No, this isn’t about the law down in Tennessee that will sneak religious fairy tales into science classes. Not directly anyway.
NPR’s Takeaway program this morning featured a discussion on the Tennessee law. On one side they had a representative from a national science organization. In the middle they had the usual not-too-competent interlocutor, John Hockenberry. And representing Tennessee they had a seventh grade science teacher.
And then Hockenberry says the science teacher doesn’t believe evolution is true.
Think about that for a second. A certified science teacher, teaching seventh graders, who believes one of the most fundamental theories of science isn’t true.
The State of Tennessee certified this guy to teach science. To children. A guy who doesn’t accept the Biblical flood of evidence, of fact, of research, that support evolution.
This same State of Tennessee wants to make it okay to teach Biblical fairy tales in science classrooms. Or rather to protect teachers who want to do so. It’s all a little ambiguous, no doubt designed that way to cover its sins.
And during this little colloquy did Hockenberry ask the teacher to explain why he didn’t believe evolution is true? Barely in passing, and getting the answer, “There’s some problems with it,” which Hockenberry just brushed past. I should note that Hockenberry has had a distinguished career in journalism, but on this show he inserts his opinion too often, asks questions that roll on forever, and ignores key items, i.e., why was this guy certified to teach in Tennessee, and what the hell was Tennessee thinking when it certified him.
There’s about a dozen states trying to pull this off. It’s a little fluid, but the states where this is going on or has gone on (it never goes away) include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Indiana. And that’s likely not an exhaustive list.
What we’ve got here is a case of severe stupidity being enshrined in law and education, and in children’s minds, by the state, where citizens have chosen to elect incredibly narrow-minded, ignorant religious fundogelical freaks to their legislatures and state offices.
Never mind ‘America the Beautiful’. A more accurate song would be titled ‘America the Backward’.