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Missouri bill to create ‘parental warning’ requirement to teach evolution debated

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Education in science will be opt-out in Missouri, if a bill requiring schools to notify parents if “the theory of evolution by natural selection” is being taught at their child’s school passes.

The bill proposed by Republican State Rep. Rick Brattin had its first public hearing Thursday. Brattin has described teaching only evolution in school as “indoctrination” to local TV.

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The language of the bill makes little provision separating discussion of the specifics of evolutionary biology from any other element of biology upon which evolutionary theory rests, like anthropology, examination of dinosaur fossils, genetic sciences, disease or modern medicine.

“My fear is that every mention of a fossil, every conversation about the development of organs and vital structures, every single mention about the genetic similarity that we share with other organisms could potentially be systematically whittled out of these student’s education,” wrote Maxton Thoman, a student columnist for the University of Alabama’s Crimson White. “In the end, a lack of an education in this field will put students behind the rest of their class, and the rest of the world for that matter, in a way that they will not be able to recover from – much like leaving out multiplication would severely hinder any further advancement in mathematics.”

The bill also provides for the right of parents to inspect all “curriculum materials used in the district’s or school’s evolution instruction” before they can be used in class.

The National Center for Science Education’s deputy director Glenn Branch said in letter online describing the bill that “House Bill 1472 would eviscerate the teaching of biology in Missouri. … Evolution inextricably pervades the biological sciences; it therefore pervades, or at any rate ought to pervade, biology education at the K–12 level. There simply is no alternative to learning about it; there is no substitute activity.” Branch added, “Teachers, schools, and districts would suffer as well. … The value of a high school education in Missouri would be degraded.”

It’s a par for the course kind of controversy for the bill’s sponsor. With Missouri facing court challenges over the procurement of drugs used in executions, Brattin submitted House Bill 1470, last month, which would allow the Department of Corrections to execute condemned prisoners by firing squad. “If the judgment of death is to be carried out by firing squad, the director of the department of corrections shall select a five-person firing squad consisting of licensed peace officers,” it reads.

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WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.

Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.

"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."

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John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police

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John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.

It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."

While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."

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Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent

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The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.

The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.

Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1267291138655956992

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