Comments collected during 2004 about HB911 - based on answering this question:
"What is your opinion of the Missouri House Bill 911?"


Replies Received 29 Dec
    I believe that creation and evolution should both be discussed in the classroom. That said, I think the writers of this bill should also demand that evolution be discussed in the Churches, with the threat of the Church leaders losing their job if they refuse. And how about that bill number, "911"? We should all pray that our species evolves enough to stop fighting wars over our religious differences.

Replies Received 16 Sep-10 Oct
    OK, providing the insights of all faiths (together with the aetheist point of view) and the overwhelming evidence for Darwinian evolution are taught in religious lessons.

    The supporters of faith-based beliefs being taught in science classes are quick to point out that science itself is based on faith. Not really. Science is based on probability. Theories are advanced by the scientific community based on their ability to predict the outcomes of experiments with high probability. The higher the probability the more the theory is thought to explain the system under study. If an individual has faith in science as a means for determining the true nature of reality, that is a form of faith. But science itself is a methodology based on rational reasoning and not on faith. It should be taught as such because it is such a powerful methodology that has shown to be immensely accurate in its predictions - beyond the comprehension of scientists and non-scientists alike.

    This bill reflects the usual confusion anti-science advocates have over the word "theory." They think that it implies a tentativeness, when what it means is "this is the explanation that fits the data we have." The "Theory of Relativity" is a perfect example of this: it replaced the earlier description of how objects behave (Newton's Laws of Motion) by more accurately describing the situation in a larger set of circumstances. However, physicists await an improved theory ("Unified Field Theory") that will explain things that relativity does not. A major problem with this and other fundamentally anti-science proposals is that they will educate children who are unable to cope with decision-making in an increasingly science-and-technology-dominated world. If you don't understand biology how can you cope with decsions about stem-cell research, cloning, genetically engineered foods, advanced fertility techniques, or determining when someone is dead? And those are just biology-oriented issues current today.

    U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas 1981/82 defined "science". Until religious groups agree to change their belief when ample evidence is presented, their "beliefs" are not science and should NOT be taught in public schools

    This is bad. It, as usual, results from a misunderstanding of the word "theory" when used in science (as in "theory of evolution"). Theory, in science, means an explanation of what is observed. It does not imply that there is not evidence to support it. Most of science is composed of theories---and they are sometimes proven wrong, when new data and better theories come to light. The "Theory of Relativity" is a good example. It eliminated the previous theory (Newton's laws of motion) and has been fairly well established as representing reality for most circumstances. A better theory (Unified Field Theory) is anticipated, but has not been developed yet.
    The other problem, of course, is WHOSE intelligent design theory is to be taught along with scientific evolution. There is Judeo-Christian Creationism, but there are very different theories about the creation of the world, etc, in other religions. Will science teachers also teach that the world lies on the back of a turtle, as some Native Americans believed? Or that the world will end when a certain set of permutations is achieved, as some in India believe? or that this is but one of many cycles of creation, as Mayans believed? These would all be valid "theories" under that law. I have no objection to teaching all these religious ideas: comparative religion is fascinating. But it isn't the same as science (and it also wouldn't achieve the aim of the law's writers, which is not discussion, but indoctrination). Unfortunately, it will lead to students who do not understand science or how it works and will be at a serious disadvantage in our increasingly scientific and technological world. If you don't understand evolution (and genetics) can you talk sensibly about genetic engineering or cloning (to take two current hot topics)?

    Looks to be unconstitutional on it's face. If we cannot discuss God in the classroom - purportedly because of the requirement to separate churh and state - how are we to explain the creationist theory of (dare we say it?), uh, creation. Oh My, I just boobooed.

    I believe that Biblical Based Creation should be offered as an option. There is just as much information to substantiate the Bible option as the other "guesses" as to the origin of the universe. Facts can be offered without labeling it as Religion.

Replies Received 15 September
    First and foremost, it undermines education, and is itself mis-education. Second, it is a reflection of the worst instincts and impulses of humanity. The preference for unsupported and unsupported sophistries and supperstitions through brainwashing and fallacious reasoning and the fostering of ignorance is evil. These are our homegrown Taliban; given enough, they will take more...until we are all in their comfort zone: benighted, enslaved, but dressed in the cloth of their cutting. This evil must be fought; it is a slippery slope; and at the bottom is an abyss. Intelligent design is a boondoggle, a straw man, a shell game. There is no science to support it. It is a lie, a cheat, a dishonest ratiocination. It is the dreamchild of the fear-filled and fear-mongerers. It is the child and the parent of ignorance, the midwife of intolerance, it is the product of fear and the weapon of fear. The fundamentalists of all the major religions use similar lies about science in an attempt to garner authority for their belief systems. A Moslem once told me that quantum mechanics is to be found in the Koran. The fundamentalists want market share in belief, and feel insecure; dismantling scientific verity is their hope to gain control of others' minds. This bill is evil. Evil and stupid, and profoundly harmful. It is a step away from book burning; book burning is a step away from person-burning. It is ill-considered, unthought-through, and shamelessly wrong. It is the grossest lack of integrity. Paranoia and hatred are behind the intelligent design movement, not fact, not light, not truth, not love of creation. It is an attempt to fit the universe into prescribed pattern rather than a joyously observed.
    Et cetera.

Replies Received 07 September
    Speaking as a scientist and a Christian, I think that there is no place for faith-based beliefs (creationism) in the science classroom. Many creationists seem to be fearful of evolution. I do not understand this, as evolution is simply a change in organisms over time, which we KNOW occurs. God may still have an effect on this change (evolution), so evolution and creation are NOT mutually exclusive. The "scientific work" of creationists is not published in reputable, peer-reviewed science journals because it is not scientifically valid. If creationist research was valid, it would be publishable in these journals. (Note that the "Journal of Creation Science" or others like it are NOT reputable scientific journals.) Thus, these faith-based beliefs do not belong in a science classroom. That is the role of the parent and church.

Replies Received 01 September
    It will pur a little more balance in an unbalanced world. Go For it. If a person is paid, they should do as they are instructed to do. If their beliefs cause them to think their instructions from the "Boss" objectional, they should give back the money and not do what is objectional to them. That is professionalism.

