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Evolution Found Fittest in Michigan Science Classes

October 11, 2006|From the Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — The state Board of Education approved public school curriculum guidelines Tuesday that support the teaching of evolution but not "intelligent design" in science classes.

The concept of intelligent design can be taught in other classes, but it doesn't belong in science, according to the unanimously adopted guidelines.

"The intent of the board needs to be very clear," said board member John Austin, an Ann Arbor Democrat. "Evolution is not under stress. It is not untested science."

Some science groups and the American Civil Liberties Union had worried that state standards would not be strong enough to prevent the discussion of intelligent design.

The guidelines approved Tuesday detail what the state expects school districts to teach in science classes.

Proponents of intelligent design hold that living organisms are so complex they must have been created by a higher force. Some people want science lessons to say the theory of evolution is not fact and has gaps.

Gregory Forbes, a community college biology instructor, said it appeared the "doors have been shut" on those in Michigan who support the teaching of intelligent design as a viable scientific alternative to evolution.

"To suggest intelligent design is a scientific theory is inappropriate because it is not testable.... It hasn't earned its way into the science classroom," he said.

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