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Critics say Okla. bill allows creationism

Feb. 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Critics say a bill before the Oklahoma legislature would allow science teachers to introduce creationism and intelligent design into the curriculum.

State Rep. Sally Kern, an Oklahoma City Republican and author of the bill, defends it as a guarantee of academic freedom, The Oklahoman reported. The House Common Education Committee, which voted 9-7 a year ago to keep the bill off the floor, released it by a 9-7 vote Tuesday.

But Victor Hutchinson, professor emeritus of zoology at the University of Oklahoma and head of Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, said the bill uses language put together by the Discovery Institute. The institute, headquartered in Seattle, is an advocate for intelligent design theory.

"They claim not to be religious-based, but they use religious organizations to help push the bill," he said.

If Oklahoma approves the legislation, it would be the second state to do so after Louisiana, Hutchinson said.

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