Up for Debate: Haslam disagrees with evolution bill, lets it pass

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 9:05pm

Gov. Bill Haslam declined Tuesday to veto House Bill 368/Senate Bill 893, which would open up the debate in classrooms regarding scientific issues such as evolution, global warming, creationism, et al. 

Haslam said: "I do not believe that this legislation changes the scientific standards that are taught in our schools or the curriculum that is used by our teachers. However, I also don’t believe that it accomplishes anything that isn’t already acceptable in our schools.

“The bill received strong bipartisan support, passing the House and Senate by a three-to-one margin, but good legislation should bring clarity and not confusion. My concern is that this bill has not met this objective. For that reason, I will not sign the bill but will allow it to become law without my signature.”

Do you agree with Haslam's take on the bill? What about his decision not to put his signature on a veto but say the bill doesn't meet the objective it should?

144 Comments on this post:

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 2:19

jvh2b on 4/11/12 at 11:53

"Good ole USA - for the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations."

Let's hear it for big business having their way.... ala Ben.

Here's a little story about Twinkies.... we all grew up with Twinkies, right?

Well anyway, if you haven't heard recently, the company that makes Twinkies (Hostess) declared bankruptcy last week. Here's what you probably haven't heard. Before claiming bankruptcy Hostess went to the trouble of making sure that all of their top management had their expenses covered by paying off all their compensation packages while at the same time telling their employees that they would have to bite the bullet during the bankruptcy. This was clearly in opposition to an agreement between Hostess and their union workers which stipulated that any time workers are forced to take a pay cut or cut in any compensation, management must accept a comparable cut in pay and/or compensation (sounds like a good idea to me).

Now Hostess is also saying that they had to declare bankruptcy because of the high cost of union workers. But here's something else they're not telling you. The biggest competitor that Hostess has is a company by the name of Bimbo. Bimbo not only has more union workers than Hostess, but pays an additional $400 per week per employee to cover the wages and compensation packages for those workers.... and is STILL kicking Hostess's ass. Oh and one more thing, Hostess went bankrupt a few years ago and went through restructuring. As part of that restructuring, the union workers agreed to help out by taking pay and compensation cuts that amounted to an addition $140 million per year that the company could use to make themselves "right". And what did Hostess do with that money? Did they buy new equipment? Did they modernize their bakeries? Nope.... they simply increased their compensation packages for upper management.... or just plain wasted the money.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 2:22

BenDover said

"Did anyone bother reading the amendment?"

Sure did Ben, both pages.... and there's a hole in the thing beg enough to push a crucifix through. That's why I said what I said.

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 2:28

The idea that advancement will not happen absent a government mandate is ludicrous. Will a false scarcity encourage advancement? Well sure, but at what cost and to whom? It's 'pay me now' for a problem that may never arise. As I said... invest in alternatives but don't create false scarcity. That's just a non-value-added regressive tax on the people who can afford it least.

By: gdiafante on 4/11/12 at 2:32

Who is creating the false scarcity, Ben? Especially given that oil is a global commodity.

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 2:35

Well... Scopes was trying to teach his students that we evolved from monkeys which he only believed to be true and it was an assertion for which neither he nor anyone else had any proof. It turns out this is demonstrably a lie. Should we let teachers teach what they believe to be true without allowing anyone to question it? That's not science. That's dogma.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 2:43

"This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not
be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion."

Ben, I suppose that this is the section that you're claiming prevents the promotion of religion..... but it is all based on the fallacy that there is something of science to Creationism. But as I stated before, there isn't.... at least in my opinion (as well as many others). And as I asked before, name one other faith other than Christianity that is pushing Creationism as science? It is defacto Christian doctrine if no other religion supports it, and therefore would be promoting one religions view through the absence of others.

If you want to introduce the Christian creation myth, why not teach it in a class of Comparative Religions... where it belongs? I have no problem with that.

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 2:44

The Obama administration in general and Chu plus the EPA in particular in their war on fossil fuel, gd... regardless of the media amplified spin they try to put on it.

By: gdiafante on 4/11/12 at 2:49

Scopes was providing an alternative theory that was based on scientific evidence. In case you don't know, evolution has been a theory since the mid 1800's. Creationism is based on faith. That's not a theory, it's a fairy tale.

By: Loner on 4/11/12 at 2:50

Neither Scopes nor Darwin claimed that human beings descended from monkeys...that's a well-worn canard....but still used in the hinterlands, by the hinter folk and their opinion leaders.

