More ‘monkey business’ in Tennessee?

Flickr: walknboston


In 1925, a hot July courtroom in Dayton, Tennessee, USA, was the site of America’s famous Scopes trial. But nearly 90 years later, it seems another battle is brewing in the Volunteer State.

The Tennessee General Assembly has recently passed a measure that would protect public school teachers who allow students to question or criticize evolution, as well as other scientific theories. Governor Bill Haslam has stated that he will likely sign the bill into law, but critics are openly deriding it as the “monkey bill”, and ridiculing that the state is once again attacking ‘science’. (Note: Apparently, similar laws exist in nine other US states.)

The opponents of the legislation are painting a picture of ‘science’ under assault. Three Tennessee scientists have warned, “the Tennessee legislature is doing the unbelievable: attempting to roll the clock back to 1925 by attempting to insert religious beliefs in the teaching of science.”1 Although editorials throughout the US have used strong language to deride the legislature and the Governor for allowing such ‘backward progress’, it makes you wonder what it is about this bill has evolutionists up in arms.

However, a review of House Bill 3682 reveals the ‘offending’ language:

“The state board of education … shall endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.” and “Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories … ” (emphasis added)

It makes you wonder what these scientists are really opposing. You see, evolution is not science! It is actually their own religious belief of origins that is being questioned. For example, leading anticreationist philosopher, Michael Ruse was candid enough to admit the following:

“Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint … the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today. … Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.”3

However, Creation Ministries International has long stood firm on our opposition to compulsory teaching of creation in public schools, yet while we do not lobby for it, we do think it would be fair and appropriate if individual teachers were not prohibited “from helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories … ”4 as this bill states.

So why are the opponents to this legislation so up in arms? If evolution theory really is the ‘linchpin’ of the biological sciences, why is the concern so strong to censor any opposing views? If the ‘science’ of evolution is that strong, then surely, they have nothing to fear.

123rf.com: Suriya Silsaksom

Perhaps what infuriates the anti-Christians is that information about the scientific weaknesses of the evolutionary paradigm and the scientific strengths of the biblical account of history are actually getting into the schools. In short, there is real power in the Creation message. People are hearing and being convinced as to the truth of the Bible and its account of Creation. They know this and they obviously don’t want ‘tender’ minds confused over the origins debate. But, how, you might ask, do people get to hear the message when such censorship prevails? Creation Ministries International speakers are seldom if ever invited to public schools to present evidence that undermines the evolution story and supports the biblical creation model. However, the opponents are well aware that students are somehow getting the other side of the story. With over 1,200 presentations being made by CMI speakers worldwide; Creation magazine being the most-read publication of its kind; vast book and DVD resources circulating worldwide; as well as our CREATION.com website with over 8,000 articles that answer most any question on the origins issue, is it any wonder that some of that will trickle into the schools? Especially, if the mechanism for spreading this information is the church. In fact, when parents, students, and even teachers are equipped with this ‘mind altering’ information, they will have an effective and more profound impact in dismantling the evolutionary belief that permeates the culture through public education as well as popular media.5

So, Christians, are you taking a part in thwarting this “monkey business”? Are you not only equipped with the truth and answers to defend your faith (1 Peter 3:15), but actively spreading the good news through your family, friends and co-workers? Have you had a CMI speaker to your church to help initiate change in your region? Or get on board with our Question Evolution campaign. You see, when you stand up and get engaged in the conflict, not only will this evolutionary culture be shaken, but we will continue to get constant reports of profoundly changed lives—but only when people like you take action.

Please contact your nearest CMI office to see how you can make that difference.

Published: 19 April 2012


  1. ncse.com/news/2012/03/prospect-new-scopes-trial-007276. Return to text.
  2. www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/107/Bill/HB0368.pdf. Return to text.
  3. Ruse, M., How evolution became a religion: creationists correct? National Post, pp. B1,B3,B7 May 13, 2000 Return to text.
  4. www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/107/Bill/HB0368.pdf. Return to text.
  5. creation.com/reach-into-schools. Return to text.

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