State Senate passes evolution bill 24-8

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal that would protect teachers who allow students to critique scientific theories has passed the Tennessee State Senate.

The measure was approved 24-8 in the Senate on Monday evening. A similar version passed the House 70-23 last year.

The legislation says neither the Tennessee Board of Education nor local education officials will prohibit public school teachers from "helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories."

Republican Senate sponsor Bo Watson of Hixson says the legislation is necessary to help teachers know how to respond to students' questions about scientific theories.

However, some scientists have said the measure would unfairly target evolution and possibly open the door for religious teachings.


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