Utah House rejects evolution measure

February 28, 2006

Utah state representatives have rejected legislation that would have regulated how the theory of evolution is taught in public schools.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, would have required the Utah Board of Education to create a curriculum that said the scientific theory about the origin of species and evolution has not been empirically proven, the Salt Lake City Deseret Morning News reported Tuesday.

But House members told the newspaper they were unwilling to single out the theory of evolution and interfere with the Utah Board of Education's responsibility to set curriculum.

House Majority Whip Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, amended the bill deleting all provisions except two lines that reinforced the state board's role in establishing scientific instruction, the newspaper said.

Urquhart told the Deseret Morning News he believes the issue is best left in the realm of science and it should be removed from the political arena. "We should leave this up to the State Office of Education," he said. "They've been tasked to do this, not us."

Utah public school students are currently taught biological diversity is a result of evolutionary processes.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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