A third antievolution bill in Oklahoma


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.
B. No public school teacher in this state shall be terminated, disciplined, or otherwise discriminated against for presenting scientific information authorized pursuant to subsection A of this section.
C. Nothing in this act shall be construed as requiring or encouraging any change in the state curriculum standards for public schools.
D. Nothing in this act shall be construed as promoting any religious doctrine, promoting discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promoting discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.
Like its predecessors, House Bills 2107 and 2526, SB 1959 will presumably be considered after the legislature convenes on February 6, 2006.

While evolution is not mentioned in the text of SB 1959, the phrase "the full range of scientific views" presumably originates in the so-called Santorum language removed from the No Child Left Behind Act. Moreover, Sections A and B resemble sections A and B of HB 2107, section C is identical to the second half of section D of HB 2107, and section D is identical to section E of HB 2107. Unlike HB 2107, however, SB 1959 is silent about "academic freedom," Edwards v. Aguillard, and "topics ... that may generate controversy, such as biological or chemical origins of life."