Louisiana is the only state in the nation to enact a law that will likely change the way science is taught in public schools, The Advocate reported today. Opponents have repeatedly charged that the law is designed to inject religious views — Christian creationism and intelligent design — into long-settled science issues.

“It has definitely been a topic in states,” said Heather Chikoore, education policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. Lawmakers in four other states, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama and Missouri, debated similar bills this year, but they all failed to pass. A proposal in Michigan has thus far failed to gain support. The measure here, however, won final Senate approval 36-0 and cleared the House 94-3. Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the bill into law.

Backers claim the new rules will spark wide-open classroom debates, including arguments on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

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