Tennessee to teach the controversy

  1. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    Unfortunately, my home state is once again attacking science with a bill designed to teach the controversy. The full text is here:

    Here is clip I could find of the floor of the house committee discussing the house bill (pass last year):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJD59bzg90w


    So I want to make two points:
    1. People should watch for this in their own (especially republican controlled) states.
    2. I'm uncertain how the courts would go if it is challenged. On one hand, they are stopping short of directly promoting creationism; however, on the other hand, they are intentionally opening that door in hopes that some teachers will go through.

    This method may have a chance of sticking.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The bill, as was read, requires that it has to be real scientific theory, which would exclude intelligent design, creationism, etc... Do these people think that religious myth is science? The way the bill is worded is different from what was said by the speaker. It sounds like they want to alow teaching of non-scientific "controversies", as in BS.

    The actual bill. http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/107/Bill/HB0368.pdf

    The way the bill reads "scientific controversies" would eliminate teaching non-scientific nonsense such as ID, creationism, etc... ID may be controversial, but it's not scientific.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  4. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    The main problem is that it reduces science to an opinion, and it would make some areas of science appear controversial when they are not. But here is a better description:

    http://ncse.com/news/2012/03/nabt-opposes-tennessees-monkey-bills-007265
     
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I would say scientific controversy means that it has to be accepted science to begin with, which religious nonsense is not, IMO. Better to kill it, but I don't see how if it was challenged in court that it could stand up. Science isn't whatever someone thinks, it has to hold to scientific standards. But of course the people that wrote that don't know that, IMO.
     
  6. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    My concern is that it would allow teachers to use creationist arguments as long as they stop short of saying the word creator.

    When I was in school, I had teachers make such arguments while stopping short of saying creator. This bill would essentially give them cover.
     
  7. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    It's frightening. We had similar problems with the Kansas school board but I thought the ruling in Dover quashed this nonsense?
     
  8. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    If they stop short of endorsing a creator, does the separation of church and state still apply?
     
  9. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    It really comes down to does it meet scientific criteria?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design#Criticism
     
  10. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    But there is no constitutional protection for science education itself.

    Example: A teacher presents evolution to the class. Teacher: "At least that is what some people believe." Teacher: "But many doubt it because there are gaps in the fossil record, there is too much complexity for evolution to explain, and it just too mathematically improbable to be true."

    [Students leave class thinking evolution is a very weak opinion held by idiots]
     
  11. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah, it needs to be shot down.
     
  12. Borg

    Borg 1,098
    Gold Member

    The speaker who voiced his opinion after Ms. Miller at the 9 minute mark is a moron. I don't care if he's offended or not.
    The logic employed by the other speakers is equally stunning.
    Well, I'm glad this isn't about teaching creationism in the schools. :rolleyes:

    Mr. 9 minute mark also claimed that the science behind the atom (i.e. Atomic Theory) was a fact and differed from evolution because evolution is just a theory. Lets also just ignore the fact that the fossil record dates are based on carbon dating which comes from Atomic Theory. [​IMG]

    @SixNein: I feel your pain. I lived in Louisville, Kentucky for 6 years. There was one section of town that I lived in for a while that didn't have a single bookstore other than the two religious bookstores that were in that area.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  13. turbo

    turbo 7,366
    Gold Member

    Maine has a Tea-Party governor and a Republican House, and right now they are trying to strip funding from public schools to support church-based schools. I hope we can fend that off, but the attack on real public education and science is real, even in this rural back-water.

    This is a "neutral" (watered-down) description of the bill in question. There is no investigative reporting or political analysis in our newspapers here, anymore. In fact, most of the content of the Central Maine Morning Sentinel is bought from the AP or other news feeds.

    http://www.pressherald.com/news/par...ersing-a-longtime-funding-ban_2012-02-12.html
     
  14. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Thank goodness I didn't watch more than the introduction. I'd have had a stroke.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  15. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  16. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    Oklahoma has passed a similar version to the TN bill:

    http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf/2011-12 ENGR/hB/HB1551 ENGR.DOC

    In addition to the above, the NY times had some interesting commentary on the subject:

    http://loyalopposition.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/the-tennessee-monkey-bill/
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  17. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If I recall correctly (from the video in the OP, about 2/3rds of the way in perhaps), one of the legislators mentions that there are over a dozen (don't recall the exact number that he mentions) states with a similar law in their books.
     
  18. Danger

    Danger 9,879
    Gold Member

    Whether it's because of the vast amounts of alcohol that I've ingested today, or the fact that I'm still not entirely fluent in "Yank-speak", I actually cannot find anything wrong with the proposal as written. In fact, I rather admire it. It should, once and for all, relegate the Jesus freaks to the cellar where they belong.
    As for that woman in the video... :eek: How can anyone who is so horrendously and embarrassingly useless at public speaking be a professor?! Don't they have to communicate with their students?
     
  19. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    To my knowledge, there exists one other state: Louisiana Science Education Act

    "They are derived from language originally drafted for the Santorum Amendment, in the United States Senate. As of August 2011, the Louisiana Science Education Act is the only such bill to have successfully passed into law."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_Freedom_bills
     
  20. Danger

    Danger 9,879
    Gold Member

    That's just sick. As for my opinion of Santorum, though, Google him. The definition is very informative. Then submit his name for membership in the club mentioned in this thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=589039
    With apologies, I still don't know how to make a link inside a text.
     
  21. Borg

    Borg 1,098
    Gold Member

    Are you sure that your alcohol consumption isn't causing you to cross-post?
     
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