Tuesday, March 01, 2011

More on the Tennessee Bill

Tom Humphrey has written an article for the Knoxville News Sentinel on the house bill to promote “academic freedom.” He writes:

An American Civil Liberties Union leader says a bill sponsored by Knoxville's Rep. Bill Dunn is a backdoor means of promoting the teaching of creationism and the debunking of evolution in Tennessee schools.

In a House Education Subcommittee meeting, the measure was also criticized by Jerry Winters, lobbyist for the Tennessee Education Association, as a "lawyer's dream" containing "some of the most convoluted language I've ever seen in a bill."

Dunn said the measure -- HB368 -- is simply a move to help students become 'critical thinkers' on scientific subjects and that opponents are trying to 'get off on some tangent' by wrongfully saying 'we think there may be something hidden in there.'

As the evidence from Livingston Parrish, in Louisiana shows, that is exactly what is going on.

The story also quotes Rob Zimmer, who does not seem to be alarmed by the possible passage of the bill. Humphreys writes:
Zimmer identified himself as a scientist who previously headed a research company on genetics and has learned that many scientific theories - for example the former belief that most DNA was "junk DNA" serving no useful purpose - are refuted by more research triggered by critical thinking.
He is correct about that. I am quite certain that critical thinking would give rise to greater research and better scientific breakthroughs...if that is what the promoters of the bills really wanted. It is not. They want the dismantling of evolution teaching in public schools.

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