Indiana Creationism Bill Moves Forward

We just learned from the website of radio station WIBC in Indianapolis that, in the words of their headline, Senate Committee Advances Creationism Bill.

You remember the bill they’re talking about. We recently posted Creationist Legislation for Indiana in 2012?, describing the bill filed by Senator Dennis Kruse, an auctioneer. His gift to the people of Indiana is Senate Bill 0089. It provides:

The governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.

The thing is so flamingly ridiculous that we thought it would just die in committee, but the lawmakers of Indiana have surprised us. The radio station’s writeup is rather brief. It says, with bold font added by us:

A controversial bill that would allow school boards to require the teaching of “creation science” is endorsed by a state Senate Committee. The Senate Education Committee Wednesday voted 8-2 to advance the legislation after hearing testimony from both sides of the issue.

M’god! The vote was 8 to 2. Could there be that many fools in the Indiana Senate? Apparently there are. One more excerpt:

[C]ritics, including Episcopalian Chaplain Charles Allen, call it an ill-advised attempt to bring Christianity into the classroom. The say it violates the U.S. Constitution by blurring the separation of church and state.

“Courts have already ruled that creation science is a disguised attempt to promote a religious world view in science classrooms, and I agree with those rulings,” Allen said.

Well, the thing cleared one committee. It still has to get introduced into the House and make some progress there. It may get as far as the infamous Indiana Pi Bill did a century ago, which actually passed in the House before dying in the Senate.

We can follow the creationism bill’s progress at this page of the legislature’s website. There doesn’t seem to be a companion bill in the House — at least not yet, but the Senate bill has picked up some supporters. Senator Holdman has been added as second author, and Senators Delph, Banks and Schneider were added as coauthors. That’s a lot of Senators eager to be associated with compulsory creationism.

The legislative session is scheduled to expire on 14 March, so there’s plenty of time. Anything can happen. Stay tuned to this blog.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Indiana Creationism Bill Moves Forward

  1. Ceteris Paribus

    The legislative session is scheduled to expire on 14 March…

    There’s probably something in the Indiana constitution that requires this so the legislators won’t be late for the morel mushroom hunting season there.

  2. @Ceteris Paribus — It’s more likely they just want to avoid the Ides of March.

    Indiana just established a voucher system that passes state money along to religious schools (it’s in the courts), and now this. Hate to admit I live here. Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the voucher bill into law, but I hope he has enough sense to veto this turkey if it gets that far.

  3. There’s this article in the Indy Star that quotes Kruse as follows:

    Just because there are constitutional concerns doesn’t mean you don’t try to get something done you believe in.

    Apparently, the Constitutional concerns are no match for his faith in The Truth.

  4. From the article: “[C]ritics, including Episcopalian Chaplain Charles Allen, call it an ill-advised attempt to bring Christianity into the classroom. The say it violates the U.S. Constitution by blurring the separation of church and state.”

    Now there’s a real Christian, who is confident enough of the health of his religion that he doesn’t need to have it peddled in science class. In fact, he likely agrees with Ben Franklin who astutely observed well over 200 years ago that a religion that needs the help of the govt. to survive must be a bad one.

    Ironically, I also agree with the budding scam artist in that I don’t have to like something just because the Constitution says it’s right. Indeed, I never liked the excuse that one must do something because “it’s the law.” That strikes me as the same authoritarian “reason” that the fundamentalists use with “the Bible says so.” God gave us reason, so at the very least we ought to add “It’s the law for a reason, and here it is…”

    In fact in this case there are compelling reasons above and beyond the church-state issues. First, the arguments peddled by anti-evolution activists have not earned the right to be taught, as the lessons on evolution have. Second, they have been shown repeatedly to misrepresent evolution and the nature of science if not taught without a thorough rebuttal from mainstream science, which the scam artists would certainly censor anyway. Third, all students are already free to learn – and spread – that nonsense on their parents’ dime. Every “liberal” bedwetter who thinks that’s not “fair” enough needs to be kicked out of public office immediately.

  5. “Could there be that many fools in the Indiana Senate?”

    Finding 8 fools out of 50 senators is no great trick but finding 8 ignoramuses out of 10 members of the Education Committee takes real talent.

  6. Dover Trap.

    It’s not the legislature or any member who will pay the cost of the inevitable federal suit, rather, it will be some poor schmuck school district that can ill afford such litigation.

    What a bunch of morons.

  7. Gary, thanks for the link to Kruse’s quote. When he took office, he SWORE ON A BIBLE to uphold and defend the Constitution. He should be impeached for violating his oath of office.

  8. techreseller

    Is ignorance carried by a virus? And is that virus virulent and highly communicable? Given the spread of Creationism as science bills from state to state, it sure seems to be.