Our genus, Homo, and the genus that includes chimpanzees, Pan, are believed to be descended from a common ancestor, the Hominini

As long as we are talking about being a monkey's uncle, here's a snippet from Wikipedia...it's about our family....the Hominidae

"The Hominidae (play /hɒˈmɪnɨdiː/; anglicized hominids, also known as great apes[notes 1]), as the term is used here, form a taxonomic family, including four extant genera: chimpanzees (Pan), gorillas (Gorilla), humans (Homo), and orangutans (Pongo).[1] The term "hominid" is also used in the more restricted sense of humans and relatives of humans closer than chimpanzees.[2] In this usage, all hominid species other than Homo sapiens are extinct."

By: gdiafante on 4/11/12 at 2:54

Yeah, that crazy EPA, requiring more MPG, less emissions...oops...more MPG doesn't create scarcity, Ben.

Things that create scarcity: unchecked consumption, threat of war, commodity speculation, emerging economies, a finite quantity.

Not everything is a damn conspiracy...

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 2:55

BenDover said

"Well... Scopes was trying to teach his students that we evolved from monkeys which he only believed to be true and it was an assertion for which neither he nor anyone else had any proof. It turns out this is demonstrably a lie. Should we let teachers teach what they believe to be true without allowing anyone to question it? That's not science. That's dogma."

Regardless of what you think, evolution has gone through peer review which must be experimentally verified. That's what moves hypothesis to scientific theory. Now you may think this doesn't provide enough information to make you all happy inside, but that's a fact. Having said this, this doesn't inversely give Creationism (which I might add has not gone through any scientific peer review as far as I know) any credence.

By: Loner on 4/11/12 at 2:59

Brrrrk's 2:43 post pretty much summarizes my views as well.

Comparative Theology should be offered in the high schools...especially since we are currently engaging in Holy War and may well be sucked further into the brown hole of theocracy.

Mitt Romney proudly promised to visit Israel, as his first port-o-call, as POTUS....to show fealty to the Israeli PM.

Oh yeah, we got Holy War...right here in River City.

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 2:59

I think the statistics of the improbability of everything from us bootstrapping from the mud to the improbability of the universe even existing with the properties it does to support mass in the first place would be provocative topics brrrrk... as would be the immense complexity of the cellular biology related to life and the fact that scientists have never created life from scratch in the laboratory. I think these things are pretty intriguing things that right minded people should be allowed to discuss.

Plus the fact that anthropological global warming is a scam. That has its place right alongside forcing them to watch the Gore propaganda flick and treating it as rote. (this as opposed to the Gore chakra-granda flick, I suppose - I'm personally against teaching kids graphic sex ed and misogyny).

By: gdiafante on 4/11/12 at 3:11

as would be the immense complexity of the cellular biology related to life and the fact that scientists have never created life from scratch in the laboratory.

This is a good argument against Creationism. After all, evolution argues that life evolved from single, non-complex cells to life as we know it over billions of years, not instantaneously.

By: Loner on 4/11/12 at 3:12

In the fossil record, we find extinct species on the lower levels and modern species on the upper levels...the lower down (deeper) we dig, the more primitive the life forms....there are few if any modern life forms in the oldest strata....we do not find ancient, extinct species in the upper, more recent deposits.

Bearing all that in mind, it is difficult to conclude that life on earth has not evolved from the primitive forms to the complex forms we see all around us today.

Did God play games with us, by messing with our fossil record...to throw us off course....to test our faith? Would God pull a prank like that on mankind? If He fooled us, what's His point?

Is the fossil record on planet earth a cosmic hoax, perpetrated by a knuckle-headed Supreme Being....for his personal enjoyment?

Is God a Jewish comedian?

Gimme a break.

By: gdiafante on 4/11/12 at 3:20

This has always been an odd topic. I, personally, can understand why some would want to have a designer. It gives our species meaning, that we weren't a cosmic accident. I understand that.

I also understand the scientific evidence that has established that species evolve over time and that, sometimes, things happen. Yes, had the universe been composed of more helium...had supernova's not ejected iron...yada yada yada...

If my grandmother had testicles, she'd be my grandfather.

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 3:22

I'm not saying that there's no such thing with evolution... that's absurd; we can observe intraspecies evolution in the fossil record and it makes perfect sense. What I'm saying is that evolution, as we have observed it, is not inconsistent with a design and, in fact, it would be a far more spectacular coincidence had it occurred without a design.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 3:26

BenDover said

"I think the statistics of the improbability of everything from us bootstrapping from the mud to the improbability of the universe even existing with the properties it does to support mass in the first place would be provocative topics brrrrk... as would be the immense complexity of the cellular biology related to life and the fact that scientists have never created life from scratch in the laboratory. I think these things are pretty intriguing things that right minded people should be allowed to discuss."

