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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Tennessee 'Critical Thinking' Education Bill Dead in the Water—For Now
21 April 2011 5:01 pm
A bill in the Tennessee Legislature encouraging science teachers to explore controversial topics, which opponents claim opens the door to anti-evolution rhetoric, was put on hold today. The bill had passed the Tennessee House on 7 April, but sponsor Bo Watson delayed action on it by the Senate Education Committee, nixing its chances for becoming law this year.
The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) reports:
While still regarding SB 893 as "a good bill," Watson told the News Sentinel's blog that he was deferring it because of concerns expressed by faculty at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga — where he received a B.A. in biology — and because of possible proposed amendments: "I want to listen some more," he explained.
That doesn’t mean that the bill won’t return with a vengeance, however. "Science education in Tennessee won't be truly safe until the legislature adjourns next year," Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, told NCSE.
The bill protects teachers from discipline if they "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," namely, "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning." It is similar to a Louisiana law passed in 2008 that contains specific protections for teachers who want to question evolution in the classroom.
Forty-one Nobel laureates signed a letter sent to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal today asking him to repeal the law. "Louisiana's students deserve to be taught proper science rather than religion presented as science,"