Replies Received 26 August
    I think it cheapens religious faith to require that it be taught in schools as comparable to science. Science is based on the evaluation of data in support or refutation of theory. Religious faith, on the other hand, does not involve the gathering or analysis of data. Faith is faith. Religious beliefs are based on a feeling that something is true regardless of our observations. A faith in a God one cannot see is much more powerful than a belief in things that must be observed and tested. I think MO House bill 911 is a way to push a wedge between religious people, particularly Christians, and those who are either not Christian or not religious at all. I'm glad our federal constitution protects religion from government and government from religion. I hope the wall between church and state gets stronger not weaker.

Replies Received 25 August
    Evolution and Creationism should both be taught in school. Both are a religion and are faith based. We cannot prove either one happened and one should not be taught in priority over the other.

Replies Received 14 August
    Only science should be taught in public school science classrooms. I can't believe we're still having this discussion in the 21st century! Teach faith based "scientific" concepts in a comparative religion class or a social studies class, but not in a science class.

Replies Received 4 August
    Science and religion should NOT be mixed.

Replies Received 1 August
    As a science teacher in the public school system of Missouri, I am 100% opposed to this bill. Did it even make it out of committee? Are our state legislators going to vote on it? What is the status of this bill? I will be a test case if one is needed!

Replies Received 19 July
    I did not read the bill... but having said that, faith-based view points have flaws, much like the big-bang theory has flaws. However, the book of Genesis and other writings about what this earth is all about have a lot of validity and should be taught. Should we fire teachers if not?- We should fire anyone who fails to do their job, me included.

Replies Received 20 June
    yes, I agree that faith based ideas should be taught in the science classroom. Students who have beliefs in creationism, for example, should not be made to feel as though their beliefs are inferior to those of science.

    If faith based beliefs were to be taught in the classroom I seriously doubt that the backers of this idea would accept any other beliefs than their own. And if this were to be, would these faith based ideas be held to the same scrutiny and standards that science is held to? Science requires asking questions and credible evidence and proof, while religious beliefs only require that they be accepted - no questions. From that viewpoint it would in fact be a good idea as students will learn the difference between beliefs and science.

Replies Received 12 June
    Evolution is religion, religion is evolution. Creationism is religion,religion is creationism.
    We should strive to teach students the "scientific method" so that they themselves can learn what is fact. Neither Evolution or Creationism can be "proved" and therefore should be stated to our students just that way. It takes no faith to believe something that is provable. Let us focus on where we are going and teach these young skulls full of mush what will be needed in the future and not worry so much about the origins of life. I've never seen the question: Where did life originate? on a job application.

Replies Received 1 June
    foolish... bad bills make bad laws and hurt many

Replies Received 22 May
    Whose faith gets taught? Everybody's? What if different faiths teach opposite "facts"/beliefs/theories? E.g. flat earth; diseases are caused by God, not by bacteria, viruses, deficiencies; women can't get pregnant unless they're married; etc. Ridiculous and impossible! Simply put, religious faith is NOT SCIENCE!! That is why it does not belong in science class!! Scientific theories are backed up with a huge amount of DATA (not stories from the bible). This is why our democracy is SUPPOSED to have separation of church and state, and PUBLIC schools are NOT vehicles for religious proselytizing. I suspect that if Missouri were to adopt one faith that would be the source of "science", and that faith were Islam, Judaism, or Wiccan, the proponents of this idea would disappear fast. -- a science teacher and science staff developer

Replies Received 13 May
    I'm glad that my children aren't going to school in Missouri.

Replies Received 11 May
    Good Idea. Aren't teachers that do not teach evolution fired? Our children children should have exposure to all "theories", not just those that some individuals believe.

Replies Received 9 May
    Our country was founded by God fearing men, basing it's values, laws and constitution on God's Word. By all means God's creation should be taught in school - He is the basis of all! Some kids might not ever hear it at home - school is a place to learn so why not teach them something that will help them through all of life! Hooray for House Bill 911!

    The previous writer helps make an important and revealing point about the insidious nature of HB911. This bill is about forcing religion, a particular one at that, on children in public schools.

Replies Received 27 April
    Obviously the virus that affected the Kansas School Board a few years ago has spread to Missouri.

    The Biblical account of creation should be offered as one of the possibilities - especially since this is the oldest of all "theories"! It was offered when I was in school - and it certainly didn't hurt my education. It gave me a sense of having all possibilities and being able to make up my own mind as to the "truth"!

Replies Received 23 April
    It is unbelievable in this day and age that such bills have a chance of passing. Intelligent design is not founded in science. For some thing to be scientific it must be a testable and be able to be supported or unsupported by data. Intelligent design is a belief not a scientific theory. It is nothing more than creationism in a cheap tuxedo. Isn't it time we allow our children to recieve the best possible scientific education.

Replies Received 19 April
     I take a look at the bill and I see no mention of God. I wonder then how this can be thrown in as a violation of church and state. I think these faulty statements come from those who haven't even read the first ammendment or the contents of the bill. Your support for this bill is an encouragement to those who sponsored it. They have the negative feedback is much greater than the positive. I encourage each of you, if you find within your hearts to voice your support for this bill, either here or in direct emails to the sponsors. Please, this is needed to offer our children a chance to think for themselves instead of using sure-fire scientific methods such as circular thinking (one constantly used for the support of evolution).

    While the previous writer is correct that the word "God" is not in the Bill these words are throughout the Bill; "Intelligence-directed design", "intelligent design", and "Intelligence". If this is not a reference to "God" than to whom is this directed toward? Who or what is the source of the 'intelligence'? And is there any proof for the existence of it?

Replies Received 18 April
    We have Freedom OF Religion in this country - not Freedom FROM it, and I think it is refreshing that it is allowed to be taught when before it wasn't. In fact, we just had an instance in our small town where a new teacher was really upsetting the students with they way she was approaching it and her avidness of the evolution theory, etc. The students were very offended and pretty much put a stop to it themselves. But I think if she would have been required to talk on both, the matter would have been a mute point since both sides would have a voice. She still maybe would have skewed things the way she believed, but at least she may not have been so offensive.

