Evolution bill stirs debate on origin of life, religion

Friday, March 3rd 2006, 6:33 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Oklahoma House has passed a bill encouraging schools to expose students to alternative views about the origin of life.

The measure gives teachers the right to teach ``the full range of scientific views on the biological or chemical origins of life.'' It stops short of requiring the teaching of ``intelligent design'' alongside the theory of evolution in science classes.

It passed on a 77-to-10 vote Thursday and goes to the state Senate, where similar legislation has been defeated in the past.

Other states are backing away from teaching alternatives to evolution.

Lawmakers in Utah this week defeated a bill requiring public school students be told that evolution is not empirically proven.

In December, a federal judge blocked attempts to teach intelligent design in high school biology classes in Dover, Pennsylvania. That ruling also led to school curriculum changes in Ohio.

Kansas has adopted language to encourage students to explore arguments against evolution, but the standards have not been tied to any lesson plans or statewide testing.