2003 Regular Session
By: Representative Wells-Smith, Cameron, Chism, Davis, Ellington, Fillingane, Formby, Howell, Janus, Ketchings, Lott, Montgomery (74th), Moore (60th), Robinson (84th), Smith (59th)
AN ACT TO DIRECT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO INSERT LANGUAGE THAT EXPLAINS THAT EVOLUTION IS A THEORY INTO CERTAIN PUBLIC SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, the State Board of Education shall require that any textbook that includes the teaching of evolution in its contents shall have the following language inserted on the inside front cover of those textbooks:
"The word 'theory' has many meanings: systematically organized knowledge, abstract reasoning, a speculative idea or plan, or a systematic statement of principles. Scientific theories are based on both observations of the natural world and assumptions about the natural world. They are always subject to change in view of new and confirmed observations.
This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered a theory.
Evolution refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced living things. There are many unanswered questions about the origin of life that are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the major groups of animals suddenly appear in the fossil record (known as the Cambrian Explosion), no new major groups of other living things appeared in the fossil record, major groups of plants and animals have no transitional forms in the fossil record, and all living things possess a complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body. Study hard and keep an open mind."
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.