    The constitution specifically forbids religion from public schools. There is no debate about that law. What IS evident is that lately the government has been favoring a particular religious belief. Sadly Missouri HB 911 (Standard Science) is not about equal treatment but rather it is an attempt to force a particular religion and its beliefs on others.
    If you want to believe in intelligent design or other faith-based origins do so, but at your own home or place of worship.
    I am looking forward, as another writer put it, for the evidence of any kind to verify the religious notions of origins. At the least subject these religious beliefs to the same criteria science is going to be held to under Missouri HB911.

Replies Received 15 April
    Macroevolution is not an empirical science, it is more forensic in nature. Its evidence is more appropriate for the court room than for the laboratory. It is an historical science that has not been observed or tested. It is about time the students learn about the weaknesses of the theory. Useing the book, "The Icons of Evolution" as a supplimental text would be a great eye-opener for both student and instructor. It will generate much critical thinking. We want our children to be able to think, not to be indoctrinated.

    As long as the the faith-based theory of creation is suggested for being imposed on others, why not include all faith-based theories as well. Don't forget, religion IS based on a theory that cannot be proven by any means.

Replies Received 13 April
    I believe they should refer to the U.S. Constitution - remember separation of Church and State? I believe we have enough to teach right now without ill-informed politians giving teachers more to do. Frankly, these legislators should spend time solving real problems - like educational finance - instead of wasting time on an illegal idea.

Replies Received 9 April
    As long as the the faith-based belief in evolution is being taught, why not other faith-based theories as well. Don't forget, evolution IS a theory that cannot be proven by empirical evidence.

Replies Received 03 April
    I feel that this bill is appropriate and needed. Initial opposition is to be expected. There are so many facts and evidences that support the theory of intelligent design, I wonder if many of those that have responded have even taken a good and hearty look at what these evidences are. Since origins can never actually be proven, it makes sense to offer the only other viable alternative to macroevolution. All I hear is, "It isn't science," I must ask myself then, are a bunch of ever changing hypothesis true science? Look at many of the evidences such as the anglerfish, bombardier beetle, cleaner fish and others. If you take a nice, long look at the numbers for macroevolution to take place from inorganic materials, you have to realize that this too is nothing short of supernatural. Give both sides (and there are two valid sides) to the child and let him/her (or it, as some evolutionists might say) decide for themsleves. After all, there shouldn't be much to worry about, for if macroevolution were true, then the survival of the fittest will survive, right? I completely support this bill and think it is the best route for our public schools, but more importantly, our children (or our little advanced primates as some evolutionists might say).

Replies Received 29 March
    Finally, a law that makes sense! At last, our students can learn the truth about Odin and Thor and how lightning and thunder is really made. Now our students can hear the other side and not have to be subjected to the 'theories' pushed by the godless secularist elitist scientists! Praise Thor!

    I think it is ludicris and am absolutely tired of the pawns of religion trying to push their beliefs on us. I thought we had made social scientific progress in the last 100 years, but apparently we are working our way back in time to the point of convincing children that scientific facts do not exist - and teaching them to avoid facing overwhelming evidence.

Replies Received 21 March
    Like Carl Sagan, I have faith in an "intelligence that antidates the Universe", I call it God, but faith belongs at "faith-based" institutions--evidence belongs in the classroom--I disagree with the Bill!

Replies Received 19 March
    I want to make the following points: Macroevolution is not based on magic as some would argue. It is not appropriate to label those who accept evolution as being atheistic.
    While the Pope may not be a scientist I do not believe that he is an atheist. In 1996 Pope John Paul II stated that God was the creator and that "the evidence for evolution from many scientific fields is very strong."
    Beliefs about evolution and creationism should be debated but not taught as HB911 would require of public school science teachers. Under our constitution we are gauranteed freedom from religion as much as we are given the freedom to practice our religion. Let's keep it that way.

    They should be given equal consideration. This allows students to debate the issue with each other. They can then make up their own mind.

Replies Received 12 March
    If you want to present an intelligent reply to House Bill 911, please proofread your response. Otherwise, one may believe you are a complete idiot. (from Webmaster: While I agree with the idea of 'looking good' with correct punctuation and spelling, it is not my intent to alter any comments posted - regardless of the writing style. They appear as they are submitted.)
    It's bad science and bad policy. The definitons of law, theory and hypothesis are laughable. Laws descibe what happens, but provide no explanation why things happen as they do. Theories explain broad areas of science (like the atomic theory) and have lots of support.

Replies Received 09 March
    I think what has been widely overlooked is the fact that the U.S. constitution provides us with not only freedom of religion but also freedom FROM religion. That is to say that all of us in this country are free to hold religious beliefs or to reject them. ID implies the existence of a god. What of those who have chosen not to believe in any god? In short, evolution is based on empirical evidence, whereas ID is filled to the brim with assumptions.

Replies Received 07 March
    I run a website devoted exclusively to the current Missouri bill HB911, the creationism law. My site is very much opposed to the legislation, but I am hoping to make it a centralized site for resources regarding the Missouri bill and others like it.
See the Links page for this web site address.

Replies Received 02 March
    Rediculous, when will she have time to teach just simple science. Keep this stuff in churhes.

Replies Received 01 March
    Intelligent Design is the politically-correct way for the religious right to push their creationist agenda in the realm of politics instead of science where it has decidedly not faired very well.

    thats wrong and i would vote against it.

Replies Received 23 February
    Why not the Standard Religion Bill instead? That way places of worship would be required to post a dislaimer that says that while there is no credible evidence for a 'supreme entity', there are, however, some who do believe in such a thing.

         I think that this bill should be approved. What are evolutionists afraid of by allowing an alternative to be taught right alongside the religion (not science) of evolution?
    Why not teach faith based science, too? Are the athiests worried they may have to admit there is actually a creator if this info is introduced in the science classrooms?
    Completely in favor. We need text books that teach both sides of science. Then students can make a thoughtful decision.
    Do Not pass. Bad for education. Bad for science

Replies Received 20 February
    Stephen Jay Gould once said that science and theology did not conflict since they existed in different realms. Science is a purely material view about material objects. Theology is purely spiritual and about spiritual matters. A scientist would be as ill equipped to teach about theology as a theologian would be to teach about science. It would be foolish to try to combine them and would lead to errors in both fields.

