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Gore Favors Teaching Evolution

August 27, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Weighing in on a Kansas controversy, Vice President Al Gore’s office said Thursday he favors the teaching of evolution in public schools but would not oppose instruction in creationism if taught as part of a religious course.

``They may teach creationism in the context of a religious course; that is clearly up to the local districts to decide,″ said Alejandro Cabrera, speaking for Gore. He said Gore bases his opinion on court rulings that allow the teaching of creationism as part of a religious course but not as a science.

The Kansas state school board this month adopted new testing standards that play down the scientific importance of evolution. Local school districts will decide what subjects are taught but critics and advocates of the new standards say the decision could bring more religion into the classroom.

The U.S. Supreme Court has forbidden the teaching of creationism, the belief that a higher power created the universe, because of the religious foundation of that idea.

``The vice president favors the teaching of evolution in public schools,″ Cabrera said.

``Obviously that decision should and will be made at the local level and localities should be free to decide their own curriculum,″ he said.

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