Santorum Amendment

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The Santorum Amendment was a failed amendment to the "No Child Left Behind" bill in order to "promote the teaching of intelligent design while questioning the academic standing of evolution."[1]


In the early 2000s, then-Senator Rick Santorum was one of the biggest supporters of the Discovery Institute in Washington, DC. Santorum proposed his amendment, the wording of which is clearly influenced if not written by the Disco 'Tute, in 2001. It was passed by the Senate 91-8 on June 14, 2001. However, the House version did not contain the wording, and the amendment did not become law. The non legally-binding conference report does contain the following wording:

The Conferees recognize that a quality science education should prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society.

This has been repeatedly cited by Intelligent Design proponents as sanction for their aims, despite the lack of legal weight behind it. In 2003, Santorum—along with John Boehner and Judd Gregg—wrote a letter to the Discovery Institute to the effect that the amendment was "Congress's rejection of the idea that students only need to learn about the dominant scientific view of controversial topics," something which they seem to have taken to heart.

See also[edit]