Replies Received 13 February
    This bill certainly supports my belief that there is nothing useful left for our elected officials to do when elected. Anyone who supports new laws in this country needs to stop and think about freedom. Every time some public official introduces mandatory action of more specifics groups of people, i.e., textbook companies, teachers, supporters of "intelligent design," they are whittling away at all of our freedom. This includes the whole idea of providing multiple "theories" and letting children decide. If you have nothing better to do, stay at home and quit trying to justify your seat!

    Have the sponsors of the bill ever read the Constitution? Why are they spending time and resources on an obviously unconstitutional bill? Who the hell elected these bozos?

Replies Received 12 February
    This is insane!

Replies Received 8 February
     As a science teacher of grands 9 - 12 this is a dangerous bill. Who will judge the "theological muster" of my teaching? My pastor a Methodist or yours? I am convinced that we will probably differ in theological beliefs eventually. Then who is the judge? Who will police this?

     These are just some thoughts I had as you wade into this debacle of a debate.
     In my philosophy class in college (a zillion years ago?) this debate was already occurring - was there evidence of God? The watch was found in the woods, and it did not naturally exist in those woods (ah, there is the mistake with this analogy relating to evolution and the Nature of Science, how do we prove the existence of God without faith?) therefore there must have been a creator who created the watch even though we don't know who it is.
     The religious advocates have the sense that evolutionary processes alone cannot account for the diversity and existence of life on our planet. Their biggest issue is that we cannot PROVE evolution therefore alternative ideas (theories) are equally valid.
     You might want to read T Rex and the Crater of Doom by Alvarez. There are years and years of scientific evidence, which supports the development of evolutionary theory, piece by piece.
     The problem arises when the lawmakers in Jeff City don't want to have to tell their conservative constituents, whether they are Baptist, Methodist, or AOG, that they voted anti-GOD by voting against HB911.
     We can talk about the scientific method and the nature of science, but the bottom line is science is not taught in church and we shouldn't advocate or teach religion in the guise of science in our public schools. There are schools where teachers don't have to separate religion from what they teach in science class and these private schools are available throughout our state.
     Let's not mask this bill with a scientific chocolate coating. This debate is not about whether we can "prove" the existence of God or what constitutes a scientific inquiry. The reality is that this bill is about the return of religion into the classroom in the guise of educational equity. It is not the job of science teachers to uphold the moral code of society, nor can we put teachers in the position of deciding which version of Intelligent Design they should support. Are you willing as lawmakers to now, establish whose version of Intelligent Design we should accept and whose we version we should reject?
     Let's say, this bill passes and we are asked to teach about Intelligent Design in public schools along side evolution. What should we do when the Catholic version of ID is different from the Baptist version? What about the AOG version, which believes that the Earth is only 7000 years old and uses Intelligent Design? Do we teach that, too? If I was Muslim, couldn't I get my version of the beginning of life told, my Intelligent Designer? Muslim's use the 7-day creation theory similar to Christian beliefs. Should we teach this 7-day Creation in literal terms? How many of you agree with the Muslim Q'ran that the Earth was created in 6- 7 days? (see the links page)
     What about the Native Americans whose version of the beginning of the world began with an Eagle or a Turtle with the world on its back? What about the Garden of Eden? What does Buddha say? What do we say to people who want us to teach the Hindu version, Mormon version, Taoist, Shinto, or the Scientology version of the Earth's creation?
So pick one for all of "us" schools to teach throughout Missouri. Remember to make sure and tell us whose views about Intelligent Design we should leave out. Only, please don't pretend it has anything to do with science.
     Ok, why not propose a bill as an alternative, which allows for the development of a class in Sociology or History or Philosophy Departments in High Schools. This class could examine different religious teachings and philosophies, and their views of creation, intelligent design, evolution and ID? Remove the debate from the scientific arena and place it where it belongs, in a history or philosophy class.
Ultimately, the scientific community are not anti-ID, anti-creation, nor anti-God. We are Pro-Science and we support the real pursuit of scientific understanding, inquiry and science education in our schools.
     We do not support forcing the divisive inclusion of one religious point of view into the science classroom or public school system. We would never tolerate this forced intrusion of religion into any other government institution. From the Top of the Capitol to the laundry in the basement, we could never force this religious instruction on people who work in those jobs. The school system is No Different!!
     So Missouri wants to teach religion and call it "science." Let them. Science competence in Missouri will plummet, their graduates will be increasingly unfit for high-tech jobs, and eventually the whole thing will collapse. Of course, many teachers will be hurt, or have to move elsewhere, first, and so will many blameless students, but they probably won't be dissuaded until and unless it's allowed to blow up in their faces.
     House Bill 911 is an attempt to lessen the ability of a teacher to teach. It is a horribly veiled attempt by legislators ignorant of the scientific process to bring religion squarely into public schools.

Replies Received 6 February
     Why do so many feel so threatened by the presentation of ALL theories?? "Me thinks thou protests too much." I, too , think this is a waste of our taxpaying dollars, especially given our financial climate. And for what purpose?

Replies Received 5 February
It's a tremendous step backwards, and if passed, would make a laughingstock of the state

Replies Received 4 February
     This bill is a perfect example of the joining of church and state that has become increasingly more prevalent in recent years. The only science that should be taught to children is that which is supported by empirical scientific evidence. Also, to all persons on this site who believe that this bill is supported only by Catholic, you are mistaken. As a graduate of a very prestigous Catholic high school and grade school, I can say from experience that we are taught about evolution and evolution only in our science classes, all else is kept to religion classes. Aslo, it is now believed by most Catholics that evolution is correct, and this does not conflict with our religious beliefs as long as we believe that God had a part in the original spark of life (this statement was told to me by a number of Catholic priests).

     Proposing to include certain mythologies within a science classroom is an obvious failure on these Representatives part to understand what science is. Science is based on testable ideas which can be proven true or false but, again, are testable. Last I checked faith, by it's very definition, is untestable. If you and/or your children desire to learn and believe in creationism than I strongly recommend Sunday services not weekday science classrooms.

Replies Received 3 February
     I would much rather see the state of Missouri design a theology course required by all students before graduation. As a science teacher, I am certainly not qualified to conduct a sermon on Sunday mornings. Why would you want your science teachers teaching religion in your child's classroom anyway? I'm in my 8th year of teaching in this state and we have done nothing but take giant leaps backwards, especially when it comes to education. I hate to play the "politics card", but it isn't surprising that all of the bill's sponsors are Republican. Is the religious sector also behind this, because if so, maybe they would like to help make up for the lost funding in education that the Republicans have given us already.

