i guess we should consider it a minor victory that the Gov didn't sign this Bill, although it matters not. it is now law in Tennessee, at least for the time being. it's a stark reminder of the power that Religion still has in this country. that a non-argument can hold the same weight in a Science classroom as a proven Theory is a staggering admission of willful ignorance by the TN legislature. as i wrote to a one of the Bill's sponsors:
"gotta hand it to the creationists. no matter how many times they've been defeated (all but in Louisiana) they keep finding new ways to try to worm their way into Science classrooms around the US. "teach the controversy", even if there isn't one.
one side has millions of pieces of evidence, fossils, genetics, experiments, and data. the other side says "god did it". one side argues for descent with modification, the other side advocates abiogenesis through intelligent design (which are completely different arguments!). one side is demonstrative and testable, the other side is not. one side is the backbone of which all Biology and Medicine is based upon. the other is nonsensical and unnecessary. which should we be teaching our students?"
one might think that something like this would be front page news, or an issue for talking heads on CNN, MSNBC, or even at Fox News (proclaiming victory, no doubt!). i mean, Science just lost to Religion!! it's as simple as that. Myth winning out over lab results. that's a monumental achievement!
so why won't we hear about this from the mainstream press? where's the Liberal media now, when we need them? to me it's quite simple. while most educated Newspersons might find this story interesting, their viewing public simply does not. even if they believe in Evolution, they don't like being reminded that it counters what they hear from their Church, their relatives, or their friends. additionally, if Religion trumps Science, they will be required to examine in full detail what happened, how it happened, and which side makes a more credible argument. in doing so, they would inadvertently have to knock Religion. knocking, or mocking, Religion doesn't go over well with the public at large.
so, i guess there's nothing to do but sit back and wait for the sequel: "Scopes 2: Not your Great-Grandfather's Monkey Trial".
Progressive people are being forced to battle, all over again, those wars we thought we had won for good. Not just in state/church separation, but child labor, animal welfare, environmental protection, and voting rights. It makes me feel so tired!
he's my favorite too. and i love the theme song, it's my ring tone. glad it's not just a Philly thing!
The outstanding idiot in this mess (a head below the rest of the morons), is Governor Bill Haslam. His statement, "... but good legislation should bring clarity and not confusion. My concern is that this bill has not met this objective. For that reason, I will not sign the bill but will allow it to become law without my signature.”
Ever hear of a veto, sparky? Now, I know a legislature can override a veto and make the vetoed legislation law. However, if it's that bad - and it is - then the Tennessee Chief Executive should at least stand for something. Maybe his veto would have been overridden. Or, maybe had he made a principled stand against it, he might have convinced enough legislators not to override it. Problem is, we'll never know. And we'll never know because he has all the backbone of a bed of seaweed.
So they won in Tennessee because the Discovery Institute decided that Pennsylvania was too tough a nut to crack (after they got their asses handed to them), so they went looking for easier pickings. I'm a little surprised they didn't go to Mississippi!
I don't know how many atheists we got in the Volunteer State, but it's time that 1) they got more vocal and 2) they got help from us ... and the likes of the Center for Inquiry and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Maybe it's time that the citizens of Tennessee got reminded ofKitzmiller v Dover, even though that case wasn't tried in their state ... and maybe it's time to up the ridicule factor for states that pull dumb-ass stunts like this (for which I'm sure we can rely on the likes of Bill Maher).
[sigh] Damn, but I hate stupidity....
Yes! Time to boldly teach the Flying Spaghetti Monster creation myth, on an equal footing with other myths!
Teaching all of the creation myths will probably make the students happy to have a reasonable explanation. Give them all in the same week and the kids will be screaming for cogent explanations.
Is this what happens when a bunch of people who should know better don't go to the polls because they're miffed at something the Democrats did? We seem to have a surfeit of state legislators and members of the House of Representatives that seem to come from a long time past in a theocratic land.
There are other fish to fry. Get out the vote.
Good post Matt---I wrote a letter to the TN Governor about it the other day. I got some generic form back, blah, blah, blah stuff. His not signing is kind of slippery in my opinion---he also chose not to veto. You are spot on saying this is like a bad dream in your comment below.
It really is sad that we continuously need to have this debate between a proven, and really non-controversial fact (evolution) and religion. Atheists need to speak up about stuff like this, as often as can.
Thanks for your support on my site. It is funny, as you pointed out that we blogged about the same topic today!
Here's another article about this:
I feel sad for the children of Tennessee.