Tag Archives: Darwin

Darwin, Evolution Celebrated at UT (if not at the Legislature)

An emailer thought it interesting that the University of Tennessee is hosting a three-day celebration of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution while the Legislature has pending legislation that some have criticized as an attack on evolution.
The bill (HB368) passed the House last year under sponsorship of Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, but the Senate sponsor, Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, parked it in a “general subcommittee” and never sought a vote after UT Chattanooga faculty members voiced concerns. (Last session’s final post on the subject is HERE).
Watson said a few days ago that he’s still thinking about whether to push the measure this year and, if so, whether amendments may be in order. As passed the House, the measure would prohibit punishment of teachers who discuss alternatives to prevailing scientific theories. Critics labeled it a backdoor means of promoting creationism. Dunn said it simply promotes “critical thinking.”
Meanwhile, the UT News Service news release on celebrating Darwin this week is below. A full schedule of events is available HERE. (Note: One of the videos available for watching is entitled, Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus.

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WWII Vet, 86, Charged $8 for ‘Free’ Photo ID

World War II veteran Darwin Spinks, 86, is wondering why he had to pay $8 to get a voter photo ID that should have been free when he recently went to the driver’s license testing center here, according to the Daily News Journal.
He was sent from one line to another to have a picture taken, then was charged.
“I said, ‘You mean I’ve got to pay again?’ She says, ‘Yes,'” explained Spinks, a resident of County Farm Road, who was stationed on the USS Goshen in World War II and was called to duty again for the Korean War.
“I served my country in two wars. Most of that fighting blood was gone after World War II,” he said.
…Applicants for a photo ID also must sign an affidavit, punishable by perjury, stating they do not have a valid government-issued photo ID for voting purposes. They do not have to show their voter registration card.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security checked Spinks’ application Tuesday and found no affidavit attached, said Jennifer Donnals, communications director.
The department will send Spinks a letter and include an affidavit for a voter ID, which he can sign and return in a self-addressed, stamped envelope, she said. The department will then refund his $8, according to Donnals.
“If he came in for a photo ID for voting purposes, he should not have been charged,” Donnals said.