New Tenn. Law Allows Creation Theory to Be Discussed in Science Classes

By:  Dave Bohon
04/13/2012
       
New Tenn. Law Allows Creation Theory to Be Discussed in Science Classes

A new Tennessee law, passed without the signature of Republican Governor Bill Haslam, will allow the teaching and discussion of creation theory alongside evolution in the state’s science classrooms. While Haslam did not veto the bill, he did not sign it into law either, citing concerns he had over its possible negative impact on science curriculums.

 
 

A new Tennessee law, passed without the signature of Republican Governor Bill Haslam, will allow the teaching and discussion of creation theory alongside evolution in the state’s science classrooms. While Haslam did not veto the bill, he did not sign it into law either, citing concerns he had over its possible negative impact on science curriculums.

 
Haslam had originally planned to sign the bill in spite of his misgivings, but following an aggressive petition drive against the legislation by a coalition of opponents, he opted neither to sign nor veto it, reported Reuters News, allowing it to become law by default.
 
In a statement, the Governor said that he did not believe the new law “changes the scientific standards that are taught in our schools or the curriculum that is used by our teachers. However, I also don’t believe that it accomplishes anything that isn’t already acceptable in our schools.” He said that while the bill had received solid bipartisan support, passing in both the House and Senate by three-to-one margins, “good legislation should bring clarity and not confusion. My concern is that this bill has not met this objective. For that reason, I will not sign the bill, but will allow it to become law without my signature.”
 
Groups such as the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the state teacher’s union fought the measure, which requires that teachers permit discussion of alternative theories to evolution, as well as other controversial issues such as global warming. While instructors are not allowed to raise the issue of creationism or other alternative theories, they must allow for their discussion and debate if they are mentioned in class.
 
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