Mo. House panel mulls evolution teaching bill

Thursday, February 21, 2013 | 3:04 p.m. CST; updated 3:33 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 21, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — Public schools would be required to teach the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific theory of evolution under a bill being considered by a Missouri House committee.

The House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a measure that would require state officials to develop guidelines for teaching evolution in public schools.

Supporters said the measure would empower teachers and help students develop critical thinking skills. A Democrat on the committee said he was concerned the bill would open "Pandora's box" and lead to having religion taught in public schools.

The measure is sponsored by Republican Rep. Andrew Koenig, of St. Louis. The committee did not vote on the proposal.

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