TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Hotly debated evolution bills that critics said would inject religious doctrine into public schools in the guise of science died on the final day of the legislative session.
House and Senate supporters, mostly Republicans, were unable to resolve their dispute over two versions of the legislation before the close of the session.
The Senate favored a bill that would have prohibited school officials from punishing teachers who used "scientific information" to challenge evolution. A House bill would have gone further, not just allowing such challenges but requiring that schools teach "critical analysis" of evolution.
The Senate version was based on model legislation advocated by the Discovery Institute, a Seattle organization that supports research on intelligent design. That theory holds that some features of the universe and living things can be explained by an "intelligent cause."
Some advocates claim their efforts are scientific in nature, but a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled that intelligent design is a religious concept. The Discovery Institute says no state has yet adopted its legislation, but five have included critical analysis requirements in their school science standards.
Florida Citizens for Science opposed the legislation, saying it would lead to a costly court challenge.