Eighty-five years after the Scopes Monkey Trial, last week the Tennessee General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill that would make it easier for public schools to teach creationism.
The bill would require educators to "assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies." It lists four "controversies" ripe for pedagogical tinkering: biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.
"This is part of a long held creationist strategy," says Steven Newton, policy director for the National Center for Science Education. "By doing everything except mention the Bible, they are attacking evolution without the theology."The floor debate was a "tour de force in creative polemics." Rep. Frank Nicely "'thanks' that if 'anythang,' people in this room could agree on," it is that Einstein believed that "a little knowledge would turn your head toward atheism while a broader knowledge would turn your head toward Christianity." Therefore, it only follows that creationism should be taught in schools. The Jewish scientist's only religion was agnosticism.
Not to be outdone in the Dept. of Scientific Ignorance, Rep. Sheila Butt spoke about all the things she learned in high school which have turned out not to be true by providing the Aqua Net theory of global warming.
Each video is slightly over one minute and is well worth the view - just to get the full flavor of mind boggling ignorance spoken with a Tennessee twang. What's in the minds of people who vote for these monkeys?
Tennessee isn't the only state sashaying their butts. Six others are swinging from the tree tops with creationist bills in their hands: Texas, Kentucky, Florida, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Missouri.
Note: Of course Einstein never said or implied anything close to what Nicely claims. This is about as close as I could find and the quote is about 10,000 miles away from broader knowledge turning one's head toward Christianity:
A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.