ACLU asks Gov. Haslam to veto evolution bill

6:27 PM, Apr 3, 2012   |    comments
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By Chas Sisk/ The Tennessean

The Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Gov. Bill Haslam to veto the evolution bill, saying it would "subvert scientific principle to religious ideology."

The measure, Senate Bill 893/House Bill 368, calls school districts to encourage debate over controversial scientific theories, such as evolution and the chemical origins of life. The measure does not call for teaching creationism or intelligent design in their place, but the ACLU nonetheless will bring religious beliefs into classrooms.

"No one doubts the value of critical thinking to any serious course of scientific study, but this legislation is not truly aimed at developing students' critical thinking skills," Hedy Weinberg, the Tennessee chapter's executive director, said in a statement. "Rather, it seeks to subvert scientific principle to religious ideology by granting legal cover to teachers who wish to dress up religious beliefs on the origin of life as pseudo-science."

Haslam told reporters Monday that he is inclined to sign the bill.

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