My former home state, which last century brought us that great sideshow popularly known as the Scopes "Monkey Trial," is at it again with some legislation that some say echo that famous trial.
The Tennessee House and Senate have now passed legislation proposed by Chattanooga politician Bo Watson which he says will protect teachers who are "helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories.” And this bill passed by wide margins, 70 to 23 in the House and 24 to 8 in the Senate.
In these parts creationism is very popular. That was an understatement. The God of Abraham is such a vital part of southern culture that anything which seems to be in conflict - the science of origins in general, unfortunately - is not well received.
And it isn't that the Bible Belt is made up of mostly uncouth hicks who have no science knowledge at all. Sure, we have lots of those folks among us. But the water has been greatly muddied by the philosophical idea of Intelligent Design masquerading as science. That has largely replaced the older alternative of Creation Science.
Personally, I don't think science class is a good place for debates. And the true intent of this legislation is all too obvious.