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On January 24, 2002 a bill was introduced into the Ohio House of Representatives to change that state's procedures for approving the new science standards currently being written. HB 484 would require the science standards to be approved by both houses of the General Assembly. This requirement is new, and would not apply to any other subject. On January 29 SB 222, a bill with the same provisions, was introduced in the state Senate.
On January 23, 2002 House Bill 481 was introduced in the Ohio General Assembly. This bill would require that "origins science" be "taught objectively and without religious, naturalistic, or philosophic bias or assumption." Although the bill does not contain the words "biology" or "evolution", it uses the phrase "origin of life and its diversity" several times, as well as "origins science".
The West Green School Board in Rogersville, Pennsylvania voted on Thursday, January 24th, to allow a Biblical Creationist to give a creationism seminar to students during class time. Those not wishing to attend could choose not to do so.
High School Principal Brian Jackson reviewed a tape from Creationist Steve Grohman, who asserts that evolution is not true science and both creationism and evolution should be taught, according to the Observer-Reporter.
On January 18, 2002 a new anti-evolution bill was introduced in the Washington State Senate and referred to the Education Committee. According to the bill's digest, SB 6500: "Finds that the teaching of the theory of evolution in the common schools of the state of Washington is repugnant to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and thereby unconstitutional and unlawful.
The Ohio Board of Education will hold a panel discussion featuring both advocates and opponents of including intelligent design (ID) in the newly drafted statewide science standards at its March meeting. The decision to hold the discussion came after a contentious meeting on Sunday, January 14th, at which lawyer John Calvert, of the Kansas based Intelligent Design Network, made the case for inclusion of the controversial field in the standards. Opponents of ID were not allowed to speak at the meeting.
Senate Bill 6058 was continued into the current session of the Washington state legislature on January 14, 2002. The bill would require "all science textbooks purchased with state moneys" to contain an evolution disclaimer very similar to that required in Alabama since 1995. The bill received its first reading in February of 2001 and was referred to the Education Committee, where it stalled. It was continued in April, 2001 in a special session, but again no action was taken.
by Eugenie C. Scott
On January 7, 2002, the US Supreme Court denied the appeal of Minnesota teacher Rodney LeVake to have his case for teaching "evidence against evolution" heard at the highest level. Mr. LeVake has no further appeals.
Science Excellence for All Ohioans, listed on their web site as a project of the American Family Association of Ohio, has posted on its web site a list of changes it would like to see incorporated into the new Ohio Science Standards. The purpose of the changes is to bring intelligent design into the science curriculum as a “viable alternative explanation for both the origin and diversity of life”.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Authorization Act which is headed for the President's signature does not contain the antievolution "Santorum amendment", though there is brief mention of the topic of evolution in explanatory materials appended to the law. The good news for teachers is that they will not have to teach evolution any differently as a result of the new legislation.
BackgroundSince the summer of 2001, a joint Senate-House conference committee has attempted to resolve the House and Senate versions of the Elementary and