A Tennessee bill awaiting final sign-off, or a veto, from Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has sparked sharp criticism from leading science organizations and scientists, who argue that it would undermine the teaching of evolution and other scientific topics in public schools.
The bill, approved by lopsided votes in the Republican-controlled House and Senate, would protect teachers who discuss with students the “scientific strengths and weaknesses” of existing theories, such as evolution and global warming.
Proponents say the legislation aims to foster “critical thinking.”
A state Senate amendment says that the scientific discussions must occur “within the framework of the curriculum” established by the state board of education, notes a story in the Knoxville News Sentinel.
But those changes did not appease critics.
Although Gov. Haslam has not said whether he will sign the measure, news reports have noted that he has yet to use his veto power.
A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2012 edition of Education Week as Lawmakers Approve Tenn. Evolution Bill