     I believe if this bill passes it will underminded the value of education in our state and greatly dimminish the abilties of our students to reason and defend scientific priniples in a logical manner.

Replies Received 1 February
     I think it's an attempt to not only allow, but to mandate, the teaching of fundamentalist Christian religion in public classrooms. Maybe we should follow the example of some Muslims in the Middle East and provide our students with a fundamentalist Christian education and do away with all those pesky subjects like Math, Science, and History. Think of the cost savings!

Replies Received 30 January
     Are you kidding me? Seriously, the people bhind this bill must be catholics. Only a catholic would try to convert every student in every school in Missouri. Frankly, im disgusted.

     For people who supposedly want science to be taught rationally, I'm amazed at the great emotion evident in many of the opposing comments below. The fear being generated is not about the establishment clause. It's about protecting a sacred cow.
     I am a high school biololgy teacher at a catholic high school. When I read this bill I was appalled. I sincerely hope that this bill does not pass, otherwise I would consider leaving the teaching profession.
     The idea of equal time is as American as equal rights. however, The problem here is not providing students with multiple ideas and let them decide. If this were the case none of the christians arguing for this bill would allow for a true presentation of the intelligent design hypothesis. True equal time and comparison idesa would have to present the physical evidence (which there is none for intelligent design), and the limitations of both ideas. Most christian Americans would not stand for their beliefs to be scrutinized and criticised for its faults in a public school. We say public school is for the free exchange of ideas but it is a phallacy beyand true compare. People dont want their science to taught as a philosophy, they want it taught as hard fact and if that is the case, intelligent design falls extremely short ofany kind of science. Sure science can be biased, but as long as the scientist recognizes this, he/she can take steps to avoid it. Faith on the other hand makes no attempt in avoidng bias in its conclusions because it begins with the presupposed idea that "god" created the earth and man. The idea is nothing more than a craftily worded pseudoscience hypothesis.

Replies Received 29 January
     The textbook requirement is probably a big obstacle. Otherwise, this bill is NOT the horrible monster that many liberals, "scientists" and educators will say it is. Intelligence does not equate to religion. The design hypothesis has better evidential support than conventional evolutionary theory.

It blows, wtf were you thinking, teachers could use bogus text books to teach the class, like age of mythology, idiots.

Replies Received 28 January
     Interesting possibility... A biology teacher could (if I'm interpreting correctly) base a curriculum on the "hypothesis" that life on earth was created by intelligent beings from outer space. "Chariots of the Gods" could be the textbook! It would be an entertaining semester.

     Why stop with evolution? There are many other theories that tick somebody off. Check out the Flat Earth Society for evidence of an alternative to Standard Science geology. How about evidence that the law of universal gravitation breaks down at small accelerations? Even in a philosophy class, it is clear that not all ideas are created equal. If the principle is to teach every theory as being equally valid, doesn't that sound like the scientific version of the moral relativism that proponents of intelligent design find so repugnant?
I feel that this BIll violates the seperation of Church and State because even "Scientific Creation" put a creator in charge.
     I wonder how many respondents to this web site have actually looked at the proposed legislation. Regardless of the debate between creationism and evolution House Bill 911 is very clear in what it proposes. If it passes as written then public school teachers, regardless of their religion, will be required to teach a Christian belief. In other words the government of Missouri is favoring a specific religion and forcing this religion on public school students and teachers. If the teachers do not comply they will be fired.
You can think what you want about origins of life because that's the beauty of freedom of religion. However as soon as governemnt, state or federal, starts favoring religious beliefs by requiring them to be taught in public schools then something is terribly wrong not only with government but also with the folks promoting this.
It sounds awful
     Why is including intelligent design watering down curriculum? Isn't science about looking at all of the evidence available? Forget the whole idea about a creator for now--life shows to be to complex to have happened by chance. As science progresses in biochemistry and we open up the insides of a cell we learn more and more about how things happen. The more science shows us about the cell, the more we see that it is way to complex to have happened by chance. Allow new and alternative theories to be taught so that we are not close minded to all of the evidences.

Replies Received 27 January
     This is a waster of public money and time. As a someone who comes from a technical background I am appalled that the State goverment would consider such a mis-use of public schools. This Bill will only further reduce the already poor state of this states science education.

Replies Received 26 January
     Since they cannot teach creationism at school, they came up with this idea of "intelligent design", what a waste of our tax money.
Thank God I am atheist!

     if school is an arena for ideas to be presented, then all ideas should be presented. Critical thinking is done when more than one theory is presented. This allows the students to ask questions, weigh the evidence and make decisions for themselves. Don't wait until they are adults to learn how to think for themselves. What is everyone afraid of??!! The truth...?

Replies Received 25 January
     Considering the fact that our country continues to show declining scores in science and math on standardized tests, the last thing we need is a bill that supports the teaching of religion as science.
     Creationism, in any form, is an antiscientific worldview. Teaching it as science undermines the very essence of scientific inquiry - the scientific method. To call "intelligent design" a theory, from a scientific point of view, is a joke. A scientific theory is a hypothesis, or a group of related hypotheses, which has been confirmed through repeated tests or experiments. If phenomena are observed that are contradictory to the theory, more inquiry takes place, and the theory is modified.
     The proponents of "Intelligent design" are attempting to transform a speculation, superstition, or religious belief into science by labeling it a "theory", even though it has not been formulated through rigorous scientific inquiry. They then attempt to equate this with evolution, stating that evolution "can't be proven".
     It is true that science cannot "prove" anything, because there is always a chance that new information will come to light. However, I wouldn't advise walking off of a rooftop into thin air because gravity is "just a theory" and can't be proven. The question here is scientific merit, and "intelligent design" has none.
     I have no issue with the "Intelligent design" speculation being expressed in, say, a comparative religions course. Or a theology course. Or a philosophy course. But one thing is for sure - "Intelligent Design" is NOT science. To hold it in equal regards, scientifically, as evolution, is to raze the foundations of science.

If you can't prove it, don't teach it.

Replies Received 24 January
     Creationism and intelligent design have nothing to do with science and would more appropriately be taught in a comparative theology class. I question whethere these representatives are actually representing their constituencies or their personal agendas.

