Well, turns out just yesterday that the Senate revived and passed SB 893, its version of the “Monkey Bill” that passed the House last year.
… if enacted, would encourage teachers to present the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of “controversial” topics such as “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”
Among those expressing opposition to the bill are the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the American Institute for Biological Sciences, the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Nashville Tennessean, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the National Earth Science Teachers Association, and the Tennessee Science Teachers Association, whose president Becky Ashe described (PDF) the legislation as “unnecessary, anti-scientific, and very likely unconstitutional.”
The bill now has to undergo reconciliation in the House before it heads to Gov. Pontius Pilot (Corp.) (or Bill Haslam for you politically correct). So no extra points to Tennessee just yet. Still, this is something to keep an eye on, as it will be quite embarrassing if, in fact, it does come to fruition. (Like Tennessee needs any more of that, right?)
And what is Pontius Pilot going to do if it hits his desk? Why, wash his hands of it, of course:
Tennessee’s governor Bill Haslam previously indicated that he would discuss the bill with the state board of education, telling the Tennesseean (March 19, 2012), “It is a fair question what the General Assembly’s role is … That’s why we have a state board of education.”