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On December 11, 2002 the South Carolina Board of Education voted 10-5 to approve a number of new biology textbooks for local adoption across the state next fall. Several board members had objected to the way evolution was presented in some of the books, but a motion to remove two biology texts from the list failed by a 9-6 vote. Some board members were quoted in a December 22 news story in the Charleston Post & Courier as opposing one book because its preface referred to "creation science" and "intelligent design" as "pseudoscience".
On February 3 this year's session of the Oklahoma state legislature will open. Among the bills scheduled to be introduced at that time is House Bill 1504, sponsored by Rep. Bill Graves. This bill would require an evolution disclaimer in every textbook which discusses the subject.
Similar bills have been introduced in Oklahoma in the past, but failed to pass. The complete text of the bill, available on the Oklahoma legislature's website, reads as follows:
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
A Georgia newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published the results of its December 2002 "Voice of Atlanta" internet survey regarding evolution education. The results cannot be considered either accurate or precise, since they are not based on a random sample of the population. In addition, the single question asked was somewhat ambiguous:
Do you agree or disagree: The theory of evolution should be taught in public schools to the exclusion of all other theories, such as creationism or "intelligent design."
The Wisconsin Badger Poll reports that of 514 state residents surveyed, 50% of them would support a law requiring "the biblical theory of creation as an alternative to the theory of evolution” according to a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan 26, 2003. Fifty percent said yes, 43% were opposed, and 6% had no opinion. The margin of error was reported to be plus or minus 4 points.
Dr. Elizabeth Stage, a member of the NCSE Board of Directors, has been appointed Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, California. Currently the Director of Mathematics and Science Professional Development, Educational Outreach, University of California Office of the President, she is responsible for grants to higher education campuses throughout the state.
On January 8, 2003, the Cobb County, Georgia, School District issued guidelines that clarify the new “Theories of Origins” policy.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific organization, recently announced the top ten key science and technology policy issues to emerge in 2002. Among them:
5) INTELLIGENT DESIGN--NOT SMART FOR SCIENCE CLASSES:
Stating some of the same criticisms NCSE has raised about Intelligent Design, Carl Wieland of the young-earth creationist organization Answers in Genesis (AiG), criticizes the ID movement for not having a “‘story of the past” – of lacking a coherent narrative of “what happened”, and focusing only on the mechanism (of natural selection.) As Wieland points out, “if the origins debate is not about a ‘story of the past’, what is it about?” The reason for the lack of a coherent position on “what happened” is “a necessity, because they do not agree within themselves on a st
by Eugenie C. Scott
Dear Ohio Citizens for Science,
Well, you did it.
On December 12 the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted 7-3 not to require biology textbooks to include an evolution "disclaimer". Opponents of evolution education had proposed that Louisiana require a version of the disclaimer placed in all Alabama biology texts since 1996. Alabama remains the only state with such a requirement.