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Montana's antievolution bill tabled

Montana's House Bill 183, which purports to "encourage critical thinking regarding controversial scientific theories" such as "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, random mutation, natural selection, DNA, and fossil discoveries," was tabled in the House Education Committee on February 5, 2013. As NCSE previously reported, the bill was originally intended to "[r]equire public schools to teach intelligent design along with evolution," which 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 House Education Committee discussed HB 183 in its January 25, 2013, meeting. According to the Associated Press (January 25, 2013), the bill's sponsor, Clayton Fiscus (R-District 46), explained, "This is just a bill to instruct what we have presently in the science on the origins of life. ... We should teach what we do know. We should also teach what we don't know." Over twenty people attending the hearing, including scientists, teachers, theologians, school board members, and concerned parents, testified against the bill; none testified for it. Highlights from the hearing are available on NCSE's YouTube channel.