The introduction of this bill proves evolution does not work because we have elected Neanderthals to the state legislature.

Replies Received 23 January
I think we should give students all the information about how we got here.

It will dilute science and it will dilute religon. These ideas are to be taught in the home or in a faith based program-not the public schools!
     I am a science teacher and I am all for it. It's about time we are able to teach science as is should be taught. All evidence should be introduced and discussed.
     I have a suggestion. Since HB911 clearly violates the constitutional protection from religous intrusion into public schools why not be really 'fair and balanced' and allow evolutionists and others to speak at Sunday Church Services.
     Religion whether Christian or otherwise was created by man to feed his ego. We need to feel superior to the natural world around us and belief in a supreme-being allows us to do that. We dont want to feel insignificant so we created a supreme-being to give our life meaning. the only meaning to life is "life" itself. Intelligent design is an effort to make reasonable people who understand the process of science still feel special when their science brings them to the conclusion we are just part of this world around us; we are as much a part of it as all other living things and got her the same way they did, as aproduct of natural physical processes which includes evolution. any denial of said fact is an attempt to bury your head in the sand.
     Intelligent design is as far from science as jello is to mud. It is fact a carefully worded argument that has is founded in pseudo-science where one starts with a presupposition based on faith in a supreme-being and fits the data to support that supposition. Science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of a supreme-being. that is the nature of faith. You believe because you believe, not because any empirical physical evidence is provided. science only deals with those things that can be tested. Evolution is essentially a fact. There are mountains of empirical experimental data to show that evolution does occur, has occurred, and will occur. The origin of life is a prediction of evolutionary theory. Any interpretation otherwise is a phallacy on either side of the issue. Teaching of evolution in our public schools is difficult and fraught with problems. Problems that exist due to many people's miss understanding of science. Our science education should focus on teaching what science can and cannot do and the nature of what we call "fact." Its a lesson in epistemology,"How do we know what we know?" Religion uses faith to justify its belief, whereas science uses empirical testable evidence.
     Those people who are saying "Scary legislation" are the ones who scare me. The practice of preventing the free exchange and exploration of new ideas, preventing critical thinking by hiding information, and attacking anyone who disagrees with their own thoughts. Now that is, to me, scary!! The only way to water down science is to prevent information from being presented. I'm sure these same people would have said "scary new idea" about Christopher Columbus saying the world was round. Or how about this one, "scary new Idea" maggots don't arise spontaneously out of meat. Or "scary new theory" The world revolves around the sun. All of these scientific discoveries were made by people who ignored the masses and used critical thinking to challenge, and later disprove, older, well accepted theories. For scientists to now think that a theory is above critique and attempt to silence all critical objections, brings to mind and old saying. "Those who don't know their history, are doomed to repeat it."
     When I read these responses I am amazed at how ignorant some of these "so called" intelligent people are. They tout the First Amendment Establishment clause while apparently having no idea what the clause actually says. Do a search of the Constitution and show me the words "Separation of Church and State." They don't exist!! The Clause says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" This bill was written to prevent Congress from passing a law that says , for example, the Catholic church is the official church of the United States and everyone had to belong to that church. No place does the constitution say that a school employee (who is obviously not a congressman) can't discuss a topic (obviously not passing a law) that may or may not have a religious undertone. Now if we were to stand in front of our classroom and say that everyone had to join the Southern Baptist church then I would say we were possibly violating the first amendment.
     I am not sure what evolutionists are afraid of here. They say we will weaken science but no place does the bill say we can't, or will not, teach evolution. It simply states that we will teach all the theories and students will be able to hear all the evidence and then make up their own mind. Now isn't that what science and education are supposed to be about? Teaching students to take in information and use critical thinking skills to make an informed decision. We should never base our educational system on hiding or legislating information out of the classroom. I think that those against this bill are the ones who are trying to water down education by hiding information and not allowing students to become critical thinkers. After all we still teach spontaneous generation in science and how critical thinking eventually disproved it. Yet in the same textbooks evolutionists are basically re-packaging spontaneous generation in the form of chemical evolution (which was disproved) and then attempting to keep out any critiques against it. That's the true "SCARRY LEGISLATION."
     If we really teach our kids to be critical thinkers then they will be able to take information about a topic and give students the ability to synthesize it and come up with an informed conclusion. But I'm sure that's what those who would seek to prevent both sides from being taught are actually scared about after all.
     this bill is a mockery of any reasonable level of science education. The sponsor's of this bill themselves could use a refresher course on the nature and philosphy of science.

Replies Received 22 January
"Intelligent design" is NOT SCIENCE and should not be taught as science.

Evolution is not science and should not be taught in school or anywhere else.

Replies Received 21 January
     It seems like an attempt to wedge religious education into the schools under the pretext of science - in addition to being anti-evolutionary. I suppose I have more "faith" in the scientific method than I do in the interpretation of religious texts.

     As a geosciences student I feel that this bill will cripple the scientific community. The relevance of God is a religious and philosophical debate and has no place in the scientific method. If Missouri hopes to in any way continue to be a technologically relevant state that is capable of producing good scientists then it must not pass this bill. God's presence and 'intelligent design' don't truly bear any relevance to science. The evidence supporting evolution is strong, but I've never seen any evidence for creationist ideas, not because they haven't been searched for, but because it cannot be proven empirically hence it's not science.

Replies Received 20 January
     This bill is a good idea. It will allow more than one theory to be expressed to a student, giving the student a right to decide what the more plausible theory is.

I am in favor of the bill. I think it is only fair to allow both views to be taught and will encourage critical thinking in children.

