Tennessee teacher law could boost cre...

Tennessee teacher law could boost creationism, climate denial

There are 27 comments on the Reuters story from Apr 13, 2012, titled Tennessee teacher law could boost creationism, climate denial. In it, Reuters reports that:

A new Tennessee law protects teachers who explore the "scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses" of evolution and climate change, a move science education advocates say could make it easier for creationism and global warming denial to enter U.S. classrooms.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Reuters.

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Brandt Hardin

Memphis, TN

#1 Apr 13, 2012
This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artistís blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pu... with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.
Joshua

Durham, NC

#2 Apr 24, 2012
How come when in there is a law that prohibits Evolution from being taught in public schools it is the greatist outrage of the century, yet when Evolution is the only thing taught in public schools then it is justice. I do think that the theory of evolution should be taugh in public schools but I also see nothing wrong with alternate theorys being taught.
Elohim

Branford, CT

#3 Apr 24, 2012
Joshua wrote:
How come when in there is a law that prohibits Evolution from being taught in public schools it is the greatist outrage of the century, yet when Evolution is the only thing taught in public schools then it is justice. I do think that the theory of evolution should be taugh in public schools but I also see nothing wrong with alternate theorys being taught.
The problem Josh is that creationism is just religious babble. It is not science.

“Live in purple”

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#4 Apr 24, 2012
Creationism is beyond the ridiculous. A load of crazy made-up bible mumbo jumbo.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#5 Apr 25, 2012
Joshua wrote:
How come when in there is a law that prohibits Evolution from being taught in public schools it is the greatist outrage of the century, yet when Evolution is the only thing taught in public schools then it is justice. I do think that the theory of evolution should be taugh in public schools but I also see nothing wrong with alternate theorys being taught.
It's because there are no alternate theories that have been presented to compete with evolution.

Newton's theory of gravity was challenged in Einstein's day and they realized Newton's theory couldn't explain the motion of Mercury. Turns out Einstein could and so Relativity became the accepted theory from then on. If evolution is to be challenged there needs to be another proposal of similar vein to that. So far nothing's been put forward.

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#6 May 2, 2012
The law boosts critical thinking, not creationism. If you have evidence for creationism, the law wouldn't stop you from discussion.

I support laws that show science is based on evidence, not faith or consensus.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#7 May 2, 2012
Brian_G wrote:
The law boosts critical thinking, not creationism. If you have evidence for creationism, the law wouldn't stop you from discussion.
I support laws that show science is based on evidence, not faith or consensus.
The law lies about evolution and allows BS apologetics to be taught as "critical thinking". Brian thinks that a potential million dollar lawsuit and students being lied to is worth the risk though. He doesn't appreciate critical thinking applied to his own position. Ironic.

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#8 May 2, 2012
The law makes no criticism of evolution; I've read it. It offers nothing but critical thinking, apologetics is explicitly excluded.

The left has a problem with science, they think consensus defines a good theory, not experimental tests.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#9 May 2, 2012
Brian_G wrote:
The law makes no criticism of evolution; I've read it. It offers nothing but critical thinking, apologetics is explicitly excluded.
Except apologetics can simply be called "critical thinking" and be taught until it's caught. And the law claims evolution is scientifically controversial when it isn't. If it's talking about non-scientific controversies there's no point in mentioning them in the law is they don't pertain to science class and therefore have no place in them.
Brian_G wrote:
The left has a problem with science, they think consensus defines a good theory, not experimental tests.
As we've pointed out the complete otherwise numerous times over, the only rational conclusion is that you're lying.(Again).

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#10 May 2, 2012
The Dude wrote:
Except apologetics can simply be called "critical thinking" and be taught until it's caught. And the law claims evolution is scientifically controversial when it isn't.
Taught until it's caught? We need teachers in school, this will just protect the good ones.

Nowhere does the law claim evolution is scientifically controversial, but there is controversy over this subject. See the forum above for proof.

.
The Dude wrote:
If it's talking about non-scientific controversies there's no point in mentioning them in the law is they don't pertain to science class and therefore have no place in them.
That's your faith based belief, I'm for full disclosure. This is where we differ.

We shouldn't give children, science based on faith. Science requires experimental tests, not consensus. That T.D. disputes skepticism, it only proves the need for this law.

.
The Dude wrote:
As we've pointed out the complete otherwise numerous times over, the only rational conclusion is that you're lying.(Again).
Note how T.D. sees rationality and human behavior. Misunderstood, mistaken or correct are the impossible outcomes, only deceit explains.

I think this says more about T.D.'s numerous posts, than about me. I don't call The Dude a liar, because he probably believes everything he writes. I think he's mistaken, not a bad person; this is where we differ.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#11 May 2, 2012
Brian_G wrote:
<quoted text>Taught until it's caught? We need teachers in school, this will just protect the good ones.
Nowhere does the law claim evolution is scientifically controversial, but there is controversy over this subject. See the forum above for proof.
Then there's no point in mentioning a non-scientific controversy in a law that's supposed to be about the teaching of science.
Brian_G wrote:
That's your faith based belief, I'm for full disclosure. This is where we differ.
Another lie, since you have a bad habit of omitting inconvenient facts, which we have demonstrated over and over and over again.

