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On February 19, the Georgia Department of Education released revised versions of proposed new science standards, with major changes in the sections dealing with evolution. When the drafts of the Georgia Performance Standards for Science were first released for public comment in January, the word "evolution," as well as most of the significant concepts related to this topic, were not included in them.
More than 250 Missouri scientists and educators have released a statement opposing proposed legislation requiring equal time for "intelligent design" whenever evolution is taught. House Bill 911 in the Missouri General Assembly was filed earlier this year, and has been receiving attention within the state, although it has not yet moved beyond the introduction stage.
On February 17, Senate Bill 336 -- entitled the "Academic Freedom Act" -- was introduced in the Alabama state Senate and referred to the Senate Education Committee.
Georgia is in the process of revising its 1997 “Quality Control Curriculum” (QCC) science education standards. The previous standards received a grade of F on Dr. Lawrence Lerner’s 2000 evaluation of science education standards produced for the Fordham Foundation. The earlier standards used the word “evolution,” but according to Lerner, “not in a way that encourages clarification of its role in the life sciences.”
Joel Cracraft’s editorial “The New Creationism and Its Threat to Science Literacy and Education” appears in the January 2004 issue of BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Cracraft, the president of AIBS, is also Curator-in-Charge of the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History and a Supporter of NCSE.
A bill to be introduced in the current session of the Missouri General Assembly would require "the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design". House Bill 911 contains a long list of proposed definitions of terms and concepts such as "analogous naturalistic process", "biological intelligent design", "destiny", and "extrapolated radiometric data".
In August 2003, NCSE sponsored a raft trip down Grand Canyon. We then became aware that the Grand Canyon Association, a private nonprofit organized to benefit Grand Canyon National Park, was selling a creationist book in its bookstores.
Science teachers in the Roseville Joint Union High School District have told the district that they do not want to add antievolutionist materials to the district science curriculum, according to the Sacramento Bee (December 28, 2003). The materials, recommended by Larry Caldwell, a local parent, and Cornelius Hunter, author of Darwin’s God and Darwin’s Proof, included the videotape of Icons of Evolution.
The first draft of new state science standards has been released by the Minnesota Department of Education and posted on its website. However, the version originally posted on September 9 was removed after a short time and replaced by a slightly different one. According to a September 10 report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (headlined "Squelched Standards Hedged on Evolution") the only difference between the two versions was in "(h)ow they described the teaching of evolution.
The Board of Trustees of the Roseville Joint Union High School District decided at its meeting on September 2, 2003, not to enact any district-wide policy on teaching evolution, according to the Sacramento Bee (September 7, 2003). The decision follows months of discussion on the part of the school board and activism on the part of creationists and supporters of evolution education alike.