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Proposed Legislation Requires "Intelligent Design"

On July 2 House Bill 4946 was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives and referred to the Education Committee. This bill would amend Michigan's school code to require the state board of education to modify its science standards to include the idea of "intelligent design of a Creator" wherever evolution is mentioned.

HB 4946 was introduced by a member of the Education Committee, Rep. Kenneth Bradstreet, and has 24 co-sponsors, 8 of whom also sit on that 19-member committee. The relevant portion of HB 4946 reads as follows:

Minnesota Official Concerned About Santorum Language

According to a July 8, 2003, broadcast on Minneapolis television channel WCCO, Education Commissioner Cheri Peterson Yecke, who is in charge of choosing committee members to draft Minnesota’s science education standards, is citing the Santorum “amendment” as grounds for including “a higher power creating life alongside evolution”.

Textbook Disclaimer Nearly Adopted, but Fails Twice

The Oklahoma state legislature dealt with proposed evolution textbook disclaimers twice during its 2003 session. House Bill 1504 would have required a disclaimer, similar to Alabama’s, which has been suggested several times in recent years before the Oklahoma Textbook Committee and the Legislature. HB 1504 was referred to the House Education Committee, but not considered further there, and died when the session adjourned.

Texas Textbook Adoption Process Heats Up

On July 9, the Texas Board of Education held its first public hearing allowing the public to comment on biology textbooks proposed for adoption. Local papers reported attendance at over 200. Nearly all of the three dozen speakers defended the teaching of evolution against a report that disputed the accuracy of the treatment of evolution in the 11 biology texts being considered for adoption in Texas, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Texas Textbook Adoption Process Heats Up

On July 9, the Texas Board of Education held its first public hearing allowing the public to comment on biology textbooks proposed for adoption. Local papers reported attendance at over 200. Nearly all of the three dozen speakers defended the teaching of evolution against a report that disputed the accuracy of the treatment of evolution in the 11 biology texts being considered for adoption in Texas, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Legislative Session Ends

On June 23 the Louisiana Legislature adjourned its current session. Three proposed measures with anti-evolution implications died at that point. HCR50 and SB1125 never came up for consideration in their assigned committees. HB1782, forbidding the "printing and distribution of false or fraudulent material" was passed in committee, but tabled on the floor of the House of Representatives. Previous items on this page have further information about these measures.

Sweet 16 for Edwards

June 19, 2003, is the 16th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards v. Aguillard, which ruled that it is unconstitutional to require the teaching of "creation science" in the public schools.

Creationism a topic before standards committee forms

Even before the committee that will draft Minnesota’s new science standards has been assembled, creationism has already become news.

WCCO Channel 4 News in the Twin Cities has posted a story on its web site about the drafting of new standards, which mentions the potential upcoming controversy over the science standards.

The complete story can be found here. [Link has expired]

General Assembly Adjourns

On June 5 the South Carolina General Assembly adjourned its current session. Among the proposed bills killed by this action was S153, which had passed the Senate and was waiting for action in a House committee. As outlined in another story on this page, this bill would have established a 19-member "Science Standards Committee" to "(1) study science standards regarding the teaching of the origin of species; (2) determine whether there is a consensus on the definition of science; (3) determine whether alternatives to evolution as the origin of species should be offered in schools. "

Textbook Bills Fail

The Texas Legislature adjourned on June 2, 2003. Two proposed bills with potential relevance for evolution education, HB 1172 and HB 1447, died at adjournment. Both bills were related to textbook adoption procedures and the state Board of Education. Either could have made it easier for pressure groups opposing evolution to have more influence in Texas, one of the largest textbook markets in the country. See previous items about these bills on this page for more details.

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