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More on Blount County, Tennessee

On April 3, the Blount County Board of Education voted not to adopt three high school biology textbooks because they do not present creationism alongside evolution, according to The Daily Times. The vote to reject the textbooks was 6-1 (contrary to the The Daily Times's previous report that the vote was 2-1 with 4 abstentions). Since the vote, board members have reportedly been inundated with letters and e-mails regarding the vote.

Justice Department Drops Inquiry of Biology Professor

The Justice Department on April 22 announced that it was closing its inquiry into complaints of religious discrimination by Texas Tech student Micah Spradling against biology professor Michael Dini. See the Justice Department’s press release for details.

Hawking is Steve #300

Project Steve continues apace, with the 305th Steve coming on board today. Like their predecessors, the 85 Steves to join since the initial announcement of Project Steve are a distinguished group whose public support for evolution education we are honored to be able to announce. The 300th signatory to NCSE’s Project Steve shares a unique distinction with Stephen Jay Gould: that of appearing on The Simpsons. I refer, of course, to Steve #300, the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, Stephen W. Hawking.

Textbook Disclaimer Proposed

The South Carolina Senate is considering S153, a bill dealing with instructional materials and textbooks. On April 9 an amendment was offered by Sen. Fair with the following key provision:

(B) The following must be placed in all science books published for kindergarten through twelfth grade:
'The cause or causes of life are not scientifically verifiable. Therefore, empirical science cannot provide data about the beginning of life.'

Another "Controversial Issues" Bill

House Bill 1172 is scheduled to be considered by the Public Education Committee of the Texas House of Representatives on April 22. Although concerned mainly with the presentation of patriotism, the free enterprise system, and historical events, the proposed bill also contains this provision: "... the board and each school district shall ensure that ... each controversial issue addressed in the public school curriculum is presented in a balanced manner that reflects multiple viewpoints regarding the issue..."

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