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At its November 2, 2007, annual meeting, the Oklahoma Academy of Science adopted a statement on "Science, Religion, and Teaching Evolution." According to the statement, "The Oklahoma Academy of Science strongly supports thorough teaching of evolution in biology classes. Evolution is one of the most important principles of science.
No fewer than four antievolution bills were introduced in the Oklahoma legislature during its 2006 session: HB 2107 (encouraging the presentation of "the full range of scientific views" with regard to "biological or chemical origins of life"), HB 2526 (authorizing school districts to teach "intelligent design"), SB 1959 (encouraging the presentation of "the full range of scientific views"), and HCR 1043 (encouraging the state board of education and local school boards to ensure that students are able to "critically evaluate scientific theories including, but not limited to, the theory of evolution" with regard to "biological or chemical origins of life").
Oklahoma's House Bill 2107 was passed by the House by a vote of 77-10 on March 2, 2006. On March 15, it was referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and then on March 21 to the Appropriations subcommittee on education, where it remains. The bill findins that "existing law does not expressly protect the right of teachers identified by the United States Supreme Court in Edwards v.
House Concurrent Resolution 1043 (RTF), introduced in the Oklahoma legislature on February 7, 2006, would, if enacted, encourage "the State Board of Education and local boards of education to revise the recommended academic curriculum content standards in science to ensure that, upon graduation, all students can accomplish the following: 1. Use of [sic] the scientific method to critically evaluate scientific theories including, but not limited to, the theory of evolution; and 2.
Senate Bill 1959 (RTF), introduced by Senator Daisy Lawler (D-District 24), is the third antievolution bill to be introduced in the Oklahoma legislature in 2006. If enacted, SB 1959 would provide:
A. Every teacher in a public school in this state shall be authorized to present information and allow classroom discussions that provide for views that may pertain to the full range of scientific views in any science course.
When the Oklahoma House of Representatives convenes on February 6, 2006, among the bills awaiting attention will be House Bill 2107 (RTF), dubbed the Academic Freedom Act. If enacted, HB 2107 would provide:
A. Every public school teacher in the State of Oklahoma, shall have the affirmative right and freedom to present scientific information pertaining to the full range of scientific views in any curricula or course of learning.