Over the past several years the Republican Governor of Alabama has been trying to raise taxes to improve social programs and the state’s infrastructure. The other night Miss Alabama stated on television that Donald Trump is terrifying. Now, the state of Alabama is updating its educational curriculum to mandate the teachings of evolution and climate change. What is happening in Alabama? Has there been some form of alien invasion?

The updates to Alabama’s educational curriculum will include more experimentation and hands-on instruction with less lecturing. The new curriculum doesn’t require students to “believe” in evolution or climate change, they are just required to learn about the “theories” of both. Surprisingly, the Alabama Board of Education, which is mostly Republican, voted unanimously to approve the new standards.

Many on the board who have “very strong religious beliefs” were included in that vote. “We still have to teach what the science is,” said Michal Robinson, science specialist for the education board. “If students want to go into a science field in college or beyond, they have to have a foundation.”

Before, the state standard said that evolution should be understood as a theory, but it isn’t required teaching. The updated standards state:

The theory of evolution has a role in explaining unity and diversity of life on earth. This theory is substantiated with much direct and indirect evidence. Therefore, this course of study requires our students to understand the principles of the theory of evolution from the perspective of established scientific knowledge. The committee recognizes and appreciates the diverse views associated with the theory of evolution.

The Alabama Board of Education took a huge leap in putting their religious beliefs aside to make sure that students learn proper scientific methods and theories. This will help education in the long run.

For more on this story, visit AL.com.