Tennessee House Bill Opens Door to Challenges to Evolution, Climate Change

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Science  15 Apr 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6027, pp. 295
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6027.295

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Last week, the Tennessee House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved an innocuous-sounding measure allowing science teachers in the state to help their students "develop critical thinking skills." The legislation, which specifically mentions the teaching of "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning," is expected to become law next month after the state Senate embraces an identical version and the governor signs it. Scientists say HB 368, and the corresponding Senate bill, SB 893, would actually have the opposite effect on critical thinking by introducing nonscientific beliefs into science classes and by undermining the principles of scientific inquiry.