A mandatory "intelligent design" bill in Oklahoma

Oklahoma State Capitol Building.

Oklahoma's Senate Bill 1871 (PDF), if enacted, would require any public or charter school teacher who teaches evolution to "also provide instruction to students on the concepts of creationism and/or intelligent design."

Teaching "intelligent design" as scientifically credible in a public school was found to be unconstitutional by a federal court in Kitzmiller v. Dover (2005); the judge in the case wrote, "The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ["intelligent design"] is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory."

The bill was introduced by David Bullard (R-District 6), who introduced legislation aimed at undermining evolution education in previous legislative sessions: Senate Bill 14 in 2019 and Senate Bill 613 in 2021. Senate Bill 14 was defeated in the Senate Committee on Education, while Senate Bill 613 died in the same committee.

Also prefiled in the Oklahoma legislature, as NCSE previously reported, are House Bill 3122 (PDF) and House Bill 3543 (PDF), which include identical language allowing teachers to "teach and discuss the theory of intelligent design."

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.