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Another "Design Hypothesis" Bill

On July 17 House Bill 5005 was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives and referred to the Education Committee. HB 5005 endorses "teaching the design hypothesis as an explanation for the origin and diversity of life."

House Bill 4705, introduced in 2001, contained the same provisions and some of the same sponsors as HB 5005. The 2001-2 Education Committee took no action on HB 4705. The full text of HB 5005 follows:

HOUSE BILL No. 5005

Proposed Legislation Requires "Intelligent Design"

On July 2 House Bill 4946 was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives and referred to the Education Committee. This bill would amend Michigan's school code to require the state board of education to modify its science standards to include the idea of "intelligent design of a Creator" wherever evolution is mentioned.

HB 4946 was introduced by a member of the Education Committee, Rep. Kenneth Bradstreet, and has 24 co-sponsors, 8 of whom also sit on that 19-member committee. The relevant portion of HB 4946 reads as follows:

Minnesota Official Concerned About Santorum Language

According to a July 8, 2003, broadcast on Minneapolis television channel WCCO, Education Commissioner Cheri Peterson Yecke, who is in charge of choosing committee members to draft Minnesota’s science education standards, is citing the Santorum “amendment” as grounds for including “a higher power creating life alongside evolution”.

Textbook Disclaimer Nearly Adopted, but Fails Twice

The Oklahoma state legislature dealt with proposed evolution textbook disclaimers twice during its 2003 session. House Bill 1504 would have required a disclaimer, similar to Alabama’s, which has been suggested several times in recent years before the Oklahoma Textbook Committee and the Legislature. HB 1504 was referred to the House Education Committee, but not considered further there, and died when the session adjourned.

Texas Textbook Adoption Process Heats Up

On July 9, the Texas Board of Education held its first public hearing allowing the public to comment on biology textbooks proposed for adoption. Local papers reported attendance at over 200. Nearly all of the three dozen speakers defended the teaching of evolution against a report that disputed the accuracy of the treatment of evolution in the 11 biology texts being considered for adoption in Texas, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

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