Tennessee House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved SB 893 on April 18th. Bill Dunn, R – District 16 of TN had introduced the bill.
Not being from Tennessee, I have not paid too much attention to this bill until I read a public forum letter from Alice Tym in the ‘Chattanooga New Free Press’.
The letter caught my attention because it read in part:
SB 893 should not be passed in Tennessee. One of the responsibilities of public schools is the teaching of critical thinking skills. In the field of science, that responsibility includes teaching the scientific method. Religion/creationism/myths have no place in the science curriculum….We do not need another Dark Ages where ignorance fostered arrogance.
The above statements stirred my curiosity to learn what is in the bill. I wondered if a bill really suggested that religion and/or myths be taught in a public school.
Here is a portion of the wording of the bill:
The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.
This sounds exactly the opposite of what Ms Tyms fears will happen if the bill becomes law, so what is the problem with the bill that is causing evolutionist to be fearful?
The bill is on-line, easy to read, and simple to understand. It takes less than five minutes to read the bill.
After reading the bill, I began to wonder if evolutionist object to students thinking critically. Surely they do not! Could they object to the line that requires teachers to:
…respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.
… teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.
An educated person realizes that weaknesses should be explored. A good science teacher understands this.
Certainly the left should not object to the following:
This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion.
There is a Facebook page dedicated to stopping SB 893. I haven’t been there, but I suppose it will be enlightening as to what evolutionist fear in regard to this bill.
I hope each person who lives in TN will read SB 893.