The Tennessee House of Representatives approved legislation on 7 April 2011 that would protect the ‘academic freedom’ of public school teachers. Critics say that the measure, House Bill 368, would allow teachers to introduce creationism and other non-scientific concepts into the curricula.
If enacted, the HB 368 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.”
An identical measure is pending in the state’s Senate and is scheduled to be considered later this month.
For more information about evolution education in Tennessee and other states, please visit the National Center for Science Education at www.ncse.com.
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