POLITICS

Monkeys Question Tennessee Anti-Evolution Law (PHOTOS)

04/11/2012 04:26 pm ET

(Disclaimer: We're aware that the animals below aren't all actually "monkeys." Most of them are great apes, but they're very inquisitive nonetheless.)

A controversial new anti-evolution bill in Tennessee is set to be enacted into law after Gov. Bill Haslam (R) decided on Tuesday to let it pass without his signature.

The law, as laid out by HB 368, is designed to protect teachers who allow students to question and criticize "controversial" scientific subjects.

In an effort to cultivate "intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens," the bill first claims that subjects "including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning" are controversial. To accommodate those who are unsure of how to teach these fields of study, as well as the "differences of opinion about controversial issues," the legislation encourages teachers to help students "understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories."

Critics have claimed that the broad language of the bill, which they have disapprovingly dubbed "The Monkey Bill," is opening a gateway to placing creationism and intelligent design alongside evolution in public schools, though the bill does include wording to safeguard against the promotion of any religious -- as well as "non-religious" -- doctrine. Other opponents have simply claimed that it's a regressive piece of legislation that promotes anti-scientific thought and the rehashing of subjects that science suggests are less controversial than the authors of this bill appear to believe.

At any rate, the bill is set to go into law later this month, and thanks to the legislation -- and in many cases in spite of it -- these primates can finally get some things off their chests:

(All photos via Getty Images)

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