Utah School Officials Reject ‘Intelligent Design’

Utah’s State Board of Education has turned away a proposal to introduce “intelligent design” (ID) into public school science courses.

The board voted unanimously in late August to keep evolution in the biology curriculum. The decision came despite pressure from the Religious Right to include ID in science classes.

A Utah state senator had urged the board to require public school teachers to instruct students that evolution is “an unsubstantiated theory” and introduce them to ID.

Sen. Chris Buttars told the board that evolution “has more holes than a crocheted bathtub” and that hundreds of scientists agree with that assessment, reported the Deseret News. Buttars’ campaign to force ID into public schools was backed by the Utah Eagle Forum, an affiliate of Phyllis Schlafly’s national Religious Right lobbying group.

Board member Bill Colbert told the Associated Press that although he personally believed in ID, he thought it was not appropriate for the public schools.

“I believe it needs to be taught in the home and perhaps religious institutions,” he said.

A poll released on Aug. 30 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life revealed that a majority of Americans continue to support teaching creationism in the public schools.

According to the survey, 64 percent favor teaching creationism along with evolution in the public schools. Only 26 percent oppose that arrangement. The poll also showed that 38 percent believe creationism should supplant evolution entirely in the public school curriculum, while 49 percent are opposed to teaching creationism in place of evolution.