ACLU: Bill Enables Creationist Teachers To Create Doubt About Evolution

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,


Executive Director

ACLU of Tennessee

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  • TC

    If TN just had a free market education system via vouchers issues like this wouldn’t be a problem. If a family believed in creationism they could choose a school that taught it; if they believe in evolution/Darwinism they could choose a school that taught it. Hence choice! Pepsi-Coke, paper-plastic, land line-cell. Free choice is what makes this country great-except when it comes to education-a monopoly government run failure.

  • Wayne

    The ACLU and other evolutionists are really afraid of allowing students to be taught to really THINK. According to them, evolutionists should have a monopoly on science education in our schools,. They posture bravely on the “fact” of evolution but are afraid to allow students to see any real scientific facts.

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  • Elisa

    If this bill passes, I will be greatly disappointed. Sunday school lessons are for churches, not classrooms. If students are given the wrong information about biology and how life has developed, it will just make it harder for them in their years to come educationally. What will they do when they get to a biology class in college and have no base of knowledge about evolution? This bill will just end up hurting our students.

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  • Dr. Benson

    Dear TN ACLU,

    I teach Darwin & Evolution at Vanderbilt. What can I do to help stop this bill from passing later this month

    Dr. Benson

  • Noelle

    A proven theory is an oxymoron. Anyone with true scientific goals remains open to possibilities. Some of the figures and dates that “support” evolution are based, in it’s foundations, on weak presumptions. There are other ways, scientifically valid ways, to interpret the data. Vast possibilities. To say that “we have found the answer and it should be illegal to question it” shows that the evolutionists have traded places with the church of the 1600s. Both were equally close-minded and litigious. To teach any theory as fact is a blatant disregard of the meaning of the word, and the possibilities that could be discovered.