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Anti-Evolution 'Monkey Bill' In Tennessee


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#1    Ryinrea

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:24 PM



Oh my this is why our education systems fails.

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#2    OverSword

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

Maybe you should research a little deeper.  Here's a sample of what I found on my first search

The bill, if enacted, would require state and local educational 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 sponsor of HB 368, Bill Dunn (R-District 16), claimed that the teaching of "intelligent design" would not be protected by the bill. Its chief lobbyist, David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, claimed otherwise in the Chattanoogan (February 21, 2011).

I take this as meaning they could give examples not only of why, for instance, global warming caused mainly by man is true and also why it may be alarmist.  To me hearing both sides of an argument is better than just one.  I was taught the langstrom theory of black holes as being fact in astronomy class, when the truth is they don't know what they are or if they in fact exist at all.

Edited by OverSword, 10 April 2012 - 08:39 PM.


#3    Ryinrea

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:10 PM

View PostOverSword, on 10 April 2012 - 08:35 PM, said:

Maybe you should research a little deeper.  Here's a sample of what I found on my first search

The bill, if enacted, would require state and local educational 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 sponsor of HB 368, Bill Dunn (R-District 16), claimed that the teaching of "intelligent design" would not be protected by the bill. Its chief lobbyist, David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, claimed otherwise in the Chattanoogan (February 21, 2011).

I take this as meaning they could give examples not only of why, for instance, global warming caused mainly by man is true and also why it may be alarmist.  To me hearing both sides of an argument is better than just one.  I was taught the langstrom theory of black holes as being fact in astronomy class, when the truth is they don't know what they are or if they in fact exist at all.

You just made my point for me!  It's because you don't understand what a black hole is doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Yes, they do know more about them since I learned more in mere  search of the internet than you did apparently. They even taken a picture using the Hubble probe if I'm not mistaken. You sir are a disgrace!

Black Holes

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#4    Arbenol

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:21 PM

This bill is not really what it appears to be.

This is a letter from students to the governor that expresses the concerns better than I could:

Dear Governor Haslam,

We are writing to you regarding HB368/SB893. As graduate students at the University of Tennessee, we strongly believe that this Bill represents a step backward for Tennessee and our state’s ascending recognition for Science and STEM education. We are specifically writing to address the nature of the Bill itself, which we feel was not adequately discussed during either the House or Senate hearings and misrepresents the undivided consensus among anthropologists, biochemists, biologists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, genome scientists, geographers, and molecular biologists.

If given a cursory reading, this Bill appears to advocate for intellectual freedom in the classroom and hence would seem prudent. However, it is abundantly clear from both a careful reading and from the testimony at hearings that the intent of this Bill is to encourage teachers to call into question universally accepted scientific principles.

In Section 1(a)(2) of SB893, the generally assembly states “The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy;”

We agree. However, this “controversy” is not scientific. The controversy to which the Bill alludes is the reluctance of non-scientists to accept these principles due to certain religious and political beliefs. This can be the only explanation for the inclusion of human cloning in the Bill. Human cloning is solely an ethical issue. There is no scientific debate on how to clone an organism or whether genetic clones can be created. It is a fact that humans can create genetic clones. Only the ethics of the issue is at stake.

Scientific evidence supporting the occurrence of biological evolution, global climate change, and the chemical origin of life are not controversial among scientists. Scientists universally accept these principles based on their predictability and the overwhelming evidence supporting them. Among scientists, the controversy exists in the details such as how changes in temperatures will affect biodiversity or what evolutionary forces
regulate the speciation process. This type of discussion is due to the very nature of science, which requires the constant acquisition and analysis of data.

However, this is not the controversy to which the Bill speaks. The bill later states, in section 1©, that “The state board of education . . . shall endeavor to assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies.” This wording seems to imply that the controversy for these aforementioned subjects lies in the scientific realm where in reality they lie only in the political and religious ones.

We fear that this bill only ostensibly supports “critical thinking” in Tennessee’s classrooms. Instead, by implying that subjects such as evolution and global warming are “debatable”, this bill achieves the exact opposite of its purported goal. This is tantamount to encouraging educators to suggest students in science classes disregard the very nature of the scientific process and ignore factual data in favor of the beliefs of some individuals. Scientists cannot ignore data in favor of personal biases. If they did, they would be discredited as non-objective.

This Bill is a step backwards and would do irreparable harm to the development of STEM education in this state. As university educators, we continually face the challenge of losing students’ interests in science courses when they arrive at The University of Tennessee because they are frustrated by their lack of sufficient preparation. Many of them know very little about evolution by natural selection or the mechanisms of global climate change. We hope that you see that as with the legislatures who passed this bill, we too are concerned about the education of children in Tennessee.

