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Bill Requiring Equal Treatment of Intelligent Design and Evolution

A bill to be introduced in the current session of the Missouri General Assembly would require "the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design". House Bill 911 contains a long list of proposed definitions of terms and concepts such as "analogous naturalistic process", "biological intelligent design", "destiny", and "extrapolated radiometric data". It would require that "If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught and given equal treatment." The many provisions and requirements of HB911 are too numerous to summarize in this space, but the entire text is here.

The official summary of HB911 follows:
This bill prescribes definitions for the teaching of standard science in public elementary and secondary schools by distinguishing the differences between scientific law, scientific theory, and hypothesis and by requiring the equal treatment of viewpoints in written and orally presented material. The bill prescribes seven major criteria for the presentation of information in course materials and instruction. Textbook publishers must certify that their books meet the requirements of the bill, and the commissioner must post a list of suitable textbooks by January 1, 2006. Textbooks purchased after January 1, 2006, must meet the requirements of the bill, and all textbooks in use after January 1, 2016, must meet the requirements. The Commissioner of Education is required to appoint a committee of no fewer than five supporters of intelligent design who are knowledgeable about science to develop supplemental materials for interim use by September 1, 2005. Willful neglect of the requirements of the bill is cause for termination of a teaching contract. State-controlled testing must conform with the bill, and a copy of the bill must be posted in each eighth through twelfth grade public school classroom in which only science is taught.