on which, I believe, she and Al Gore will soon be publishing a paper. According to Ms. Butt, she and many other girls in high school, gave up their Aquanet hair spray because scientists told them it was "bad" and caused global warming. Now, she says, those same scientists are saying that the aerosols from their hair spray might be "absorbing the earth's rays and keeping us from global warming." Therefore, Ms. Butts argues, what children learn in science class might turn out to be wrong. And something about chocolate. She ends with a statement that will make all prospective industries and corporations think twice about locating to Tennessee; Butts insists that no child in Tennessee should be made to feel ignorant for not accepting the theory of evolution or any other scientific theory. In a science class. In a public school.
"Inherit the Windbags" TN House of Reps Debate Debacle
I wonder whether the good folk in the Tennessee House of Representative have considered that they may have opened a Pandora's box (that's Greek mythology; it's not in the Bible, Reps. Niceley and Butt) with their bill. If teachers are now allowed to critique evolution and offer "alternative" theories of creation and evolution, what's to stop a practitioner of Wicca from talking about her theories of creation or a Muslim from talking about Allah? Do the people of Tennessee really want their science classes to turn into a class on World Religions? I bet not.
It truly frightens me that this absurdist political theater has crawled its way into children's classrooms. If these folks want to brainwash their kids in their own homes and in their churches, have at it. But where taxpayer dollars are concerned, keep religion out outside the doors of the public schools.