My thanks to flatlander for keeping me up to date on happenings in Utah. Our favorite state legislator west of the Mississippi, Chris Buttars, is back and this time he has secret legislation to pursue in his crusade against evolution:
A Utah senator says he has opened a confidential bill file challenging the State Board of Education's position on teaching evolution in public schools -- a measure he'll unveil at the conservative Utah Eagle Forum's annual convention just days before the 2006 Legislature begins.
"I have it 'confidential' " -- or shielded from public view -- "and it's 'prioritized.' That means it will be heard," Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, said Wednesday.
When asked if it would require intelligent design -- an idea that life is so complex it can't be explained by Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection alone -- to be taught in Utah public schools, Buttars said: "I'm not answering that yet. I certainly think it should. I believe with the president of the United States that intelligent design should have an equal position (in evolution lessons). But whether I do that in this bill this time, I'm not sure."
Buttars said the bill will challenge the state school board's statement on teaching evolution. When pressed, he said it could require the state school board to reword its position statement. He also acknowledged it could require teachers to read a statement of sorts before evolution lessons.
"We've got two or three different (things) we're looking at right now," Buttars said. He said he also might address his concerns in a series of bills over the next few years.
Oh good, more fun to come. It's always great when state legislators who are blissfully ignorant of science attempt to intervene in science education.