A Mississippi lawmaker has introduced a bill that would require textbooks to include a disclaimer describing evolution as a “controversial theory” and advising students to keep an “open mind” to other explanations for the origin of life.
Rep. Gary Chism introduced the legislation, House Bill 25, earlier this month. The bill has been referred to two committees, Education and Judiciary A.
The proposal, if enacted, would require the State Board of Education to include the 200-word disclaimer on the inside front cover of textbooks that include evolution topics.
“The word ‘theory’ has many meanings, including: systematically organized knowledge; abstract reasoning; a speculative idea or plan; or a systematic statement of principles,” the opening paragraph of the bill states. “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,” the proposal continues.