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William Jewell College Upholds Evolution

William Jewell College, a liberal arts college founded in 1849 associated with the Missouri Baptist Convention, is about to lose the MBC’s support due to its position on a variety of issues, including the teaching of creationism.

The MBC’s executive board voted 44–4 to recommend that the MBC discontinue its support of the college -- about $850 000 per year, roughly 3% of the college’s annual budget. The recommendation is expected to be followed at the MBC’s annual meeting in early November.

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.

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.

"Unlocking the Mystery of Life" Critique

Unlocking the Mystery of Life, a documentary about the “intelligent design” movement cowritten by Stephen C. Meyer, Director and Senior Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute, is airing on individual PBS stations across the country.

Because NCSE has received many inquiries about Unlocking, we have added a section to our web site for information and opinions about it. Articles in this section are the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of NCSE.

NCSE Member New NABT President-Elect

Margaret "Betsey" Ott, Instructor of Biology at Tyler Junior College, Tyler, TX, has been elected President-Elect of the National Association of Biology Teachers. Betsey will assume the presidency in 2004. She is a long time NCSE member and supporter of evolution education. Other NCSE members who have served as president of NABT include Betty Carvellas, Joe McInerney, and Brad Williamson.

Congratulations from all of us at NCSE!

Legislative Session Ends

On June 23 the Louisiana Legislature adjourned its current session. Three proposed measures with anti-evolution implications died at that point. HCR50 and SB1125 never came up for consideration in their assigned committees. HB1782, forbidding the "printing and distribution of false or fraudulent material" was passed in committee, but tabled on the floor of the House of Representatives. Previous items on this page have further information about these measures.

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