This passage of this Bill has the potential to cost the state dearly in terms of lost revenue, a poorly trained scientific workforce, and an exodus of scientists and educators who do not wish to have their discipline diluted with non-scientific biases. We fear that calling into question scientific support of foundations to biological theory will cripple the ability of Tennessee’s students to become functional scientists, doctors, professionals, and contributing members of many growing fields.

We ask that you please thoughtfully consider our position, and veto this bill. Thank you for your time.

Signed,
Graduate Researchers in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolutionary Biology (G.R.E.B.E)
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

[56 grad students from EEB and other departments signed the petition]


#5    blarney

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:26 PM

View PostRyinrea, on 10 April 2012 - 10:10 PM, said:

You just made my point for me!  It's because you don't understand what a black hole is doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Yes, they do know more about them since I learned more in mere  search of the internet than you did apparently. They even taken a picture using the Hubble probe if I'm not mistaken. You sir are a disgrace!

Black Holes


You are absolutely right. If a person dares question an 'accepted' theory they are a disgrace. God forbid that anyone should question any of the scientific disciplines and the answers put forth, we might discover that the earth isn't flat, man can fly or that we really aren't at the center of the universe.  I, like you, much prefer the safety of my own personal hardline religion!


#6    OverSword

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:29 PM

View PostRyinrea, on 10 April 2012 - 10:10 PM, said:

You just made my point for me!  It's because you don't understand what a black hole is doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Yes, they do know more about them since I learned more in mere  search of the internet than you did apparently. They even taken a picture using the Hubble probe if I'm not mistaken. You sir are a disgrace!

Black Holes

Wrong.  They do NOT know what a black hole is.  They have theories.  I'm not sure if it was Langstrom model of a black hole I'm going by memory, but in the astronomy class I took in high school in 1982 or 83 they taught this model as being in fact what it is.  At the time they did not have a hubble space telescope and black holes were almost entirely theoretical.  The model they were teaching as (dare I use the term) gospel, said they were a star which had collapsed in on itself and now came out in another universe.  Tell me, how do they know it came out in another universe?  Answer, they don't, it's only a theory.

You sir are not a disgrace, you have a very short attention span, and obviously didn't understand what I wrote.

Edited by OverSword, 10 April 2012 - 10:31 PM.


#7    Marks_Thoughts

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:39 PM

View PostRyinrea, on 10 April 2012 - 08:24 PM, said:



Oh my this is why our education systems fails.
What should be taught is the methodology of science - then the scientific theories we have leveraged to create our modern society. There can be little doubt that evolution takes place, or why would we need better antibiotics? As for evolution, it is fact based on nearly two centuries of hard science. Are there'holes' in our full knowledge of our origins? Sure, but you don't throw away hard-won knowledge simply because it doesn't fit some legislature's bias.

Then there is global warming. My take on this is that there is a dearth of real, hard and inescapable science involved or there would not be such controversy. The leaked emails, the clearly difficient or modified data all point to me and others as the result of an agenda that has little to do with global warming and more on point to social engineering. The US has at least 300 years of coal. But, we won't use it in our generating plants because it causes the issues stated, regardless of how fragile the science really is. On the other hand, we should let the Chinese and Indians burn coal because we've had hundreds of years to do so ahead of them? I'm confused. Coal is either destructive or it is not. If it is not right for America or Europe, why sell the coal to the other nations at all?


#8    blarney

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:03 AM

View PostMarks_Thoughts, on 10 April 2012 - 10:39 PM, said:

What should be taught is the methodology of science - then the scientific theories we have leveraged to create our modern society. There can be little doubt that evolution takes place, or why would we need better antibiotics? As for evolution, it is fact based on nearly two centuries of hard science. Are there'holes' in our full knowledge of our origins? Sure, but you don't throw away hard-won knowledge simply because it doesn't fit some legislature's bias.

Then there is global warming. My take on this is that there is a dearth of real, hard and inescapable science involved or there would not be such controversy. The leaked emails, the clearly difficient or modified data all point to me and others as the result of an agenda that has little to do with global warming and more on point to social engineering. The US has at least 300 years of coal. But, we won't use it in our generating plants because it causes the issues stated, regardless of how fragile the science really is. On the other hand, we should let the Chinese and Indians burn coal because we've had hundreds of years to do so ahead of them? I'm confused. Coal is either destructive or it is not. If it is not right for America or Europe, why sell the coal to the other nations at all?


No one questions the validity of evolution. The question arises between macro and micro. And as so much of the macro is theoretical, those theories should continually be questioned and tested per true scientific method. But it seems very unpopular to even question such things and I really don't know why. There are HUGE reasons to question what is advanced in our linear way of viewing the world around us. The same can be said of global warming as being man made or even influenced. HUGE reasonable questions are sitting around like an elephant in the living room. In my way of looking at things, it seems our very ability to question is taken as a sign of derangement or threat. And threat is what questioning has always been to those who hold power. I choose to ask WHY? and see where that answer leads for myself.


