And that, I believe is precisely the point. The people who composed the New Monkey Bill, and the spineless governor who stood idly by as it became a law, are intent upon undermining science education. The Old Monkey Bill brazenly trumpeted its anti-scientific objectives where the New Monkey Bill is more subtle. Nevertheless, it is still designed to achieve precisely the same objective: privileging anti-science, and undermining science.
The Monkey Wars persist. May the fittest paradigm survive.
Tim McGettigan is a professor of sociology (specializing in Science, Technology and Society) at Colorado State University -- Pueblo.
*Complete Text of Tennessee House Bill 368
AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10, relative to teaching scientific subjects in elementary schools.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10, is amended by adding the following as a new, appropriately designated section:
(a) The general assembly finds that:
(1) An important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to becoming intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens;
(2) The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy; and
(3) Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.