Day By Day

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Utah Anti-Darwin Bill Fails

NYT reports:

In a defeat for critics of Darwin, the Utah House of Representatives on Monday voted down a bill intended to challenge the theory of evolution in high school science classes.

The bill had been viewed nationally, by people on each side of the science education debate, as an important proposal because Utah is such a conservative state, with a Legislature dominated by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

But the bill died on a 46-to-28 vote in the Republican-controlled House after being amended by the majority whip, Stephen H. Urquhart, a Mormon who said he thought God did not have an argument with science. The amendment stripped out most of the bill's language, leaving only that the state board of education "shall establish curriculum requirements relating to scientific instruction."

Read it here.

This is precisely how these things should be handled -- through the political process, NOT through the courts. If these decisions are to be respected and accepted, they cannot simply be handed down by judicial authorities. The Pennsylvania case had a satisfactory solution not because a federal judge ruled against the school board, but because the voters of the school district overwhelmingly voted to remove the anti-evolution activists. The Utah case, decided in open debate by the elected representatives of the citizenry, similarly has authority that no pronouncement from on high could ever have.

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