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New Tennessee Law a Victory for ‘Teach the Controversy’ Proponents

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Tennessee Governor William Haslam today allowed HB 368/SB 893 to pass into law, and it could have a big impact on how science is taught in the state:

“Tennessee’s Republican governor said Tuesday he will let a bill become law that protects teachers who allow students in their classrooms to criticize evolution and other scientific theories, such as global warming.

Critics derided the legislation as the ‘monkey bill’ for attacking evolution. The state held the famous Scopes “monkey trial” in 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee, and opponents of the legislation say evolution is still under attack in 2012.”

The bill’s co-sponsor, in the linked article, asserts that the bill will simply make it easier for teachers to address evolution’s superiority to creationism as a scientific model, but critics largely aren’t buying it.

“The legislation is designed specifically to allow creationism to be taught in classes, something the courts have clearly stated is against the law, and which just as clearly is unacceptable in our schools.”

What do you think? Does this new law send Tenn. back to the early 20th century? Or could this be healthy for science education in the Volunteer state?