"I think" the world was created by little creatures that live between my toes... but that hasn't passed scientific peer review either so I won't insist that it be taught as science. You see, this is why Creationism doesn't fly.... it's mostly based on the idea that if something can't be proven, or isn't understood, than any other theory the "explains" it carries as mush weight. BULL!!

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 3:29

Even Richard Dawkins gives a creator a 1 in 70 shot. That should be at least enough to allow a little thought provoking discussion among high school kids rather than ramming incomplete and unproven Darwin Dogma down their throats.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 3:29

.... it's mostly based on the idea that if something can't be proven, or isn't understood, than any other "theory" that "explains" it carries as much weight. BULL!!

By: gdiafante on 4/11/12 at 3:29

I think there's a difference between "designer" and "creator". One infers that some thing set the parameters and allowed a natural event to occur. The other does not. It skips steps to get to the final product.

One allows for evolution, the other does not. I can't see that the two are compatible.

By: gdiafante on 4/11/12 at 3:34

I'm sure that kids do discuss this Ben. They're taught from an early age in Sunday school about creationism. Then, they learn science and likely confront their parents, and possibly their church, in order to distinguish the two. At least that's how it worked when I grew up.

But I guess that doesn't work too well. A generation later and we have an anti-science and pro fairly tale society.

I think Darwin would have called that de-evolution.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 3:35

BenDover said

"Even Richard Dawkins gives a creator a 1 in 70 shot. That should be at least enough to allow a little thought provoking discussion among high school kids rather than ramming incomplete and unproven Darwin Dogma down their throats."

I repeat.... Evolution is a peer reviewed scientific theory; Creationism is not, therefore Creationism should not be taught as science.

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 3:36

The computer in your car adapts and compensates constantly for environmental factors by the millisecond, gd. It's far less complicated than living organisms.

By: gdiafante on 4/11/12 at 3:37

You obviously have never driven my car.

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 3:37

No one has suggested teaching creationism as science except you brrrk.

Dawkins understands the complexities and he knows the statistics. He, unlike the average high-school science merit scholarship winner, realizes that it does take a leap of faith to be an atheist.

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 3:38

"You obviously have never driven my car."

lol gd... I've got an f150 I just bought that's giving me fits running rich and the stupid computer is no help..

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 3:39

I'm curious Ben, there are some Christian scientists that believe the Evolution is Gods method of creation.... would you support the teaching of Evolution in church?

By: gdiafante on 4/11/12 at 3:39

In evolutionary terms, the computer in my car is primitive. That's why it's easily replicated. But don't worry, the technology is still evolving. It'll get there one day.

Then again, my car can't fly. We should have flying cars by now.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 3:43

BenDover said

"No one has suggested teaching creationism as science except you brrrk."

The word science (or some version of the word) is mentioned no less than 14 times (by my count) in the two page document. Give me a break.....

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 3:47

The Catholic Church believes in Science and Evolution, for heaven's sake brrrrk. It's undeniable from the evidence observed. That is not to say it is the end-all and offers a concrete answer to the origin of the universe and life. A quick review of the statistics, in fact, measure them as quite lacking on these subjects.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 3:52

Ben, Is Creationism a peer reviewed scientific theory? Yes or No? It's just that simple.... regardless of how you try to justify this.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 4:11

And one more thing while we're "going at this."

Let's suppose that the science teacher is Indian (as in from India), does this give him the right to teach the Hindu version of Creationism (if there is one)? And exclude the Christian version of Creationism? After all, we wouldn't want to force a teacher to teach something they don't believe to be true..... right?

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 4:13

It's not that simple. You keep saying Creationism and the law says nothing about it.

It's a straw-man argument.

Evolution is conceded to the degree that there is evidence. To suggest that it answers without question how highly complex beings came to be and how 3 billion bits of data organized itself into human DNA, and where all millions of failed mutations are for every successful one... these are reasonable questions. My question is why people have such a hard-on to bar discussion on these reasonable topics.

I understand why they want to bar discussion on Anthropological Global Warming... my cynicism in the science is confirmed here in that it boils down to greed and power. Why shouldn't Darwin be afforded the same scrutiny? Is it because we have a generation or two of 'scientists' and laypeople alike who have been taught not to be critical thinkers?

