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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2010/05/21

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

News from the Show Me State, where NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott received an
honorary degree and where an antievolution bill died.


Receiving her honorary degree from the University of Missouri,
Columbia, on May 15, 2010, NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott
addressed the graduating class, recommending, "Use sunscreen, and use
your brains." She added, "use your brains, but use your heart, too.
You'll be a better functioning organism if you use both of them."
Additionally, at a banquet, she offered a few autobiographical remarks
about her career in defending the teaching of evolution in the public
schools -- "It starts here, after all," she explained. "Because it was
at the University of Missouri [where Scott earned her Ph.D.] that I
was first introduced to something called 'creation science'."
Transcripts of both of Scott's addresses are available on NCSE's

For the transcripts, visit: 


When the Missouri legislative session ended on May 14, 2010, House
Bill 1651 died, without ever having been assigned to a committee. The
bill would have, if enacted, called on state and local education
administrators to "endeavor to create an environment within public
elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore
scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop
critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully
to differences of opinion about controversial issues, including
biological and chemical evolution" and to "endeavor to assist teachers
to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it
addresses scientific controversies." "Toward this end," the bill
continued, "teachers shall be permitted to help students understand,
analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific
strengths and scientific weaknesses of the theory of biological and
hypotheses of chemical evolution."

The chief sponsor of HB 1651 was Robert Wayne Cooper (R-District 155),
joined by Doug Funderburk (R-District 12), Ed Emery (R-District 126),
Cynthia Davis (R-District 19), Therese Sander (R-District 22), David
Sater (R-District 68), Rick Stream (R-District 94), Jeff Grisamore
(R-District 47), Jeanie Riddle (R-District 20), Rodney Schad
(R-District 11), and Darrell Pollock (R-District 146). Cooper was the
sponsor of a series of failed antievolution bills in the past in
Missouri. In 2004, he introduced two bills, HB 911 and HB 1722, that
called for equal time for "intelligent design" in Missouri's public
schools. In 2006, he introduced HB 1266, which if enacted would have
required that "If a theory or hypothesis of biological origins is
taught, a critical analysis of such theory or hypothesis shall be
taught in a substantive amount." In 2008, he introduced HB 2554, which
is similar to 2010's HB 1651, and in 2009, he introduced HB 656, which
is identical to HB 1651.

For NCSE's information on HB 1651, visit: 

For previous coverage of events in Missouri, visit: 

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution education and threats to it.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x310
fax: 510-601-7204

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