Bub, I'm ALL FOR full disclosure, and have been since the beginning. My posting history will tell you that. I just point out that social controversies are not for science class. They should be discussed in the appropriate humanities classes.
Brian_G wrote:
We shouldn't give children, science based on faith.
Nor have I ever advocated it. I have always advocated critical thinking and teaching the scientific method. That way children will have the tools required to study and research science.
Brian_G wrote:
Science requires experimental tests, not consensus. That T.D. disputes skepticism, it only proves the need for this law.
Since you're a typical liar, I've never disputed skepticism but supported it always. You're simply not a fan of skepticism applying to your ideas. Science requires experimental tests, but school science class does not have the time to repeat every single scientific test for thousands of years in less than five years, in order to be absolutely certain that no scientific concept is "taken on faith". So we can teach them the established scientific concepts, we can teach them WHY they are accepted (removing the need for faith) and give them the ability to question it appropriately as they grow up and study to become scientists (teach them critical thinking and the scientific method). Teaching the established scientific concepts is REQUIRED before critical thinking of the concept can be applied. Otherwise their criticisms could well be invalid because they don't know enough about the subject (why are there still monkeys being a perfect example).

This way students will be armed with the skills required, so that if they do happen to end up as biologists, and if there was evidence out there to falsify it, they will have the best chance of falsifying an established scientific theory via correct application of critical thinking, evidence and the scientific method.
Brian_G wrote:
Note how T.D. sees rationality and human behavior. Misunderstood, mistaken or correct are the impossible outcomes, only deceit explains.
I think this says more about T.D.'s numerous posts, than about me. I don't call The Dude a liar, because he probably believes everything he writes. I think he's mistaken, not a bad person; this is where we differ.
You may think I'm mistaken, unfortunately you can't demonstrate it. I on the other hand (as well as others) HAVE demonstrated you to be dishonest and a liar. Your continual straw-man about us being "lefties who want science taken on faith" is a perfect example, as faith in science is PRECISELY what we are fighting. And we've explained how and why in great detail. To you it's just "left vs right", but science doesn't CARE who you vote for. It works the same way for both.

What's more, the ONLY person who seems to think the law isn't about attacking evolution with fundie apologetics is YOU. The fundies want this law to attack evolution, those who oppose it do so because of what the fundies WILL do with this law in place.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#12 May 2, 2012
(continued)

So once again Brian's disingenuousness thinks it's worth it to risk the education of students, the violation of the First Amendment, and a potential million dollar lawsuit, all for the sake of sticking it to the "left".

Having a law stating that science class must teach critical thinking is like having one stating knowledge of the alphabet is required for English class. And even if it WAS as innocent as you claim, it is in that case worded so poorly that it will (or rather does) give the impression that BS critiques of science will be allowed under the guise of "critical thinking".

I shall linky to the ten points I made a while back as Brian doesn't like critical thinking when he's in the firing line:

http://www.topix.com/forum/news/evolution/TJ3...

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#13 May 2, 2012
The Teacher Protection Academic Freedom Act

has passed in Tennessee. It carries the following language:

"[this law] Shall endeavor to assist teachers to find effective ways to present the
science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies. Toward this
end, 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"

"[the law] 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."

"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.... 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."

"[Tennessee schools need to encourage 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."

The governor issued this statement:

"I have reviewed the final language of HB 368/SB 893 and assessed the
legislationís impact. I have also evaluated the concerns that have been
raised by the bill. I do not believe that this legislation changes the
scientific standards that are taught in our schools or the curriculum
that is used by our teachers. However, I also donít believe that it
accomplishes anything that isnít already acceptable in our schools. The
bill received strong bipartisan support, passing the House and Senate by
a three-to-one margin, 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."

At the article link below, it is noted that Governor Bill Haslam's position echoes that of James Madison's, who originally opposed the idea of a Bill of Rights, thinking that those rights were covered by the Constitution already. History has shown a preference, if not a need, for rights to be explicitly spelled out--which is what the new TN law does.

Hopefully, the rest of the country will follow suit.

http://my.umbc.edu/news/13682
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#14 May 3, 2012
Thanks for that Bri, it supports the fact that evolution is considered here to be "scientifically controversial" even though in reality it's not. And that as long as teachers say religious apologetics is "critical thinking" and not religious apologetics they can get away with it, until some observant student or faculty member spots that they have another John Freshwater.

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#15 May 5, 2012
The left is hysterical over any attack on establishment cronyism. Conservatives want to take over school curriculum, to return to scholarship.

They hate this challenge to school based atheism, we have the right to demand critical analysis and we've won in Tennessee.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#16 May 5, 2012
Atheism? BONG! Sorry bub, at no point have I, nor science made theological claims. So basically every time you mention atheism what you're really saying you want to promote GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC as your alternative. That's not return to scholarship, that's a return to the Dark Ages.

And I thank you once again for ignoring the content of people's posts and focusing on spouting more rhetoric.

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#17 May 20, 2012
The new Tennessee law doesn't promote theological science, it promotes critical thinking. Name calling doesn't cut it, you have to provide evidence of something more real than your fears.

The left is afraid of science it can't control.

“Nihil curo de ista tua stulta ”

Since: May 08

Orlando

#18 May 20, 2012
...and the fact that this law (along with similar or proposed laws from other states) is based upon models proposed by the Discovery Institute is just ummmm.....coincidence?

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#19 May 20, 2012
Ad hominem.

“Maccullochella macquariensis”

Since: May 08

Melbourne, Australia

#20 May 20, 2012
Non sequitur

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