#9    CommunitarianKevin

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:02 AM

View Postblarney, on 11 April 2012 - 12:03 AM, said:

No one questions the validity of evolution. The question arises between macro and micro. And as so much of the macro is theoretical, those theories should continually be questioned and tested per true scientific method. But it seems very unpopular to even question such things and I really don't know why. There are HUGE reasons to question what is advanced in our linear way of viewing the world around us. The same can be said of global warming as being man made or even influenced. HUGE reasonable questions are sitting around like an elephant in the living room. In my way of looking at things, it seems our very ability to question is taken as a sign of derangement or threat. And threat is what questioning has always been to those who hold power. I choose to ask WHY? and see where that answer leads for myself.

macroevolution and microevolution are the same thing. This is why science needs to be taught better. This was an attempt by creationists to get creationism in the schools...and it looks like it worked. The thing is that there is no controversy in the scientific world over things such as evolution and global warming. And another major flaw is that you assume there is 2 sides to a story. There are thousands of creation stories. Shall we teach them all in science class?

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#10    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:08 AM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 11 April 2012 - 01:02 AM, said:

macroevolution and microevolution are the same thing. This is why science needs to be taught better. This was an attempt by creationists to get creationism in the schools...and it looks like it worked. The thing is that there is no controversy in the scientific world over things such as evolution and global warming. And another major flaw is that you assume there is 2 sides to a story. There are thousands of creation stories. Shall we teach them all in science class?

Thank you. You said it for me.
I do so tire of the erroneous macro vs micro claims.

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#11    Arbenol

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:19 AM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 11 April 2012 - 01:02 AM, said:

macroevolution and microevolution are the same thing. This is why science needs to be taught better.

How many times has this been posted by someone on these boards? I've read it on (almost) countless occasions yet people keep coming back with the same error. I agree that science needs to be better taught, but if people are going to revel in their willful ignorance then no amount of teaching will make any difference.


#12    blarney

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:21 AM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 11 April 2012 - 01:02 AM, said:

macroevolution and microevolution are the same thing. This is why science needs to be taught better. This was an attempt by creationists to get creationism in the schools...and it looks like it worked. The thing is that there is no controversy in the scientific world over things such as evolution and global warming. And another major flaw is that you assume there is 2 sides to a story. There are thousands of creation stories. Shall we teach them all in science class?

I don't believe I even mentioned teaching Creationism in my post.  You seem to be extremely ambivalent to this and thats okay. My only point, which you didn't give the consideration of addressing, is that any and all THEORIES should be subject to the unbiased scientific method. If you look at everything taught as truth without a healthy degree of personal question marks, you are no different than a zealot of any persuasion. Both traditionally taught evolution and global warming have gaping holes worthy of question. I in no way believe creationism must be taught in public schools, but what is taught should be subject to as much scrutiny as can be thrown at it, regardless of the discipline.


#13    CommunitarianKevin

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:22 AM

View PostArbenol68, on 11 April 2012 - 01:19 AM, said:

How many times has this been posted by someone on these boards? I've read it on (almost) countless occasions yet people keep coming back with the same error. I agree that science needs to be better taught, but if people are going to revel in their willful ignorance then no amount of teaching will make any difference.

Are you saying I am ignorant? If you are PLEASE explain my error. I think I have this topic down better than you...

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#14    CommunitarianKevin

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:26 AM

View Postblarney, on 11 April 2012 - 01:21 AM, said:

I don't believe I even mentioned teaching Creationism in my post.  You seem to be extremely ambivalent to this and thats okay. My only point, which you didn't give the consideration of addressing, is that any and all THEORIES should be subject to the unbiased scientific method. If you look at everything taught as truth without a healthy degree of personal question marks, you are no different than a zealot of any persuasion. Both traditionally taught evolution and global warming have gaping holes worthy of question. I in no way believe creationism must be taught in public schools, but what is taught should be subject to as much scrutiny as can be thrown at it, regardless of the discipline.

Nothing is science is taught as truth. Scienfitic claims are all falsifiable. Theories are all subject to the unbiased scientific method...the reason they are still theories is because they are yet to be falisified. Gravity is a theory, Heilocentrism is a theory...the people that find holes in these theories often do not understand the theory. I think I know more about this topic than you do...

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#15    Arbenol

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:31 AM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 11 April 2012 - 01:22 AM, said:

Are you saying I am ignorant? If you are PLEASE explain my error. I think I have this topic down better than you...
Whoa there Hutton! Talk about misunderstanding.

My comment was at those that keep talking as if micro and macro evolution are different things. I'm agreeing with you and lamenting the fact that someone always has to put right the persistent errors that people make when speaking about this.

Next time I'll draw you a picture.

PS. Your last sentence there makes you look like a know-it-all knobhead. Not cool





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