Tennessee creationist measure is dead for now


WMC-TV in Memphis reports [Link broken] (June 16, 2007) that Senate Resolution 17 failed to pass during the first session of the 105th General Assembly of the state of Tennessee. Introduced by Senator Raymond Finney (R-District 8) on February 21, 2007, the resolution, if enacted, would request the commissioner of education to justify the fact that creationism is not taught in the state's public schools. It was quickly attacked, with the Bristol Herald Courier (March 1, 2007) editorially commenting, "This is the so-called 'teach the controversy' approach that creationists have adopted in an effort to make an end run around court rulings that prevent overt instruction in creationism in public schools," and a colleague of Finney's asking the state's attorney general to investigate whether the bill would be unconstitutional -- it would not be, the attorney general's office replied, adding that it "clearly appears to constitute a rhetorical device designed to advocate the teaching of creationism as an alternative to the theory of evolution." Later, Finney told the Associated Press (March 14, 2007), "I'm not sure I'm going forward with that ... I'm probably going to reword it anyway." The 105th General Assembly is in adjournment until January 8, 2008, when it is possible that SR 17 will be revived.