Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Update on Buttars’ Utah Bill

Thanks to flatlander for keeping me up to date on what’s going on in Utah. Sen. Chris Buttars’ anti-evolution bill is still being debated and some changes are being considered. The Deseret News reports:

SB96′s House sponsor, Rep. Jim Ferrin, R-Orem, wants to substitute the bill a third time, taking out all references to the “origins of life” but still aiming to keep teachers from telling students they evolved from apes.

But that can happen only if the House Rules Committee agrees to put the bill up for its final legislative debate.

The changes didn’t win over school officials who oppose the bill, primarily because it treads on the state school board’s authority to set curriculum.

The article also reports the results of a recent poll in Utah that found that 55% of that state’s residents support the bill that would require schools to teach that “evolution is not indisputably proven and there could be other reasons for human development.” 40% opposed the bill. I’m frankly shocked that the numbers are that good.

Comments

  1. #1 Reed A. Cartwright
    February 23, 2006

    I would love to see Buttar’s bill passed and then challenged in the courts. I would love to see the state try to defend that “humans are not descended from apes” is scientifically accurate.

  2. #2 TrekJunkie
    February 23, 2006

    I think that the US education system should follow what other countries do. Appoint an organization of scholart, a la National Academies, made of experts in all fields, with educators and teacher. This organization develop standars to be met and provides guidance on how to meet them.

  3. #3 nlandess
    February 23, 2006

    The changes didn’t win over school officials who oppose the bill, primarily because it treads on the state school board’s authority to set curriculum.

    ummmmm…. this is sad. wouldn’t you like to think that the primary reason that the school officials would oppose this bill would be that it would foster a state full of ignoramusmusses?

  4. #4 tacitus
    February 24, 2006

    The numbers don’t surprise me. To say that human beings and other apes had a common ancestor is to deny Mormon and Christian fundamentalist beliefs. Most of these people have probably only been exposed to a couple of weeks worth of evolution education (if that much) whereas many of them will have been hearing from the pulpit week in and week out for years the religious dogma of how human beings are “special” and fundamentally different from the rest of the animal kingdom.

  5. #5 Ed Brayton
    February 24, 2006

    tacitus-

    I’m surprised that only 55% supported the bill. I would have thought it would be much higher in Utah.

  6. #6 tacitus
    February 24, 2006

    Ah – sloppy reading leads to sloppy comments :)

    Perhaps, ironically, one factor at play for some of the 40% is the same sense of “fairness” IDists often appeal to for their support.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.