A bill to promote “academic freedom” regarding the teaching of evolution has been passed from the General Subcommittee of Education in the Tennessee House of Representatives. House Bill 368 was passed from the subcommittee on 16 March on a 9-4 vote. If enacted, the bill would require state and local education authorities to “assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies” and permit teachers to “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.” The only examples provided of “controversial” theories are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”

The next step is for the bill to be considered by the full House Education Committee on 29 March 2011. A comparable bill is pending in the Tennessee Senate. Senate Bill 893 is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Education Committee on 30 March.

 


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