     Missouri House Bill 911, the so-called "Missouri Standard Science Act," pre-filed on 12/19/2003, contains language that is problematic in several ways.
     First, the bill in its entirety violates the American principle that we have separation of church and state. Many Catholics, Protestants, Unitarians, Quakers, Jews, Muslims, Bah's, Hindus, Buddhists, and Taoists will find its religious language alien. Children of diverse faiths and their parents will object to the content of science courses (in "physics, chemistry, biology, health, physiology, genetics, astronomy, . . . geology, paleontology, anthropology, . . .") if and when they are taught in compliance with the law. So will many of the teachers. Indeed, how will teachers prepare to teach science courses if their faiths contradict the narrow religious views mandated by the bill? I have talked with one Buddhist and one Catholic teacher who turned pale at the prospect. And the bill states that noncompliance with the law by a superintendent, principal, or teacher "shall be cause for termination of his or her contract."
     Second, the scientific language in the bill is nave and 70 to 100 years out of date. In addition, the scientific techniques, procedures, and scientific findings that it mentions are not only decades out of date, most are poorly understood, and some are simply factually incorrect. A case in point is criterion (3) for instruction [on page 5 of the copy of the bill which has been circulated], which would make it illegal for physicists to teach the wave and particle theories of light.
     Third, all "AP" (advanced placement ) science courses in the state will have to be done away with. They utilize tight curricula and exams designed expressly to prepare students for standardized national exams. They are the most advanced and demanding courses taught in our high schools and no compromise with their content would be feasible. Sadly, these are the very courses that prepare our children for admission to the nation's leading colleges and universities.
     Finally, there is a fatal inductive fallacy in the argument of part (3) (e) of the bill.

Replies Received 19 January
This is another attempt to teach religion in public schools. The is no scientific basis for intelligent design. The bill is especially scary becuase it threatens teachers and administrators with dismissal if they do not preach its line.

     I do not support this bill. Science can only be taught by giving students a solid grounding in the scientific method. That is to say, students need to learn how science is done before they can learn what science can reveal about the natural world. The scientific method calls for validation of hypotheses by observations or experiments. The hypothesis of evolution is now, and has been continually tested by observations and experiments since it was formulated in the 19th century. Intelligent design on the other hand does not offer any testable hypotheses. The idea of ID is simply proposed to students and then natural phenomena that seem to support it are simply cited. No proof is given for these assertions, and students are not told of any way to test them for themselves. Thus the teaching of ID asks nothing of students but rote memorization. No appreciation how these results were obtained is ever given because, in fact, The ideas of ID simply come from the Bible and require no methodology or critical thinking to obtain. Therefore, intelligent design should not be taught in science classrooms because it is not scientific in its basis. By all means, go ahead and teach it - just keep it out of science classrooms where students are supposed to learn critical thinking skills not lists of unsupported 'facts' from people and/or textbooks with a hidden agenda.

Replies Received 18 January
     Not only are these sponsors sucked into the intelligent design vacuum, they are clearly nervous about radiometric dating as well! Definitions of things like "theories" are recast in their own version of Newspeak. The emphasis on written history and "empirical evidence" would place Missouri science students squarely in the middle of the 19th century - right where the ID folks want them! I haven't seen anything this outrageous since some legislators in Arkansas tried to do this a couple of years ago. Maybe they sneaked across the border.

Right-wing, fundamentalist Christian dogma
     I do not support it. The proposers of the bill have forgotten that the "faith-based" theory lacks even more substantial evidence than some of the scientific theory. Thousands and men and women across the globe are working towards uncovering the mysteries of life and evolution and doing a great job. This bill is step in the wrong direction and limits what little critical thinking is left in today's school systems.

Replies Received 17 January
What the hell does this have to do with astronomy.
If you're going to have social issues web site, be honest about it.

Present BOTH ideas of origins. Let the student decide. Why do we have to indocrinate them with only one unscientifc-philisophical view.
     The only reason people deny God is because they do not want to account to anyone for their actions. God would not be God if someone or something created God. There are two choices: Either there is a God or their isn't-both are freightning. I feel sorry for those who choose the latter. The Bible says that there will be scoffers in those days.
     Thank you for an opportunity to express opinions either pro or con without, at least I am assuming, no editing or censorship.
I guess my concern is that there is an assumption that there are only two acceptable theories. That is pretty narrow minded in my opinion. The bill says equal time for all faith-based theories, not just the two that appear to be the crux of this discussion.

Replies Received 15 January
     The evolutionary philosophy has been indoctrinated into undiscerning elementary, middle, and high school students for so long that they never asked for the experimental evidence (of which there is none by the way)for this closet racist philosophy. Students were taught to believe not question. When students did develop the courage to question this new religion of "science" they were ridiculed. So when they entered college the evolutionary religion was accepted as fact without question because students were still gullible and undiscerning. The new science teachers turned out by colleges bought into evolution because they had faith not data and the vicious cycle of undiscerning students and teachers continues. The problem resides in the fact that most evolutionary biologists haven't had enough chemistry and physics to realize their beloved religion of evolution is impossible on any timescale or in any dimension. Why has the value for the age of the earth gone up five orders of magnitude in the last 50 years? Could it be that punctuated equilibrium and you can't see it because it happened to fast or was it too slow evolution or we don't have enough fossils because, doesn't hold water without an ancient earth. Evolutionary philosophy belongs in 19 century literature class. True scientists are not afraid of a debate over experimental data or different philosphies for that matter. I'm from Missouri show me the data.

Replies Received 16 January
     I am a high school science teacher. This bill needs to be passed. If evolution is such a scientific fact, than why would "evolutionary scientist" be afraid that intelligent design be taught with it. Macroevolution is NOT science. The textbook is filled with frauds, hoax's, and lies. If this bill is not passed, I wish they would pass a bill to just drop both. Science is testable, observable. Macroevolution is none of these. It has nothing to do with "separation of church and state". I have a question for my college professors. Where did the information (genes) come from that allow humans to have the Broca's area (which allows us, and only us) to speak? There are so, so many flaws and unscientific data in this theory. Open your mind and think about it-its not rocket science. Evolution is going to be the biggest joke that ever was-someday. There are too many scientist, material, and truly educated people to except this and say nothing anymore. It is only the law of "separation of church and state" and lawyers that is allowing this fraud to even continue. By the way, if you want to mention the bible, many scientific facts today, were first mentioned in the bible. When many people beleived the Earth was flat, Christopher Columbus read the verse in the bible about "the circle of the Earth" and was inspired. Also, what came first, the DNA that codes for the proteins, or the proteins that are needed to replicate DNA? Both are needed simultaneously. Doctors used to believe that making people bleed would make them better. They should have read the verse in the Bible that reads "the life is in the blood". The Bible can be used as factual historical data. Also, as a teacher, I have had several students thank me for sharing both theories of origins. I am an educator-not a person who indoctrinates young minds. I allow them to choose, and with the supporting evidence, it isn't too difficult. Lets take the lies out of the textbooks and fill it only with true science.

