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Arkansas antievolution legislation dies

According to the March 17, 2005, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, House Bill 2607 died in committee. The bill, introduced by first-term legislator Mike Martin (R-District 87), would have required the state Department of Education to include "intelligent design" in its educational frameworks and also encouraged teachers in the state to include it in their lesson plans. The bill was referred to the House Rules Committee, for reasons that are unclear: the committee's hearings on HB 2607 focused on why it was referred there, and not to the House Education Committee. Martin, for his part, averred that his intention was not to have schools teach students that God exists or that evolution is false, but only to "restore to science the agnostic viewpoint that there could be or could not be rather than the dogmatism that actually currently exists ... that absolutely precludes the existence of God." The Democrat-Gazette also quoted Martin as saying that although he is unsure about evolution, he thinks that it is not necessarily incompatible with "my strict Christian beliefs, or, quite frankly, my belief in the inerrancy of Scripture."