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Re: [escepticos] USA y teoría de la evolución

Alfonso López Borgoñoz wrote:

> Me alegra ver a Serge de nuevo entre nosotros. Su grata presencia me
> hace que le ruegue me informe si tiene noticias de que el año pasado el 
> Senado de Tennessee se propuso adoptar una legislacion (no salio, 
> parece la cosa, finalmente) que permitiera despedir a cualquier 
> profesor que tratara de enseñar la teorma darwiniana de la evolucion 
> (el año pasado, si, 1996), y que en dicho estado dicha "hipotesis" 
> estuvo prohibida en las escuelas hasta 1967 (leido en la revista de 
> Literatura Quimera del mes de diciembre de 1997, donde se habla algo, 
> muy poco, sobre el tema)

	Un poco tarde, si, pero aqui tengo esto que viene al caso :-)


March 13, 1996 

70 Years After Scopes, Evolution Hot Topic Again 
By Robert C. Johnston 

More than 70 years after the famous "monkey trial" focused worldwide
attention on Tennessee, the state is once again embroiled in a debate
over whether students should be taught that humans evolved from apes. 

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow teachers to
be fired for presenting evolution as fact. Last week, the bill was sent
back to the Senate education committee after it bogged down in proposed
new amendments and arguments over its legality. 

The full Senate is not expected to consider the measure again until late
this month. It was unclear last week when the House, whose education
committee has also passed the bill, will take it up. 

The debate has drawn inevitable comparisons to the 1925 trial of John T.
Scopes, who was convicted of teaching evolution in a Dayton, Tenn., high

The subject has long been a touchy one in Tennessee and other states
where many Christian residents hold a strong belief in the literal truth
of the biblical account of creation. 

Evolution vs. Creation

Some Tennessee teachers acknowledged last week that they would avoid
teaching the already delicate subject if the bill passes. 

"I'd probably skip the theory of evolution as a part of the origin of
mankind or the earth," said Anne Primm, a biology teacher in Knoxville's
South-Doyle High School. "We live in the Bible Belt, and it's offensive
to some students to hear the theory that man came from monkeys." 

Sen. Tommy Burks, a Democrat, said he introduced the bill because
evolution had been taught as fact in some schools. In its original form,
the bill read that a teacher or administrator who presented evolution as
fact "shall be dismissed." That was later amended to "may be dismissed." 

One of the amendments filed last week but not voted on would put
creationism on an even classroom footing with evolution. 

Sen. Andy Womack, the Democratic chairman of the education committee,
opposes the bill. As a protest, he offered an amendment that would let
educators be fired for teaching that the planets revolve around the sun. 

"The state school board sets curriculum," he said last week. "I don't
feel comfortable with legislators writing bills that interrupt
responsibilities of other groups." 

State Attorney General Charles W. Burson has also criticized the bill.
In a letter to Mr. Burks, he said that based on state history and recent
debate, he had concluded that "the bill has a religious, not a secular

Mr. Burson also cited the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case of Epperson v.
Arkansas, in which the high court struck down an Arkansas law that
banned the teaching of evolution. He also cited the 1987 case of Edwards
v. Aguillard, in which the court struck down a Louisiana law that
prohibited the teaching of evolution unless it was accompanied by the
presentation of creation theory. 

Scopes was convicted of violating the 1925 Butler Act, which made it
unlawful to "teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine
Creation of man as taught in the Bible." The state supreme court
dismissed his conviction on appeal, and the law was repealed in 1967. 

Though more than 70 years have passed since the landmark trial, many
Tennessee educators say it has had a lasting legacy. 

Ms. Primm said that on her first day at South-Doyle nine years ago, the
school's principal warned her, "'Be careful how you teach evolution."'
She said she interpreted that to mean, "Don't teach it." 

Today, Ms. Primm teaches evolution as a specific process of genetic
mutation, and said she is less inclined to discuss it as a broad
explanation for the origin of human life. 

Homer Delk, the president of the Tennessee Science Teachers Association,
said the bill is unnecessary. State-approved textbooks, he noted,
already present evolution as theory, not fact. "Why are we trying to
pass a bill to that effect when we're already teaching it as theory?" 

Jerry Winters, the director of government relations for the Tennessee
Education Association, said union leaders worry that the bill is too
vague. "We don't want teachers' professional lives subject to
legislation that's ambiguous," he said. 

Action in Other States

Tennessee isn't alone in efforts to restrict the teaching of evolution. 
The bill is part of an "anti-evolution theme that's possibly growing
these days," said Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the National
Center for Science Education in Berkeley, Calif. 

"We're watching very closely because we don't want this to metastasize,"
she said. "It's hard enough to get teachers to teach evolution without
scaring them off." 

Last fall, the Alabama board of education approved a one-page insert for
science books used in the state's public schools that says "evolution is
not fact." (See Education Week, Nov. 8, 1995.) 

And in February, the Georgia superintendent, Linda C. Schrenko, asked
the state Attorney general for an opinion on whether creationism can be
taught as part of the science curriculum. 

1996 Editorial Projects in Education


March 27, 1996 

Tenn. Senate To Get New Chance To Vote On Evolution Measure 
By Robert C. Johnston

The education committee of the Tennessee Senate last week approved a
revised bill that would allow public school districts to fire teachers
who teach evolution as fact. 

The revision of an earlier bill attempts to clarify what forms or
aspects of evolution can and cannot be presented as fact. 

The full Senate had sent the previous version of the bill back to the
committee earlier this month. The debate over the bill brought national
attention, with inevitable comparisons to the state's famous "monkey
trial" more than 70 years ago. (See Education Week, March 13, 1996.) 

A House version of the bill is stalled in committee pending Senate

The theory of evolution, which holds that human beings and other forms
of life developed from earlier forms, is controversial in Tennessee and
other states where many Christians believe strongly in the literal truth
of the biblical account of creation. 

The revised Senate bill, which passed the education committee 6-3, still
does not meet the objections of some lawmakers. 

"My original discomfort was that curriculum was being established
legislation, and nothing has been done to take that concern away," said
Sen. Andy Womack, the Democratic chairman of the education committee,
who opposes the bill. 

Problems Ahead

Despite strong education-committee support, the measure could face
intense scrutiny by the Senate finance committee if its passage would
require the appropriation of state funds. For example, critics say that
the new definitions would require Tennessee to write its own biology

The bill may face serious legal problems as well. It has a "religious,
not a secular purpose," and thus would not pass constitutional muster,
State Attorney General Charles W. Burson wrote in a letter to the bill's
sponsor, Democratic Sen. Tommy Burks. 

Mr. Burson also cited the 1925 trial of John T. Scopes, who was
convicted of teaching evolution in a Dayton, Tenn., high school in
violation of state law. The state supreme court dismissed the conviction
on appeal. 

1996 Editorial Projects in Education


	Bye (y Buenas Fiestas)
	tarrasa en inte.upc.es