It's a good bill and its criticisms are unfounded on face. You have to conjure a boogie-man in order to find fault in the bill and for it to be labeled and promoted as the Monkey Bill or the Creation Bill in the media is not reporting at all; but, instead, editorial... ironically founded in their own closed minds that they project upon their adversaries.

By: Loner on 4/11/12 at 4:14

Doctor Dover wrote: "What I'm saying is that evolution, as we have observed it, is not inconsistent with a design and, in fact, it would be a far more spectacular coincidence had it occurred without a design."

Well, Doctor Dover, it looks like most of the "designs" have failed over the billions of years that life has infested this mudball. It's fair to say that there are more extinct species than there are living species today....given the entire geologic time scale. Was that failure part of the design? And the Divine Purpose for the colossal failure rate was.....?

Life on earth did seem to suddenly appear...from out of nowhere....maybe a meteorite or a comet crashed to this planet and it contained hardy spores and viral forms which originated on another world.....one not even a part of our solar system. That piece of space debris could have given life a head start on this fertile but barren planet.

Pieces of our living planet, Earth, have been hurled into space for billions of years....the result of meteorite hits. The earth may have already "seeded" life on some distant world...far...far...away.....and theocrats on that world may also have political clout....and tight, not saggy pants.

By: BenDover on 4/11/12 at 4:16

Guys... I'm going to have to leave it at that. I'm tired of battling this Hydra and I've got to go put a new fuel regulator on my truck.

I hope everyone has a nice evening.

BD.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 4:25

BenDover said

"It's not that simple. You keep saying Creationism and the law says nothing about it.

It's a straw-man argument."

The legalese in this document is an open door..... either you don't get it, or you are completely naive.... or you just choose to ignore it for convenience sake.

By: Loner on 4/11/12 at 4:26

"Anthropological Global Warming"? AGW? It's bad enough when the Creationists try to discredit the Biologists & Paleontologists, but now they're attacking the Anthropologists too? Who's next?

Oh yeah...it's open warfare....organized religion versus science.....faith versus skepticism....superstition versus reason....and the epicenter of the war is in Tennessee....the "Business Friendly" state.....it's actually the "Monkey Business" state.

It's as if Haslam et al. wear their ignorance as a badge of honor....when the Governor is this backwards, the rest of the population is suspect....just sayin'.....you know that I know that this posting community is a notable exception to the rule.

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 4:28

Loner said

"Well, Doctor Dover, it looks like most of the 'designs' have failed over the billions of years that life has infested this mudball. It's fair to say that there are more extinct species than there are living species today....given the entire geologic time scale. Was that failure part of the design? And the Divine Purpose for the colossal failure rate was.....?"

So we could be living in the work of a C student? :-)

By: brrrrk on 4/11/12 at 4:32

Loner said

"Oh yeah...it's open warfare....organized religion versus science.....faith versus skepticism....superstition versus reason....and the epicenter of the war is in Tennessee"

Apparently we're living the 18th century all over again. Well I, for one, am rooting for the enlightenment. Lord knows we could use some.... enlightenment that is.

By: Loner on 4/11/12 at 4:33

More like B minus, Brrrrk?

One hears the term, "Intelligent Design" bantered about. I once volunteered as a "Pool Nazi" (pool monitor) at a clothing optional campsite....communal showers, hot tub and swimming pool....I "seen it all", as they say....bottom line: the design has some "issues".

By: Loner on 4/11/12 at 5:04

18th century, Brrrrk? A little further back, methinks.

Actually, the Great Crusades occurred during the 11th, 12th & 13th centuries. We thought that the era of Holy War was past. Wrong.

The idea of liberating Palestine was reborn in 1896...in a manifesto written by an Austrian Empire intellectual, entitled "Der Judenstaat"....the author was Theodor Herzl..the Father of Zionism.

Another Austrian Manifesto writer masterminded the Holocaust....he wrote "Mein Kampf".

The rest is history...welcome to The Great Theocratic Wars of the 21st Century.

By: Loner on 4/11/12 at 5:13

I missed Ben's sign off @ 4:16...see ya later, Ben...he has a point....he was battling a multi-headed Hydra...he got plumb tuckered.

You gotta give Ben credit...he sticks with his convictions....he's had several convictions, according to the police....just kidding...I'm sure that he's a law-abiding gun-owner....a thoroughly decent chap.

By: parnell3rd on 4/11/12 at 8:33

Oh yea Capt Nemo, lets not forget about both Repube and Demoncrat Gov's from Arkansas Clinton and Huckabe for letting convicted felons out of prison. Just like all other gov's and presidents of our past.