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Senate Passes Antievolution Resolution

On June 13, 2001, the US Senate adopted a "Sense of the Senate" amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Authorization bill, S.1, currently under consideration. The resolution (Amendment #799) read:

"It is the sense of the Senate that (1) good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science; and

"Alternatives to Evolution" Proposed by School Board Member

The board of the Roseville City School District considered the adoption of local science standards at their June 14 meeting. One board member had been quoted in news reports as supporting changes to allow teaching "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolution in science classes. She had also suggested using some sort of evolution "disclaimer" or allowing students to "opt out" of evolution segments of courses. The board voted 4-1 to adopt the science standards without changes, and without any "opt-out" provision.

LeVake "Arguments Against Evolution" Case Fails

The effort of Rodney LeVake to argue he had free exercise, free speech, and due process rights to teach "evidence against evolution" has failed. The Minnesota Appeals Court on May 8, 2001 supported the summary judgement dismissal decision of the Minnesota District Court of last year.

Regarding the free exercise of religion claim, the Appeals Court wrote:

Evolution an Issue in Teacher's Firing

Colin Dovichin, a first-year teacher at Lancaster High School, claims he is losing his job because he would not give in to pressure from parents to teach creationism alongside evolution in his science classroom. He also claims that he was attacked as "an atheist".

Michigan House Bill 4705

House Bill 4705 was introduced in the legislature in May 2001, and referred to the Education Committee. As with HB 4382, four Education Committee members are co-sponsors of this bill. As of this writing, the bill has not been heard in committee.

Louisiana House Bill 1286

House Bill 1286 was introduced in the legislature in March 2001, and referred to the House and Governmental Affairs Committee. Although this bill does not explicitly mention evolution, creationism, or education, its language echoes that of anti-evolution bills in other states.

West Virginia House Bill 2554

House Bill 2554 was introduced in the state legislature in February 2001, and referred to the Education Committee. The bill did not come up in committee before the legislature adjourned on April 14. The title of the bill explains its purpose as "Providing for the teaching of creation science and evolution science on an equal basis in the public schools."

Washington Senate Bill 6058

Senate Bill 6058 was introduced in the state legislature in February 2001, and referred to the Education Committee. 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 had not been taken up in committee before the legislature adjourned its regular session on April 22.

For the text of SB 6058, see http://dlr.leg.wa.gov/billsummary/default.aspx?year=2001&bill=6058

Georgia House Bill 391

House Bill 391 was introduced in the state legislature in February 2001, and referred to the Education Committee. The bill was not taken up in committee before the legislature adjourned on March 21. This bill would have allowed teachers "to present and critique any and all scientific theories" about "the origins of life and living things, including the origins of humankind." It also encouraged teachers "to make distinctions between philosophical materialism and authentic science..." Read the text of HB 391 at http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2001_02/sum/hb391.htm

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