published Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Unfortunate 'evolution' issue

It is unfortunate that a controversy -- again -- has erupted in the Tennessee Legislature concerning public school teaching of the subject of "evolution."

We recall the unfortunate so-called "Tennessee monkey trial," or Scopes trial, in nearby Dayton, Tenn., in 1925.

Now a bill has passed the Tennessee Legislature that protects teachers in classroom discussions about evolution, which some think of as just gradual development in life but others think of as "men descended from monkeys."

It's a controversy that shouldn't be concerning our people in general, or teachers, or school children or public officials.

Tennessee legislators and Gov. Bill Haslam unfortunately have been thrust into controversy, with the governor saying this week, "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."

The law says school authorities cannot "prohibit any teacher in a public school system ... from helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing theories covered in the course being taught within" the state's "curriculum framework."

It also says the proposed law "only protects the teaching of scientific information and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion."

That wording obviously seeks to avoid controversy. But does it?

The whole matter should really not be a controversy about science teaching or religion. But unfortunately it is.

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nucanuck said...

Inching our way backward has landed Tennessee onto national and international news programs and cast Tenneseeans in a very unfavorable light.

April 12, 2012 at 12:10 a.m.
Rtazmann said...

if legislatures doesn't know what the theory of evolution is,,, they need to step down.... evolution is a theory,,,nothing set in stone..when was the last time you were taught religion in schools,,theory or otherwise???

April 12, 2012 at 6:56 a.m.
conservative said...

The heathen want no part of GOD in their life, even worse want GOD eradicated from society ( never happen ) so they desperately hang onto the " junk science" that man was descended from an ape! They want this silly notion taught in school and nothing else.

April 12, 2012 at 9:10 a.m.
nucanuck said...

The Islamic world is a good example of religion in government. Religion seems strongest where education is weakest.

April 12, 2012 at 10 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

The heathen want no part of GOD in their life, even worse want GOD eradicated from society ( never happen ) so they desperately hang onto the " junk science" that man was descended from an ape! They want this silly notion taught in school and nothing else

So Sean Carroll, Kenneth Miller, etc, all CHRISTIANS and EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGISTS are heathens?

April 12, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...


"Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.......... . Governing Goals

To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies. To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

. Five Year Goals

To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory. To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science. To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

. Twenty Year Goals

To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science. To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its innuence in the fine arts. To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life."

. It is like these guys don't realize they are just one of many stories. Or in other words, we the people are stupid and must be lead by the same thing that leads them. That somehow these guys are the authority on what being human means.

Just say NO! Think what you want, but this will not happen in THIS country! We might go broke defeating these treasonists, but we will not let it happen. Our constitution will not let it happen. Why do you think Dover lost?

April 12, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.
conservative said...

Psalm 2 1Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.

April 12, 2012 at 11:48 a.m.
dao1980 said...

conservative, you sound like an extremist jihadist style o thinker.(using the term "thinker" pretty loosely there)

I'm afraid your in the wrong country. I understand that for you it is very frustrating to witness the evolving culture, education, science, and technology of a secular society.

Maybe you should relocate to a more theocratic society and live in a hut whilst drinking "hut runoff" water with your fellow zealots.

There are plenty of societies that would better suit you over in the middle east. Though, you would have to change your favorite flavor from Christianity (vanilla) to Islasm (butter pecan?)

April 12, 2012 at 12:08 p.m.
conservative said...

Psalm 2 cont....

5Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

April 12, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Good grief, conservative. Go to church and leave the rest of us alone.

April 12, 2012 at 12:29 p.m.
conservative said...

Psalm 2 cont...

10Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

April 12, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Somebody call a doctor! conservative done broke his rockin' chair! He's stuck in a loop, speakin' in tongues, an' witnissin' to the dirt floor.

Maybe one of his ol' haindlin' snakes done come up an' bit him?

April 12, 2012 at 1:59 p.m.
conservative said...

Psalm 14:1

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.

April 12, 2012 at 2:46 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Reminds me of the "whhaaargarble" dog.

April 12, 2012 at 2:51 p.m.
JustOneWoman said...

"If a man's testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the LORD.

. Or how about this one Con.

Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks! Psalm 137:9

. Anybody can cherry pick to say anything they need.

. Hey con, are you walking ok these days?

"God can't stand the sight of crippled people. The blind, the lame, dwarfs, people with funny noses or blemishes, with damaged testicles, or broken hands or feet, crooked backs, or who have scurvy or scabs, or who have anything superfluous must not approach the altar of God.

  • Leviticus 21:17-21:

Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God."

April 12, 2012 at 3:04 p.m.
una61 said...

