Creationism And The Right-Wing’s March Backwards

Goodbye science. Hello 1925. The right’s relentless effort to keep the youth of America ignorant carries on.

A controversial bill that protects teachers who discuss with students “weaknesses” in evolution and other scientific theories is on its way to [Tennessee] Gov. Bill Haslam, who is under pressure from prominent scientists to veto it.

Scientists in Tennessee and across the nation charge the measure is a “backdoor” attempt to allow discussions of religion-based views such as “creationism” and “intelligent designs” in science classrooms.

The House approved the bill Monday night on a 72-23 vote that included changes made last week by the Senate bill’s sponsor, Bo Watson, R-Hixson. There was no debate.

Watson has said he tried to address scientists’ concerns with new language that directs science teachers to discuss evolution, climate change and other areas within the state’s science education “framework.”

Three prominent Tennessee scientists who are members of the National Academy of Sciences charged Monday in a letter published in the Tennessean newspaper that state lawmakers are “doing the unbelievable: attempting to roll the clock back to 1925 by attempting to insert religious beliefs in the teaching of science.”

Henry Drummond (Spencer Tracy) responds in a clip from Inherit The Wind, the film adaptation of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial where a Tennessee science teacher was fined for teaching evolution in a state-funded school.

Can’t you understand? That if you take a law like evolution and you make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools? And tomorrow you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers. And then you may turn Catholic against Protestant, and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the mind of man. If you can do one, you can do the other. Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we’ll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind!

They didn’t understand then. They sure as hell don’t understand now. Fixing stupid, they say, is never easy.


(The chimp source photograph is Wikimedia Commons licensed media. The Rick Santorum source photograph is a Creative Commons licensed image from photographer Gage Skidmore. )

Follow MarioPiperniDotCom on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

14 thoughts on “Creationism And The Right-Wing’s March Backwards

  1. Destroying the economy wasn’t enough for republicans. They need to destroy public education too. Fucktards.

  2. You’re being too harsh. They have a point. Tthere has been no sign of evolution in TN in the last 200 years.

  3. I thought this issue had been hashed out in 1925, I suppose I was wrong.

    Some of the legislation that is being proposed in Tennessee is mind boggling. Another of our brilliant rethuglican legislators wants to publish the name of women who receive abortions and doctors who perform them. This would assumedly make it easier for good Bible thumping fundamentalists to track them down and do the Lord’s Work by killing them.

    One of the executive orders passed by our previous Governor democrat Phil Bredesen, was to make it mandatory for top officials in his administration, himself included, to fully disclose the source and amount of their personal finances. This was a very good rule for a public official as it practically eliminated the probability of any conflicts of interest.

    When our current governor entered office it was only a matter of an hour or so before this executive order was repelled. I’m pretty sure it was his first official act.

    If anyone asks me if I am from here I think I will lie and say no so I don’t have to get any arguments defending what seems to have become the most idiotic state government in the USA.

  4. @ Charles – I am from Texas and we have Rick Perry – your state is going to have to work harder to be more idiotic than Texas.

  5. Cheryl – I am from Alaska and we have Sar… sorry, I just can’t bring myself to say her name.

    Here’s a little bit of trivia: we once had a Governor who said, with respect to killing wolves, “You can’t just let nature run wild.” And yes, he was Repugnican.

  6. I started thinking about how anyone that doesn’t want their kid to be taught evolution can just send their kid to Private School. And then I thought how the parents would protest have to pay Public school taxes even though their own kids don’t go to Public School.

    But neither do people with NO kids. We ALL pay school taxes because EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE KIDS, educating children benefits everyone. This allows them to grow up, get jobs, pay taxes and be a benefit rather than a drain on society.

    THEN it struck me how similar this is to the current HEALTH CARE DEBATE.

    Opponents of the mandate with no insurance STILL expect the rest of us to take care of them in an emergency. They want all the benefits of a system they don’t want to pay into.

    There are things we do in this country simply to serve the greater good because IT BENEFITS US INDIRECTLY, whether it be funding the education of other peoples’ children or having insurance to keep everyone’s rates down.

    And if the HC “mandate” is struck down, what next? Paying school taxes even if you have no kids?

  7. The simplest answer is what is taught in science class must go through the scientific method for determining it’s ability to be taught in SCIENCE CLASS. Religion is hypothesis that can’t get a foot hold in the scientific community, because it can’t pass the test that is required. I have no issue with a comparative religion class in the philosophy/History dept, but science has its own tools to determine what is taught, period. It would cease to be science if it were done any other way.

  8. “Scientists in Tennessee and across the nation charge the measure is a “backdoor” attempt to allow discussions of religion-based views such as “creationism” and “intelligent designs” in science classrooms.”

    They have scientists in Tennessee?

  9. There are many religious fundamentalists in Tennessee Michael but there is also a considerable amount of science. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a multiprogram science and technology national laboratory managed for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) by UT-Battelle. ORNL is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system. ORNL is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near Knoxville. ORNL’s scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security.

    Forensic science that helps solve crimes world wide owes much to the “Body Farm” at the University of Tennessee. You can read about it here;

  10. Charles.

    Well then with all of this science activity taking place in Tennessee,
    the idea that those who control its political process are trying to
    neuter science’s beneficial effects must be some form of left wing
    delusion. My apologies.

  11. No Michael, Although we have plenty of scientists in Tennessee we, like so many states in the USA are not ruled by the scientists but rather by narrow minded politicians with an agenda of domionism. My statement was in reply to your comment that asked the question.

    “They have scientists in Tennessee?”

    I must insist that we have excellent scientists but rather stupid politicians.

Comments are closed.