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"Intelligent design" bill expected in Montana

A Montana legislator is preparing a bill to require the teaching of "intelligent design" along with evolution. On November 5, 2012, Clayton Fiscus (R-District 46), a new member of the Montana House of Representatives, asked for a bill to be drafted that would "[r]equire public schools to teach intelligent design along with evolution." As such, the bill would presumably conflict with the decision in the 2005 case Kitzmiller v. Dover, in which requiring the public schools to teach "intelligent design" was held to be unconstitutional. The legislature convenes on January 7, 2013.

The last antievolution bill to be introduced in Montana's legislature was House Bill 588 in 2001, which would have required, among other things, the teaching of "competing theories of origin" rather than "the exclusive teaching of the theory of evolution"; a "reasonably balanced presentation" of evidence "supporting and disproving each major theory of origin"; and the appointment of a volunteer citizen panel, with "supporters and nonsupporters of Darwin's theory of evolution" equally represented, to recommend instructional materials "that comply with the intent" of the bill. It died in committee.