The debate over whether schools should teach intelligent design alongside the theory of evolution is not an issue in Hong Kong, where there is no separation of church and state in the delivery of public education. With almost half of schools run by missionary organisations, many go further, teaching creationism in biology classes in addition to evolution. In some Christian secondary schools, biology teachers refer to Darwin's theory as an 'unproven hypothesis' and offer creationism as a scientific alternative. Wong Wai-ming, a biology teacher at United Christian College in Shek Kip Mei, said he gave equal weight to evolution and creationism in his biology classes. 'We treat them as hypotheses and to be fair to the students we give them both.' Mr Wong, who is also head of religion at the school, said he presented students with the evidence to support evolution which they would then 'discuss and criticise'. But he also put forward the Bible's account. 'When you look at it, Genesis corresponds very closely with the current scientific explanation of creation,' he said. Stephen Hui Chin-yim, chairman of the Church of Christ in China's Association of Head Teachers, said creationism was taught alongside evolution at the church's 27 secondary schools. But he said it was not appropriate for the church to 'hard sell' its beliefs as the schools were publicly-funded. 'I clearly state that I myself am a Christian, so I can accept creationism,' Mr Hui said. 'But if there are students who say they can accept evolution, we don't mind.' A senior biology teacher at a Christian Alliance secondary school, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said evolution was a 'sensitive subject'. 'Of course, we have to teach evolution because it is part of the syllabus,' the teacher said. 'But we do not teach it as absolute fact. We present students with the relevant evidence and then discuss the pros and cons of the theory.' Representatives of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, the Methodist Church and Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui said they had no specific guidelines on evolution or creationism and left it to individual schools to decide. Christian-based international schools take a similar line. In the private international sector, Christian Alliance PC Lau Memorial International School teaches evolution in the science curriculum as required by its Canadian curriculum. But principal Art Enns, who has a science and maths background, believes it is misplaced there. 'It would be better placed in the philosophy course because it is not a science,' he said. 'We treat it as theory. We don't treat creationism as science either but as an account from the book we believe is true.' A spokesman for Hong Kong International School, which is run by an American Christian missionary organisation, said evolution was taught in science classes but intelligent design might be discussed in a variety of classes, including biology, as it was a 'substantial topic of current interest'.