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Missouri Republican proposes bill to require teaching of ‘intelligent design’

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Legislation proposed in the Missouri House of Representatives on Wednesday would require schools to treat the theory of evolution and intelligent design equally.

The Missouri Standard Science Act states the theory of evolution must be taught side-by-side with intelligent design in public elementary and secondary schools. The bill also requires any textbook that discusses evolution to “give equal treatment to biological evolution and biological intelligent design.”

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Proponents of intelligent design, a variant of creationism, believe the complexity of life cannot be adequately explained by natural processes such as biological evolution.

The bill was introduced by State Rep. Rick Brattin, and cosponsored by State Reps. Andrew Koenig and Kurt Bahr. All three lawmakers are Republicans.

Brattin introduced a nearly identical bill last year. He told local media outlets the bill was “just good science” and promoted “objectivity in the science room.”

Brattin, Koenig, Bahr and other Missouri lawmakers also introduced legislation this month that would encourage teachers to discuss the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of the theory of evolution. Critics said the law was intended to undermine scientific teaching by presenting evolution to students as if it was a controversial topic among biologists.

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“It’s ironic that creationist strategies continue to evolve,” Eugenie C. Scott of the National Center for Scientific Education said. “At first, creationists tried to ban the teaching of evolution in the public schools altogether. When they were no longer able to do so, they tried to ‘balance’ it with the teaching of Biblical creationism, or scientific creationism, or intelligent design. After the Kitzmiller trial in 2005, in which teaching intelligent design was found by a federal court to be unconstitutional, there’s been a shift toward belittling evolution — as just a theory, or as in need of critical analysis, or as the subject of scientific controversy.”

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[Intelligent design in school via Shutterstock]

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Mick Mulvaney is Trump’s new fall guy on corruption — and Republicans just play along

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It's getting increasingly more difficult to keep track of all the new impeachable acts President Trump commits every day. And perhaps even more difficult to imagine the most outrageous thing he can do that the Republican Party would still defend.

This article first appeared in Salon.

It took almost two weeks, but the White House has finally admitting what everyone knew from day one: Trump demanded a quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government before releasing military aid authorized by Congress. Republicans have been denying the obvious, remaining willfully blind to a brazen scheme. That suddenly seems quaint, now that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has confessed on live television that there was a quid pro quo.

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The week Donald Trump’s presidency crashed and burned — and Republicans noticed

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It feels as though every week during the Trump administration is a year and every year a decade. Every day there is a crisis or an outrage or a revelation that takes your breath away. But the underlying dynamics always seem to be the same no matter what. The press reports the story, the Democrats get outraged, the pundits analyze it, the president rages and then Fox and the Republicans all line up like a bunch of robots and salute smartly. Then we reset until the next crisis, outrage or revelation. It's an exhausting cycle that never seems to get us anywhere and it's bred a fatalistic response in many of us: "Nothing matters."

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Turkish president threatens US over Trump’s insulting letter: ‘When the time comes necessary steps will be taken’

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an on Friday warned the United States that it would pay a price for the letter send by President Donald Trump that warned him that history "will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen" in northern Syria.

The letter, which also advised Erdo?an to not "be a tough guy" or "a fool," was widely ridiculed in the media for sounding childish. Erdo?an, however, said on Friday that he took the president's letter as a serious insult to his stature as a world leader.

As reported by the BBC's Jon Sopel, Erdo?an called out the president's letter for being out of line with standard diplomatic protocol, and he suggested his country would not forget how the president showed them such little respect.

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