We know you all have short memories -- we certainly do -- so you might have already totally forgotten about that swell piece of legislation that was passed earlier this year, the so-called "Teacher Protection Academic Freedom Act." In case you don't remember, the bill basically opens the door for science teachers to introduce "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolution, despite the lack of, you know, actual science involved.
One of the main opponents of this bill, and of bills just like it in a bunch of other states (they're all the same because they're all based on model legislation written by the creationist think tank Discovery Institute), was the National Center for Science Education. And next week, the executive director of the NCSE, Eugenie C. Scott, will be speaking twice on the campus of the University of Tennessee.
From the press release:
We suspect one or the other (or both!) events are worth your while -- as this most recent election season has shown, the debate over science versus faith and feelings isn't going away soon.First, she will be speaking on "'In the Beginning': Anthropology, Science, and Religion" at 6:00 p.m. on November 13, in the McClung Museum Lecture Hall.A description of her talk: "The subject of origins -- where we, Earth, and the universe come from -- is one that has been considered by many religions since time immemorial. Science, as a relatively recent actor on the intellectual stage, also considers these topics, coming up with answers at variance with those of most religions, including Christianity. How do these two approaches differ? Are there similarities? And is there an uncrossable divide between the two? The answer is not just philosophically interesting, but directly relevant to decisions being made about what to teach in public school science courses."For further details, visit:Second, she will be speaking on "What the New Tennessee 'Academic Freedom Act' Means to You" at 10:00 a.m. on November 14, in Art and Architecture 111.A description of her talk: "In 2012 the Tennessee legislature passed an 'Academic Freedom Act' which called for teaching the 'strengths and weaknesses' of allegedly controversial subjects such as evolution, global warming, origin of life, and human cloning. Rather than being just an oddity in the state of Tennessee, more than 40 of these laws have cropped up in state legislatures in every region of the country. Because they are patently injurious to science education, citizens need to oppose the passage of these bills -- as well as contend for a basic level of science literacy that would make such bills impossible to contemplate."For further details, visit:Both events are free and open to the public.