An unfortunate consequence of this illogical and unnecessary bill is that HS Biology teachers may be intimidated to not give Evolution Science the full attention it deserves, particularity in the rural counties. Hopefully, it will be challenged in court and invalided so that we Tennesseans will no longer be the laughing stock of the scientific community.

April 12, 2012 at 3:21 p.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Is this in your children's bibles? yep! . ""Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses." (Ezekiel 23: 19-21)

"and lusted after her paramours there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose emission was like that of stallions." (Ezekiel 23: 21, NRSV)

Comment The story of the sister whores, Aholah and Aholibah gives a moral lesson against the sins of the flesh. But why does God have to describe their adventures in such pornographic detail? Does God love porn?

What parent would want their children reading verse 21 about comparing the size of men's penises to donkey genitals and the sperm flow to that of horse issues?

As any adult religious parent might believe, such lustful descriptions, if culled from secular sources, would corrupt children should they happen to read them. Should it not also corrupt children if read from the Bible?"

. Cain's Wife? "And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch." (Genesis 4:17)

Comment What wife? At that time only Adam & Eve, Cain and Abel existed on the Earth. The only possibility comes from, either a grave omission from the Bible, or his mother Eve served as his wife. The second possibility would mean incest.

After Cain killed his brother, God protected him by setting "a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." (verse 14). Considering the earth supposedly had only Adam's family, who should kill him?"

April 12, 2012 at 3:22 p.m.
JustOneWoman said...

So, wonder what will happen when any of these x-rated or baby killing verses are brought up in the school discussion? Yep, this is going to get interesting.

April 12, 2012 at 3:28 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

It's a sad day when once again our state has to be the butt of jokes about our backwards legislators. While we have attempted to lure technological jobs to the state we are now cast as a state that is more concerned with turning back the clock on scientific inquiry.

Fundamentalist religious zealots have been the bane of society for thousands of years. They will stop at nothing to tear down any inquiry that does not satisfy their narrow minded beliefs. Not satisfied with their constitutionally protected rights to worship as they wish and gather at a tax exempt location, they also wish to interject religion into science classes.

A high school science class is to teach SCIENCE. A church is the place to teach religion. Seems pretty simple...except to some of the simpletons we have elected.

April 12, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.
EaTn said...

Folks, most of you know that in most areas I'm a die-hard liberal because I believe in general most, but not all, of the liberal principles are straight from the New Testament Bible. Like the Apostle Paul said that by their fruits you shall know them as a Christian. Killing babies either before birth or starving them to death after birth is not very Christian like. JustOneWoman brought up some verses from the Old Testament which you hardly ever hear in Sunday School. I don't have all the answers but I believe playing tug-of-war across a swamp of alligators is not the solution. I believe we could spend our time more productive by listening and trying to understand the reasoning of both sides, because the real enemy want to keep us divided.

April 12, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.
JustOneWoman said...

EaTn said... I don't have all the answers but I believe playing tug-of-war across a swamp of alligators is not the solution. I believe we could spend our time more productive by listening and trying to understand the reasoning of both sides, because the real enemy want to keep us divided.

. You are right EaTn. No one really has all the answers. But when one set of rules or thoughts are pushed onto another as "the answer", there will always be a push back. You can call it a tug of war, but that is not really what it is. It is the right to believe what we want for whatever reason we want without fear of prosecution from people like con. Our constitution gives us that right, our humanity gives us that right. I do agree with your sentiment. And I especially agree with the thought that the enemy is trying to divide us. As a country we used to consider a person's spiritual experience their own private matter. We used to support our neighbor no matter what they believed. I don't see that anymore. I would like to think as you, in that we could spend more time listening and learning, but from my vantage point, they do neither. And here is why: . You must kill those who worship another god. Exodus 22:20

Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own. Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you. Deuteronomy 13:12-16

Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own. Deuteronomy 17:2-7

Kill anyone who refuses to listen to a priest. Deuteronomy 17:12-13

Kill any false prophets. Deuteronomy 18:20

. And it is no secret that an evangelical considers normal christians as non-believers. So tell me EaTn, how do you reason with that?

It is beyond me how anyone could kill over what someone thinks. People come first; before what you believe, before money, before skin color.

April 12, 2012 at 4:57 p.m.
LibDem said...

Some excellent points here, but we all know the legislators are just padding their campaign resumes.

April 12, 2012 at 5:43 p.m.
EaTn said...

JustOneWoman...again I can't speak for all who consider themselves Christians and I find myself in disagreement with some of them as well as non-Christians. If you want to use the Bible to relate to most Christians then move out of the old history part and flip over to the letter from Paul in the Book of Romans. You can read it entirely in probably less than an hour. It gives me hope every time I read it.

April 12, 2012 at 5:45 p.m.
JulesWinnfield said...

There's a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you!"

April 12, 2012 at 11:50 p.m.
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