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INTELLIGENT DESIGN (ID):

PENDING ID BILLS IN STATE LEGISLATURES AND COURT CHALLENGES

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Session 2003-4: ID Bill in the Missouri legislature:

Two Republican representatives to the Missouri House have introduced HB911, the Missouri Standard Science Act. It would require "...the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design" in the public school system of Missouri. 1 It defines a number of novel terms:

bullet"Biological evolution" corresponds to what is called naturalistic evolution elsewhere.
bullet"Biological intelligent design" which apparently refers to what others call Intelligent Design.

The bill's sponsors assert that: "The lack of significant present-day observable changes in species due to random variation, mutation, natural selection, adaptation, segregation, or other naturalistic mechanisms implies intelligence as the cause for all original species."

The bill would require that:

bulletOnly empirical data which has been verified or is currently capable of being verified by observation or experimentation shall be taught.
bulletIf scientific law is taught, statements shall have no known exceptions of verified empirical data.
bulletBiological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be given equal treatment.
bulletIf an event previous to written history is taught, the event shall be supported by physical evidence.
bulletNew textbooks will have to meet the requirements of the bill.
bulletAfter 2016-JAN-1, all textbooks in the school system will have to meet the requirements of this bill.
bulletWillful neglect of any elementary or secondary school superintendent, principal, or teacher to observe and carry out the requirements of this section shall be cause for termination of his or her contract. 2
bulletEqual numbers of pages in text books would have to be given to evolution and ID.
bulletEqual number of teacher-directed activities would have to be given as well. 5

On 2004-MAY-14, the bill was referred to the Special Committee on General Laws. As of 2005-AUG, no hearing has been scheduled for the bill. The bill is not currently on the calendar. 6,7

This essay continues below.

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2003-4 Session: Michigan Legislature:

Status: 2003-JUL-2: Referred to Committee on Education

Michigan House Bill #4946 was introduced by Ken Bradstreet, a Republican. Along with the matching Senate Bill 5005, it would modify "The revised school code" (1976 PA 451), by adding section 10:

bulleta) In the science standards, all references to "evolution" and "how species change through time" shall be modified to indicate that this is an unproven theory by adding the phrase "All students will explain the competing theories of evolution and natural selection based on random mutation and the theory that life is the result of the purposeful, intelligent design of a Creator."
bullet(b) In the science standards for middle and high school, all references to "evolution" and "natural selection" shall be modified to indicate that these are unproven theories by adding the phrase "Describe how life may be the result of the purposeful, intelligent design of a Creator."
bullet(c) In the science standards for middle and high school, all references to "evolution" and "natural selection" shall be modified to indicate that these are unproven theories by adding the phrase "Explain the competing theories of evolution and natural selection based on random mutation and the theory that life is the result of the purposeful, intelligent design of a Creator."

Note that the sponsors of these bills have capitalized the word "Creator" in the text. This implies that the intelligent design was performed by a deity -- an obvious violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 3

On 2003-JUL-07, the bill was referred to the Committee on Education. As of 2005-AUG, the bill has not progressed.

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2005-SEP: PA: Court challenge of Dover, PA school district mandate:

The public school district in Dover, PA, has mandated the teaching of Intelligent Design in its schools. The Pennsylvania ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have challenged this mandate in court. The case was heard on for 2005-SEP-26. More details

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References used:

  1. "HB911," Missouri House, at: http://www.house.state.mo.us

  2. "House Bill # 911, 92nd General Assembly" Missouri House, at: http://www.house.state.mo.us/

  3. "House Bill No. 4946," Michigan House, at: http://www.michiganlegislature.org/

  4. "Bush endorsement of 'Intelligent Design' in public schools is irresponsible, says Americans United," press release, Americans United, 2005-AUG-02.
  5. "Legislative Alert," Science Teachers of Missouri, undated, at: http://www.stom.org/docs/board.pdf This is a PDF file. You may require software to read it. Software can be obtained free from: 
  6. "HB911, Requires the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design," Missouri House of Representatives, at: http://www.house.state.mo.us/
  7. "House Bill No. 911," Text of the bill, at: http://www.house.state.mo.us/
  8. "House Bill 4946 (2003)," Michigan Legislature, at: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/

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Home > "Hot" religious topics > Evolution & Creation Science > ID > here

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Copyright 2001to 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-JAN-14
Latest update: 2005-AUG-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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