I believe evolution is an intelligent design!
     I love it! Let's expand our minds. Let us be honest, we all have a religion. Either you believe "In the beginning there was God" or "In the Beginning there was dirt". By the way....where did the dirt come from?
By the way...where did God come from? Is there any proof, or is it just a theory also?

Replies Received 14 January
     HB 911 is nonsense. It has nothing to do with good science teaching. The wordings of most of the propositions in this bill are the standard argumentation of the latter-day creationists, who now call themselves intelligent design-ists, or whatever. Almost every one of their attempts to discredit evolutionary theory stems from erroneous, or at best, partial understanding of the text and pretext of evolutionary studies. The likening in their minds of "theory" and "hypothesis" is a good example of their total distortion of the importance of scale in scientific study and discussion. To them all arguments apear to be of equal stature. By attempting to set all points to equally high importance level, they trivialize the few important ones they actually make, such as the importance of mentioning the true gaps (=research opportunities) in the theory, and of the differences between empirical observation and extrapolation. Most annoying is that these self-styled "scientific" creationists insist on strict empiricism for evolutionary biologists, but not for themselves. Science is based on reasoned inquiry, not on faith. I'll be fighting this one!!!

Replies Received 12 January
     What a great bill. The determination of Intelligence has always been a part of science. If a scientist finds drawings or petroglyphs on the inner wall of a cave, will she really spend her research monies trying to explain how the drawings came about natually? Or will she just discern an intelligence was behind it and go on from there? Our ability to distinguish intelligent communication from random noise is the entire thrust of the S.E.T.I. program. Is that not considered science? Every time we see language, code & message we see they are associated with intelligence. If we see 'Jay loves Chris' written in the sand on the beach, we know someone else has written it, even when no one else is around. Yet, when we see that DNA is a language, code and message, why shouldn't we sumise intelligence there too? Give the kids ALL the evidence. The same people who want to trust our kids with condoms and 'safe sex' can seem to trust them to make a reasoned decision on origins

It should be passed. What better way to teach critical thinking?
     In crass English, it sucks. By its very definition, "intelligent design" is not science. You can't prove or disprove the existence of God through the scientific method. But once again the Bible-belching backwoods Missouri legislators want to set back scientific education a millennium or two. If this passes, I hope schools make Mark Perakh's book "Unintelligent Design" required reading, too. It's bad enough that Missouri legislators make the state's laws. Keep the ignorant from meddling in education and science for God's sake!
     It's one of the most incredibly moronic and medieval wastes of time and money that ever passed across a legislator's desk. Why can't we seem to kill the hydra of superstition and fuzzy thinking?
     The proposers and sponsors of this bill evidently want to stifle the scientific and technical education of children. This will eventually destroy America's ability to lead the world technically and militarily.
     Another blow for ignorance! It amazes me that even the scientific community cannot get out the word and separate the PROCESS of evolution (living things change over time) from the THEORY of evolution (origins of man etc)...ample evidence exists for the former, the latter is a theory of the origins of man and while the process of evolution information can be used it is only a theory...the creationist agenda (disguised as intelligent design) more properly belongs (if at all) in the social sciences--ie philosophy--not as a scientific enterprise. It is scary what those in power can do--and if we remain silent, they will win out. A similar thing is or has happened with the No Child Left Behind Act--ie unfortunately much of public policy and particularly as it relates to education is being made by those with little experience or training in the very field they seek to help or reform.

Replies Received 10 January
     I am a high school science teacher in Chicago. I just finished teaching evolution. Missouri House Bill 911 is an example of ignorant people legislating in other people's field of expertise. Next they'll require we teach about the old testiment role of women and stone the bad students for their sins. Bills like these make fools of us for having such a backward government. I hope this bill is dead in the water now. Any info on its status?

Replies Received 8 January
It is utter nonsense.

Replies Received 7 January
     Thanks for the information about House Bill 911. I sent information about to the Illinois Science Teachers Association Web site and the Geological Society of America. This bill is SCARY.

     A separation of church and state is a foundation of our system and needs to be upheld. We have seen what fundamentalism in other parts of the world can do.
     It seems to give too much weight to intelligent design. I think it would only add to the confusion about the origin of life for a science student. Most of what I read in the House Bill would be better suited to relate to philosophy instruction.
Can you say - Seperation of Church and State?
It violates the First Amendment establishment clause.
     I am writing to express my dismay about a bill recently introduced into the Missouri House of Representatives. This is House Bill 911, or the "Missouri Standard Science Act". One only has to read the summary to realize that this bill is not about providing an "equal treatment of viewpoints" as much as it is an attempt to force specific religious beliefs concerning the origins of life, the Earth and the Universe, on public school students in grades eight through twelve. This not only goes against the First Amendment separation of religion from public schools, it goes against any rational idea about educating students. Religious beliefs should be taught at home or at a house of worship rather than in a science classroom. Actually this type of religious education would be more appropriately taught as a comparative religion class providing a forum for discussion.
     I would go as far as to say that the very idea of this bill represents a threat to the validity of religion. According to the bill, equal treatment has to be provided to teach religious beliefs about origins in the science classroom. Given the definitions of terms and the proposed instructional requirements of the Bill, it would require that religious teachings about origins provide the same kind of evidence that the proponents of this bill seem to feel science needs to prove its validity. How can you prove or disprove the existence of a God, or that there was actually a Jesus. You don't. You just accept it as part of your faith.
     How can a faith-based belief in the origins of life be compared to the scientific evidence about such origins? Granted, there is a kind of faith in science. That is to say there is faith in knowing that the evidence presented in a situation or circumstance has met stringent qualifications before that situation or circumstance is considered to be scientific. On the other hand there are no qualifications for faith-based beliefs in the origin of life other than faith, as there should be no need for proof. There is therefore a huge difference between the two kinds of faith.
In my book one does not ask for proof when speaking of faith, however questioning in science is and should always be done. Quite frankly, one cannot evolve and adapt if one does not ask questions.
     These people don't understand what science is. Intelligent design is a thinly disguised version of creationism and has no place in science curriculum.

Replies Received 6 January
     I don't support it. It's going back in time. Evolution is the basic foundation of biology. Intelligent design is creationism and belongs in a religion class, not science.

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