Tennessee to film new Dumb and Dumber movie

Apr 13 2011 Published by under [Politics]

Tennessee has been a battle ground for defending evolution for a long time. In fact, the first legal challenge of evolution, the 1925 The Scopes Trial was prosecuted in Tennessee. Unfortunately, as part of a growing list of anti-evolution legislation, the Tennessee General Assembly is looking to turn back the clocks to 1924.

On April 8th, the TGA voted 70-28 to pass bill HB368 that starts off as such:
The general assembly finds that:
(1) An important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to becoming intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens;

(2) The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy; and

(3) Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.

Well, we would want controversy and unclear teacher expectations to get in the way of teaching science, now would we? I don't need to get into all the reasons this makes me fear for the future of this country, but I do want you to go check out the two videos on the Mother Jones blog that feature some short lowlights of the TGA discussion. The first features Republican state Rep. Frank Niceley making up an Einstein quote to suggest that the famous physicist believed that his work pointed towards Christianity and the second has Rep. Sheila Butt confusing science with chocolate* and Aquanet hair spray.

While it's a shame that Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are not available to extend the Farrelly Brother's Dumb and Dumber franchise, the Niceley-Butt paring look up to the job.

*Her argument for teaching creationism in high school is that she learned in high school that chocolate was bad to eat and latter came to find out that dark chocolate has antioxidants, ergo, evolution might turn out to be just like chocolate. And these are elected officials. Tennessee! Dudes! Fuck. sigh.

6 responses so far

  • chall says:

    yes.... it's a strange world. I thought the extra comments, when defending that the bill isn't at all as bad as you might think, was especially enlightening "We're not saying that they can't teach evolution, we just want children to be taught alternatives since scientists don't know the truth" alternative "there should be freedom for teachers to teach what they see fit for the class" (but only in the context of ID, mind you - Start a conversation about Darwin or sex ed and you'll see that there is no freedom.... )

    well.... I guess there are only some people who know "the truth"? *head desk*

  • JamesW says:

    I think I've lost the will to be annoyed/surprised by this sort of behaviour. What's wrong with teaching kids the latest theories in science in the science class and also the latest practices in religious beliefs in religious education classes? Then let the children make up their own mind and their own mistakes (either way).

  • editor_gal says:

    JamesW - the problem is that these folks want religion to be taught in science class. If we can keep 'em separated, I'm all in favor of your plan.

  • Natalie says:

    Bill Hicks has a routine about his time in Tennessee... http://youtu.be/soAzWY9-VHE

  • I do so love it when people with a theological agenda twist scientist's words to make it seem as if scientists themselves have found evidence of a (Christian) God, and they're just hiding it from everyone else, because...they're embarrassed? or something?

    From the wiki page on Einstein:

    "The question of scientific determinism gave rise to questions about Einstein's position on theological determinism, and whether or not he believed in God, or in a god. He once said, 'I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.'" Spinoza's "god" was geometry, in effect.

    Also, Rep. Niceley, FWIW, both Spinoza and Einstein were Jewish.

  • rknop says:

    I also hope that in their physics classes they will be teaching alternatives to the **theory** of gravity as has been pushed by scientific dogma:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-int,1778/

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