Missouri Episcopalians say no to "intelligent design"


During its November 10-11, 2006, meeting, the 167th convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri adopted a resolution opposing the teaching of "intelligent design" in the public schools. According to the resolution, the convention "strongly affirms our belief in the Creator God, but nevertheless also strongly recommends that if 'intelligent design' is taught in Missouri, it should be taught in a religious context and in a religious setting, and it should not be mandated as an official part of the public school science curriculum in the state of Missouri." The appended rationale explains, "The intent of this resolution is to resist the introduction of religion into the science curriculum of our public schools and to maintain the separation of church and state."

In the last few years, four bills have been introduced in the Missouri legislature that, if enacted, would have compromised the teaching of evolution in the public schools. In 2003, House Bills 911 and 1722 called for equal time for "intelligent design"; in 2004, House Bill 35 called for biology textbooks used in the state to contain "a critical analysis of origins"; and in 2006, House Bill 1266 called for "critical analysis" of any "theory or hypothesis of biological origins" presented in the classroom. All of the bills died in committee, but HB 35 received a hearing from the House Education Committee, and HB 1266 was passed by a 7-6 vote by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. As in the past, NCSE will monitor creationist encroachments on public education in the Show Me state, as will local pro-science groups such as Missouri Citizens for Science [Link broken].