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Major developments during 2001:

bullet 2001-JAN-12: Kansas: Board of Education to restore evolution teaching: According to AANEWS: "The newly elected Kansas State Board of Education announced this week that it will give final approval to new standards which emphasize the role of natural selection and evolutionary processes in explaining the origins of life." Critics of evolution may be planning to promote the teaching of "Intelligent Design." This is a belief system that certain orderly patterns found in life and throughout the universe prove the existence of an intelligent creator. 1
bullet 2001-FEB-14: Kansas: Board restores evolution: According to Maranatha Christian Journal: By a vote of 7 to 3, the Kansas Board of Education reversed its 1999 decision and reinstated the theory of evolution in the state science curriculum. 
bullet 2001-FEB-15: Washington: State senate bill introduced: Senators Harold Hochstatter (R - 13th dist.), Dan Swicker (R - 20th dist.), & Val Stevens (R - 39th dist.) introduced bill 6058. It would require a disclaimer to be printed in every science book purchased by the state which discusses evolution. It would state, in part: "This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things, such as plants, animals and humans. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore any statement about life's origins should be considered as theory, not fact." 2 According to Pacific Northwest Skeptics, this bill is "an exact clone of legislation that was successfully passed in Alabama..." 3
bullet 2001-MAR-24: Arkansas Bill to ban evolution teaching: State Rep. Jim Holt sponsored a bill that would have banned the use of state money to teach evolution. It would have required students to prepare lists of "false" scientific information including the origin of life, methods of radioisotope dating, the age of the earth, and the concept that fossils reveal information on how life forms evolved. Books used in schools were to be marked up with notations such as "false evidence" or "theory." Sam Ledbetter
(D) said from the floor: "This law is clearly unconstitutional.  Folks, if we pass this, we will not be shooting ourselves in the foot; we'll be shooting our foot off." In the vote by the entire House, the bill received 45 affirmative votes, 36 negative votes and 19 abstentions. Fifty one votes were required to pass the bill.
bullet 2001-MAR: Michigan: Bill to mandate creation science teaching: Bill 4382 was introduced. It would call any references to evolution and natural selection as "unproven theories" and tell students that life is the result of "the purposeful intelligent design of a creator." Dr.  Brian Bodenbender from Hope College said: "I think it would do damage to our state's reputation, and we don't want to be known as scientifically illiterate...Our future is built on science, but [when] businesses see something like this [bill]...they don't want to relocate to Michigan...What we teach is science. There is no science to introduce this intelligent design theory into education. It is clearly and simply a religious issue that has no place in science curriculum."
bullet 2001-JUL: Hawaii: Proposal to teach evolution and creation science as competing theories: Denise Matsumoto, chair of the Regular Education Committee, of the Hawaii State Board of Education has proposed that evolution and creation science be taught as competing theories in science class. She said: "My concern was that we were teaching this [evolution] as a fact and not a theory. Evolution hasn't been validated by any concrete evidence.  I had a concern about it being taught as a fact and the only way the world began.  It wasn't that the department was mandating that creationism be taught.  [Evolution] needs to be a theory amongst other theories. How in depth you go would depend on the individual teacher." Mitch Kahle, head of the Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State said: "Teach it [creationism] in the classrooms, and you'll make Hawaii the laughing stock of the nation." He compared the suggestion to events in Kansas during the year 2000. Dr.  Sheila Conant, a zoologist at the University of Hawaii warned, "There is no scientific data to support creationism. That's my view.  There isn't any question in the minds of the greater scientific community that evolution takes place...It would be a great disservice to the students of Hawaii to teach, number one, that creationism is a scientific theory and number two, that it is equally deserving of consideration in the schools."
bullet 2001-AUG-5: Hawaii: Hawaii Board of Education defeats creation science proposal: Over 100 people packed the hearing room during three hours of testimony by dozens of citizens. The Board voted unanimously to defeat a proposal to teach religious creationism and evolution as competing theories. Some excerpts from their comments:
bullet Mitch Kahle of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church said: "It was just awesome. The place was packed.  We arrived outside the meeting hall early and started passing out Darwin "fish" stickers, and nearly everyone took one. The support for keeping science in the science class was just overwhelming." Mr. Kahle, further noted that "It's interesting that [Chairperson] Matsumoto brought this creationism proposal up just as the science advisor to the Board of Education went on vacation."
bullet Brent White of the ACLU said that creationism "plainly unconstitutional... Pass this and you'll face a lawsuit...And you will lose a lawsuit.  The issue before you tonight has already been decided by the U.S.  Supreme Court."
bullet Hawaii State Teachers Association president Karen Ginoza suggested that creationism could be taught in history, literature or social science classes, not in science courses.
bullet Chris Measures, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii said: "The religious view of creation is not science and it can never be. We do not teach alchemy alongside chemistry nor astrology alongside physics, neither should we teach creationism in the biology classroom"
bullet Clergyman Mike Young said that, "As a pastor, I don't want your teachers teaching my kids about religion." 
bullet Minister Rev. Sam Cox told the board, "Creationism and the flat Earth is not good science, and it's not very good theology."

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  1. "Kansas board to restore evolution to curriculum, but new fight over 'Intelligent Design' expected," AANEWS, 2001-JAN-12.

  2. "Senate Bill 6058," at:

  3. "Washington State Senate Bill 6058: The evolution disclaimer," Pacific Northwest Skeptics, at:

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Copyright 2001, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Extracted from essay ev_school.htm on 2001-JAN-14
Latest update: 2002-JAN-27
Author: B.A. Robinson

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