Saturday, April 09, 2011

“Critical Thinking” Bill Passes Tennessee House

The Tennessee House voted 70-25 on a bill (HB 368)to promote “critical thinking” in science classrooms. Andy Sher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press writes:
Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, a bill supporter, said "since the late '50s, early '60s when we let the intellectual bullies hijack our education system, we've been on a slippery slope."

He called Dunn's legislation "a common-sense bill. Thank you for bringing this bill to protect our teachers from the other intellectual bullies."

Another proponent, Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Crosby, said "evolution between one species to another species has never been proven. So how could you teach that as a fact?"

But House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, said, "I question the need for this. What are we trying to improve, what problem are we trying to solve? Or are we just creating a problem here?"
To what intellectual bullies is Rep. Floyd referring? Is he referring to the science educators who wanted to bring sound science into the classroom? The language he uses is the same as that of Don McLeroy, in Texas when he meant “they took young earth creationism out of the classroom.” Why yes, they did.

Rob Zimmer remarked that we should always invite critical thinking. He is correct, but the tortured, ill-informed response of Rep. Faison indicates that there is not a whole lot of that going on here.

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