The New York Times, April 5, 2000
Okla. House Passes Creationism Bill , By The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Science books used in Oklahoma public schools would be required to acknowledge ``that human life was created by one God of the universe'' under legislation passed Wednesday by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
The House addressed the issue of creationism in an amendment to a bill dealing with the embattled State Textbook Committee, which last year ordered biology books to carry a disclaimer about the teaching of evolution that described it as a ``controversial theory.''
The disclaimers were scrapped after Attorney General Drew Edmondson said the committee has no authority to require them.
But House members approved an amendment that says ``the committee shall ensure'' that science textbooks it approves for use in public schools ``include acknowledgment that human life was created by one God of the universe.''
The House went a step further when it passed another amendment that gives the committee ``authority to insert a one-page summary, opinion or disclaimer into any textbook reviewed and authorized for use in the public schools of Oklahoma.''
The original intent of the bill was to require that two members of the textbook committee be elementary level teachers and two be secondary level teachers. The bill now goes to a joint House-Senate conference committee for review.
Last summer, the Kansas Board of Education sparked a national debate by passing new testing standards that minimized the importance of evolution.