Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tennessee Is Still Not Evolving

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

When it comes to state legislatures turning their states into laughingstocks, none can compare with Arizona.  Those scorpion-milkers and jackass-breeders are in a league of their own - steeped in hate and damned proud of it!  But over the last few years there seems to have been a rash of other state legislatures pushing to prove that they are every bit as backward and bigoted as the mental midgets who write the laws in Arizona.  Wisconsin is fighting to dismantle public employee unions, Kansas is at war with women, and Missouri is putting a bronze bust of Rush Limbaugh in its state capitol.  The crazies are seizing power and being ...well, uh ... crazy!

Tennessee is now trying to add its name to the list of scary places to live.   Monday evening of this week a bill was passed by the Tennessee State Senate that will protect teachers who want to promote "alternate scientific theories," or ideas otherwise known as hokum with no scientific basis in fact.  This means that science teachers will now be able to present "creationism" starring Adam and Eve as a "theory" on par with evolution. They can also cast aside scientific data from around the globe and calmly state that there is no such thing as climate change and global warming because it snowed once last winter.

It also means that Bubba, and Joe Bob, and Reverend Piddle - who all sit on the local board of education in Grinder's Switch - will likely be asking science teacher applicants hardball questions like, "Just how many days did it take God to create the Earth, anyway?"  Or, "You  don't believe in that global warming nonsense, do ya?"  It won't take long before science teachers across the state come to fully realize just which "theories" are preferred by their local communities, whether they have any basis in fact or not.

Tennessee, of course, has been down this road before.  John T. Scopes, a science teacher at Dayton High School, was charged in 1925 with ignoring a state law that forbid the teaching of evolution in Tennessee classrooms.  World class lawyer Clarence Darrow defended Scopes, and three-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan defended the literal word of the Bible as he prosecuted Scopes.  The whole affair was known as the "Scopes Monkey Trial," and it turned the little town of Dayton into a summer-long carnival as the media and interested on-lookers descended on the community to be near the trial.  Scopes was eventually convicted, because he had indeed broken the law, but he was given a light sentence, and Mr. Bryan who had been pummeled by Mr. Darrow for his illogical fundamentalist religious views, died just a couple of days after the trial ended.

Tennessee became a national laughingstock - and now, eighty-seven years later, the Volunteer State is right back gnawing the lid off of the same can of worms.  It is apparently much like Arizona - a place where nothing evolves.

1 comment:

Brandt Hardin said...

Tennessee is dead-set on herding its citizens back to the dark ages. In the past two years, the Governor and Republican Party have squashed Gay Rights statutes in the city of Nashville, developed laws targeting peaceful protesters and made it illegal to post “potentially offensive images” to the internet. The “Monkey Law” now brings religion back into the classroom by opening debate for creationism. In addition, a new law puts the Ten Commandments back in public buildings around the state. There is a clear cut suppression of progressive thinking by the Republican Party and I addressed these issues “illegally” on my artist’s blog at with a portrait of the Governor to address his party’s absurd agendas.