Antievolution bill in Missouri deemed dead


"A new tack for trying to introduce supernatural explanations for the origin of life into Missouri's public school science classes appears dead this year," according [Link broken] to the Kansas City Star (April 2, 2006). The newspaper was referring to House Bill 1266, the so-called Missouri Science Education Act, which if enacted would have provided, "If a theory or hypothesis of biological origins is taught, a critical analysis of such theory or hypothesis shall be taught in a substantive amount." The chief sponsor of HB 1266 was Representative Robert Wayne Cooper (R-District 155), who in 2003 introduced two bills (HB 911; HB 1722) calling for "intelligent design" to be taught in the Missouri public schools.

Although HB 2006 was passed by a 7-6 vote by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee on March 16, 2006, the Star reported the committee's chairwoman (who voted for the bill) as saying that she simply lacked room for HB 1266: committees are permitted to submit only a limited number of bills to the floor. The Star also reported, "The bill was opposed by a wide range of teacher groups and school organizations, and several faith-based groups" and quoted the chief lobbyist for the Missouri affiliate of the National Education Association as expressing concern about the possible economic consequences of HB 1266: "We need to be doing our utmost to increase science literacy so our kids can compete."