Sunday, May 01, 2011

Tennessee didn't learn the lesson of the Scopes trial.

According to Science magazine:
(T)he Tennessee House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved an innocuous-sounding measure allowing science teachers in the state to help their students “develop critical thinking skills.” The legislation, which specifically mentions the teaching of “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning,” is expected to become law next month after the state Senate embraces an identical version and the governor signs it.
Fortunately, according to the National Center for Science Education:
Tennessee's Senate Bill 893 — nicknamed, along with its counterpart House Bill 368, the "monkey bill" — is on hold, "almost certainly postponing any action until next year,"

Comment: On the one hand high school science teachers should be helping students develop critical thinking skills, and examination of places where scientific paradigms are in flux might be useful to that end. However, the science of evolution, chemical origins of life, and global warming are well settled and the law if passed would seem likely to protect teachers seeking to stifle critical thinking about subjects that the right doesn't like.

No comments: