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Antievolution bill in Kentucky dies

When the Kentucky legislature adjourned sine die on April 15, 2010, House Bill 397, the Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act, died in committee. Modeled on the Louisiana Science Education Act (Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1), HB 397 would, if enacted, have allowed teachers to "use, as permitted by the local school board, other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner, including but not limited to the study of evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning." A minor novelty in the bill was the phrase "advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories," a variation on the familiar "strengths and weaknesses" and "evidence for and evidence against" rhetoric. Kentucky is apparently unique in having a statute (PDF; Kentucky Revised Statutes 158.177) on the books that authorizes teachers to teach "the theory of creation as presented in the Bible" and to "read such passages in the Bible as are deemed necessary for instruction on the theory of creation."