Looks like the Utah Board of Education will be deciding the issue of evolution tomorrow. The Board lists a statement on evolution on their (9/2 agenda).
Everyone is watching with bated breath.
The web site does not include the statement.
There is a good chance that the statement will simply say that biology classes should just teach science ... and will caution teachers to avoid philosophical or religious views on the subject.
After all, there are wards next to all of the public schools; so there is a chance for the general authority to monitor and correct all of the crazy ideas (like science) that kids might learn in school.
I really don't think there's a big crowd of Utahn's wanting the state to be a nexus of controversy on evolution. Salt Lake has several big biotech firms, and the new Intelligent Design ideas are coming from groups that are hostile to LDS teachings. There are, however, quite a few Mormons (eg) who've jumped on the Intelligent Design wagon...especially in light of DNA evidence that the Indians did not descend from a lost tribe of Isreal.
I consumed several hours reading through the different things being pushed as "Intelligent Design." It really makes me sad that people have to waste time on such idiocies. It seems to me that there should be no conflict between evolution and religion. Evolution is not antispiritual. In my opinions both religion and science share the search for the truth.
Unfortunately, reading different web sites make me fear that there are religions that throw truth aside in search of power and control. The danger of evolution isn't that it attacks spirituality, the danger is that it attacks claims from various religious groups that they see the hidden meaning and power structures behind existence.
Acutally many of the philosophical systems (like Evolutionary Psychology) can be as bad as religions in shorting an authentic search for truth to support their own political structures. Philosophies that claim knowledge of the hidden Platonic forms behind evolution are bad as any religion. This was one of the tricks of the Nazis, they created a fiction that the Aryans were evolving into a super race.
Atheistic Dictators have used evolution to justify their genocides (for the good of our nation's gene pool, we must make the race of my enemies extinct!)
Often dicators add the words "just as the Americans pushed the Indians to near extinction."
I hope the Board of Education makes a sane and sound statement about teaching science in science classes and the importantance of avoiding philosophy dressed up as science. We will see. I hope they publish the statement on their site.