|"Forty Six and 2 " / inks on bristol / Brandt Hardin|
"The idea behind this bill is that students should be encouraged to challenge current scientific thought and theory,"
Republican and Author of The Monkey Law
Rep. Watson is saying lawmakers and teachers SHOULD encourage students to consider alternative theories about man’s origin aside from The Theory of Evolution. The idea man evolved by a gradual method of natural selection can be traced back to Ancient Greek, Roman, and Chinese scientific studies. Most famously, a well-rounded theory of this concept was produced by Charles Darwin in 1859 when he published On the Origin of Species. The true underlying danger in encouraging debate against Darwinian ideas is alternative theories to Evolution are exclusively found in religious doctrine. The Scientific community has almost unanimously adopted Evolution as fact over the past 150 years. Short of making time travel a reality, this theory will perhaps be man’s best and only scholarly rationalization of the ultimate question, “Where did we come from?”
The “Monkey Law” which ensures protection of teachers who wish to challenge Evolution in the classroom is also digging up
historic battle against science in the classroom which roots back to the
infamous Scopes Monkey Trial. Tennessee
was the first state to ever ban the teaching of Evolution and only one of three
states to develop laws against the theory.
In 1925, drew the attention of the entire nation
as High School teacher John Thomas Scopes was put on trial for teaching
Evolution which at the time was illegal per the Butler
Act. Scopes’ charges were eventually
dismissed on a technicality and the law was upheld. Over 40 years after initially being
challenged, the ban on teaching of Evolution in Dayton, TN Tennessee was finally repealed in 1967. Another teacher, Gary L. Scott lost his
teaching position after facing a similar legal battle stemming from bringing
evolutionary discussion to his students.
When he filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Tennessee, The Butler
Act was overturned.
With The Butler Act finally laid to rest,
Tennessee moved on six years later to create
new legislation affecting the teaching of evolution. The Christian Conservatives weren’t going to
give up without a fight. In 1973, became the first state to
pass a law requiring that public schools give equal emphasis to "the
Genesis account in the Bible" along with Evolution. Furthermore, Evolution was to be presented as
a “theory” and not “fact.” A short two
years later, this new legislation was declared unconstitutional by a federal
appeals court. Similar statutes were
struck down in Louisiana and Arkansas in the 1980’s allowing for the
presentation of evolutionary theories as science WITHOUT giving recognition to
religious theory which has NO place in the classroom. Tennessee
Flash-forward ANOTHER 40 years with today’s SB0893, the Republican authored law which now opens the door back up for Creationism to be presented as a challenge to Evolution in academic settings. Religious zealots who hold office in our home state are again pushing to attack scientific theory with religious doctrine.
"Concepts like evolution and climate change should not be misrepresented as controversial or needing of special evaluation. Instead, they should be presented as scientific explanations for events and processes that are supported by experimentation, logical analysis, and evidence-based revision based on detectable and measurable data,"
-The National Association of Biology Teachers
Despite the political rhetoric surrounding this new law, its intentions are clear to me as they are to any person who isn’t blinded by their Holy Ghost glasses. We must uphold a separation of Church and State by not allowing Christian ideals to interfere with teachings based on science and over 150 years of research. Knowledge is the next step in evolution of the spirit, body and the mind. Ignorance of this only backpedals the human race and at best, has us running in place with no explanation to further our human quest other than passively leaving our lives to “God’s Will.” Religion holds its rightful place in the personal lives and homes of adult citizens as laid out in our Constitutional Rights. In a classroom setting, Christian theories are not an academic stance and cannot be given any more significance than the belief the world is flat.
"I've been wallowing in my own insecure delusions...
I wanna feel the change consume me,
Feel the outside turning in.
I wanna feel the metamorphosis and
Cleansing I've endured within…
Forty-six and Two are just ahead of me."
-TOOL “Forty Six & 2”
Evolution is a theory based on scientific fact and human knowledge of biology and life, which can neither be proved nor disproved.
Creationism is a theory based on religious texts written by men who claim to have spoken with an invisible man in the sky, which can neither be proved nor disproved.
I ask you- which is closer to reality?