The Tennessee General Assembly is close to enacting a law which would protect teachers who allow students to criticize evolution and other scientific theories, such as global warming. Republican Governor Bill Haslam said he would likely sign the bill into law.
The bill itself, according to the State Board of Education and Governor Haslam, will not change the curriculum... so why the bill? Lawmakers claim that the law is intended to encourage critical thinking by protecting teachers from discipline if they help students critique "scientific weaknesses."
Scientists in the district, as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science are asking the Governor to veto the bill, arguing that evolution is established science, and that it should not be taught as a controversy.
Three members of the National Academy of Sciences, all with doctorate degrees claim that, "what the Tennessee legislature is doing unbelievable: attempting to roll the clock back to 1925 by attempting to insert religious beliefs in the teaching of science..."