Tenn. governor lets evolution bill go into effect

April 10, 2012 - 6:15 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A law to protect teachers who allow students to criticize evolution and other scientific theories will become law in Tennessee without the governor's signature.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement on Tuesday that he doesn't believe the legislation accomplishes anything that isn't already acceptable in schools. However, he said it seems to bring more confusion than clarity.

The bill aims to encourage critical thinking by protecting teachers from discipline if they help students critique "scientific weaknesses."

Last week, Haslam was handed a petition with more than 3,000 signatures urging him to veto it. Scientists say evolution shouldn't be taught as a controversy.

They consider it an embarrassing move in the same state where the Scopes "monkey trial" took place in 1925.