You are here

Both antievolution bills in Maryland dead


The Maryland General Assembly adjourned on April 10, 2006, meaning that both antievolution bills introduced during the legislative session are dead.

House Bill 1531 would, if enacted, have provided that teachers in Maryland's public schools and faculty members in Maryland's public institutions of higher education "shall have the affirmative right and freedom to present scientific information to [sic] the full range of scientific views in any curricula or course of learning"; the phrase "the full range of scientific views" was evidently taken from the so-called Santorum language, which was in fact stripped from the federal No Child Left Behind act. A subsequent provision repeated the phrase "the full range of scientific views," while adding, "including intelligent design." After its first reading, HB 1531 was referred to the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee and then re-referred to the Ways and Means Committee, where it received a hearing on March 23, 2006, and then an unfavorable report on March 27.

House Bill 1228 would, if enacted, have required the state board of education to "prohibit the teaching or the discussion of the theory of intelligent design" in science classes and prohibit it from "requiring the teaching or discussion of the theory of intelligent design in any class." But it also would have required the board to "permit the teaching or discussion of the theory of intelligent design in humanities or philosophy classes" and moreover to develop and disseminate instructional materials for that purpose. The lead sponsor of HB 1228 was Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D-District 10), who was subsequently the sole sponsor of HB 1531. After its first reading, HB 1228 was referred to the Ways and Means Committee, where it received a hearing on March 7, 2006, and then an unfavorable report on April 10.

Coverage of these bills in the Maryland media was scant, with the exception of Ben McIlwain's op-ed for the University of Maryland's The Diamondback (March 28, 2006).