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Second antievolution measure tabled in New Mexico


At The Panda's Thumb blog, Dave Thomas reports that New Mexico's House Bill 506 was tabled by a vote of 8-4 in the House Education Committee on February 21, 2007. HB 506 would, if enacted, require the state department of education to adopt rules to "give teachers the right and freedom, when a theory of biological origins is taught, to objectively inform students of scientific information relevant to the strengths and weaknesses of that theory and protect teachers from reassignment, termination, discipline or other discrimination for doing so; and ... encourage students to critically analyze scientific information, give them the right and freedom to reach their own conclusions about biological origins and provide that no student shall be penalized in any way because the student subscribes to a particular position on biological origins."

Thomas reports, "only Mike Edenburn, at sponsor Dub Williams'[s] side, spoke in favor of the bill. Speaking against were several scientists and educators, myself included. After the comments, sponsor Dub Williams himself voted to table the bill, which was then tabled 8-4. (I was expecting the same 7-5 split as for the bill on teaching Bible as History, HB 498, which was tabled just before the HB 506 discussion.) But Williams himself moved to table his bill." Williams also sponsored House Joint Memorial 14, which in effect would have asked, rather than required, the state department education to comply with the recommendations of HB 506; HJM 14 was tabled by a 7-4 vote in the House Judiciary Committee on January 29, 2007. Still remaining active are the senate counterparts of HB 506 and HJM 14, SB 371 and SJM 9.