TN Governor Evolution Bill

Discussion in 'The Thunderdome' started by Tenacious D, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    Governor Haslam (TN-R) seems likely to sign the new, "Monkey Bill" (SB 893) which has recently passed the Senate.

    The misleading title aside - it actually has nothing to do with former President Clinton - but rather, "permits teachers “to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories.” Subjects that might invite such debate, according to the bill, include “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning.”

    The TN ACLU responded in unsurprising fashion, that is, with unassailable logic:
    "But the bill’s critics aren’t convinced. Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, says the bill is an effort to gut science education and give students and teachers the tools to bring conversations about creationism into the classroom.

    In a letter to some state legislators urging they vote against the bill, Weinberg pointed out that the language it uses, such as “strengths and weaknesses” of existing scientific theories, are “are typically code words in the evolution debate to introduce non-scientific ideas like creationism and intelligent design into the science curriculum.” Moreover, the bill appears to be adopted from model legislation put forth by the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, which promotes “intelligent design.

    I bet if you cross-referenced the words in bill with those in the translated version of the Old Testament, you'd get some hits, too. Just as if it was cross-compared to Madonna's, "Like a Virgin".

    Later, in response to this bill and another on the teaching of abstinence, Senator Johnson remarked, “those are issues that we do want our kids to think and consider and be thinking about all aspects.”

    Someone's got to stop these sunsofbeeches! Wanting kids to be critical think about scientific matters that have long-since been resolved. Next thing you know, we could have another Galileo on our hands!

    All eight Tennessee members of the National Academy of Sciences, chimed in with this ominous warning:
    "The scientists said that “by undermining the teaching of evolution in Tennessee’s public schools, [the House and Senate bills, HB 368 and SB 893] would miseducate students, harm the state’s national reputation, and weaken its efforts to compete in a science-driven global economy.”

    So, what's wrong with talking about it? Allowing debate? Were I a proponent of evolution, I would want to show it against as many other theories as possible, no?

    Monkey Bill Tennessee Controversy | TPM2012
    Tennessee scientists oppose bill to limit evolution teaching |
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  2. Oldvol75

    Oldvol75 Super Bigfoot Guru Mod

    I see nothing wrong with it, cueing IP in 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1...............
  3. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    As long as the teachers can do it objectively, it should be fine
  4. IP

    IP Super Moderator

    There is nothing objective about debating evolution but not gravity.
  5. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
  6. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Well-Known Member

    Is there anybody on this board that has doubts about evolution? That thinks that creationism might be correct?

    I promise and swear on all things sacred I won't belittle anybody if so. This is an unconditional pre-grant of belittling immunity -- n extraordinary measure that I may never turn to again -- that I am offering to encourage disclosure here.
  7. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    If creationism you mean 6 day/6,000 year old earth, then no.

    If you mean more in line with intelligent design, then yes.
  8. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Well-Known Member

    Do you debate the pythagorean theorem in trig class? Do you debate whether force equals mass * acceleration in physics? In chemistry, do you debate the structure of the periodic table...ask students to design it know, for the sake of considering all aspects? Do block off a week to discuss alchemy?
  9. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    To which I would reply I don't think I've ever heard the first debate of any of these things in the scientific community.

    I don't understand why people get so up in arms over this. If it's like my high school, you are spending a week max on it, and if macro-evolution is so easy to defend, then it should be a slam dunk able to do in 5 minutes.
  10. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    At the end of the day, neither side can "prove" their belief. Maybe at some point, some day, one side will win and it will become scientific law. However, as it stands today there are very bright scientific minds that do and don't believe in evolution in the macro sense.

    And with that, this is as much as I am saying on this.
  11. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck


    Science is science. Non-science is not science. Pitting Evolution head to head vs Creationism is a bad application of both. You can have one with the other, they are not mutually exclusive. Pitting one against the other tends to make it... one against the other.

    We can play bible verse games, and decipher Genesis, and determine that God created the heavens and earth and all the animals and shit, but it doesn't say how it was done. As far as anyone here knows, questioning evolution might be in fact questioning the method by which God created.

    The more we pit science vs non-science, the more we lose both. So it is a bad idea. If you want your kids to learn creationism, send them to Sunday school. If you want your kids to learn science, send them to school school.
  12. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    What the hell is "scientific law?"
  13. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Well-Known Member

    Evolution will never become scientific law*. It is a theory that relies on anthropological evidence that, a lot of times, just isn't available and never will be. As such, there will never ever be a comprehensive guide for how all creatures evolved. Which is why it is an "incomplete" theory.

    When you write, "However, as it stands today there are very bright scientific minds that do and don't believe in evolution in the macro sense", I don't think I understand what you're getting at. What do you mean by macro sense? And who is an example of a bright scientific mind that doesn't believe in evolution in the macro sense?

    *In the sense that force == mass * acceleration is scientific law.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  14. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Well-Known Member

    This is my thoughts exactly. Science brought us evolution. And evolution is constantly being advance by scientists using scientific principles. In science class, science should be taught.
  15. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    Evolution will never become "law," but not for the reasons stated. Laws apply to finite systems. Biological systems are not finite. A mutation that causes one set of biological changes may not have the same effect on other species, or even the same specie, or even the same animal.

    I ask what law is, purely out of philosophical reasons, in the hopes that people will give it some consideration, and then be able to say why saying that evolution is "just a theory" and not a "law" is so absolutely wrong, that hopefully nobody will do it anymore.

    Newton's laws do not apply to everything. F=ma only applies, I think, to linear systems. Therefore, it is a law. If we think that mutations that affect humans equally affect bullfrogs, we could call it a "law." As they often don't, we can't.

    The more finite and restrictive a theory, the more often it approaches "law." Evolution is not finite, and it is not restrictive.
  16. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    Anyone that legitimately thinks that this isn't some half-assed attempt to bring intelligent design into the schools is kidding himself. That's the only point of it. As to Tenny's comment about putting the evolution theory against all the others: evolution theory has been compared against the others for 150 years, and it has yet to be disproven. People challenge it everyday and can't disprove it. Think about the notoriety for the scientist that dispelled Darwin's theory. There's plenty of motivation to challenge it, yet not one person can shoot it down.
  17. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    What exactly is not allowed at this point? If evolution discussion comes up, does some kid get dismissed from class if he starts arguing for Adam and Eve? Is the teacher just supposed to ignore such objections?

    I really don't see why evolution can't be taught with the simple example of Darwin's finches and then a brief introduction into the theory that species actually evolve into new species and let kids form their own opinions about whether or not that happened with mankind.
  18. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    This is absolutely spot on. It's not as if kids get expelled for debating as it is; that's why that is obviously not the point of the bill.
  19. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Well-Known Member

    I didn't know what you were getting after here. And I'll be honest that I didn't know the above about when something could be a "law". That's useful information. I of course did know that the word "theory" has nothing to do with validity vs. non-validity or confidence in correctness vs. lack of confidence in correctness, and that somebody who used the wordy "theory" as the basis for evolutionary skepticism was missing the point completely. But I wasn't able to nicely articulate the reasons why they were missing the point.

    You do that very nicely in the above post. Going forward, if the situation calls for it, I will use what I learned above and do the same. The more you know.
  20. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Well-Known Member

    Good post.

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