Statement from the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee; Feb. 28, 2011:
Eighty-six years after the famous Scopes “Monkey Trial” in Dayton, Tennessee, anti-evolution forces continue their attempt to entrench creationism in our state’s science classrooms. Let’s let our lawmakers know that it’s not 1925 anymore.
HB 0368, the anti-evolution bill that was supposed to be up last week, was rolled to the House General Subcommittee of Education meeting on Wednesday, 3/2/11. The bill promotes creationism in the science classroom under the guise of encouraging critical thinking, stating that teachers will not be disciplined for encouraging students to examine the “weaknesses” of proven scientific theories such as evolution.
While at first glance this may not appear to promote creationism, the bill’s intent is actually to enable creationist teachers to create doubts in their students regarding evolution, doubts which are not scientifically justified. These alleged weaknesses come not from the scientific community but from creationist advocacy organizations. The National Academies of Science and the National Science Teachers Association unanimously agree that evolution needs to be taught straightforwardly and without compromise.
Thanks to those of you who have already taken action on this bill– please continue to contact your legislators and to pass this email on to others.
There appears to be a lot of support for this bill in the House General Subcommittee, so it will help to contact your representatives even if they do not sit on the committee and ask them to oppose the bill if and when it is up for a vote on the floor of the House.
Tennessee lawmakers need to know that we want Tennessee to move forward, not backward.
Thank you for standing with us,
ACLU of Tennessee