Dumbing down - news story - 27 Mar 2012

Creationist threat to education

Yesterday, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed a bill which can only really be seen as an attempt to undermine science. Its objective is to have school science teachers present such topics as evolution and global warming as 'scientifically controversial' and to portray the topics as somehow still a matter of significant debate. While some of the subjects may well be socially controversial to some extent, there's no doubting the principles are almost universally accepted within the scientific world.

The intent is to create the illusion that these are subjects still very much open for debate; undecided issues, weakly founded. They are not, and it's fundamentally wrong to give children the impression they are.

What is of most concern is the numbers in the vote - the bill was passed with 72-23 in favour. Tennessee teachers associations were very much against it, alongside national teacher and science groups and civil liberties bodies. It's now in the hands of the Governor of Tennessee. Fingers crossed.

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