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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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,"