23 January 2006

The Utah Senate initially¬†approved¬†a bill last Friday that would make public school teachers include anti-evolution caveats when teaching the about the origins of life: a position the ACLU, which opposes the bill, has likened to the textbook stickers included in biology textbooks in Cobb County, Georgia. A court later ruled that the Georgia stickers had an implicit religious meaning, and that precedent is important in this case as well, as the senator leading the anti-evolution charge, Republican Chris Buttars, has promoted the evolution bill using religious arguments and language, while denying that the bill had anything to do with “‘intelligent design, creationism or any faith-baseed philosophy.'” Rather, claims Buttars, it is simply about the lack of scientific consensus on evolution, and nothing to do with how he’s promoted the bill — by labeling his opponents zealots of “‘this religion of atheism and secularism,'” and deciding to sponsor the bill after hearing the complaints of one of his constituents, the mother of two children whose faith “blew up” after being told that they were “evolved from a lower kind.”