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Americans United for Separation of Church and State has filed freedom-of-information requests with education officials in Ohio and Montana to obtain detailed information about recent decisions to water down the teaching of evolution, according to a press release issued by the religious liberty watchdog group on April 6, 2004.
A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the evolution disclaimer used in Cobb County, Georgia, took a step forward, when a federal judge ruled that the suit could proceed to trial.
The disclaimer, which is affixed inside the books used in Cobb County's public schools, reads, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
by Nick Matzke
Senate Bill 336, the counterpart of Alabama House Bill 391, passed the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, March 10 by a vote of 7-0.
On March 4, the proposed Minnesota science standards were approved by the House Education Policy Committee when it voted 18-12 to pass House file 2558. Most of the debate over HF 2558 centered on the contentious social science standards; according to the Saint Paul Pioneer-Press, the science standards "generated little discussion during the two-hour debate. The bill still has several committee stops before it reaches the House floor. The Senate Education Committee has not yet taken any votes on the science or social studies standards."
House Bill 391, one of two antievolution bills in the Alabama legislature, was passed by the House Education Committee by a vote of 10-2 (with one abstention) on March 3.
On February 24, House Bill 2194 was passed by the Oklahoma state House by a vote of 96-0. As originally introduced on February 2, HB 2194 required textbook publishers to furnish the State Textbook Committee with electronic files for the production of Braille versions of textbooks in conformance with U.S. Department of Education standards. On February 23, the bill was amended to include a new section that requires all textbooks that discuss evolution to include a long disclaimer.
A parent in Helena, Montana, is attempting to have a book about horses removed from her local elementary school library because it devotes two pages to discussing equine evolution.
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.