We haven’t had any creationist legislation proposed in Indiana in the almost four years this humble blog has been around. The only time we’ve mentioned the state was to talk about one of their congressmen: Mark Souder, Creationist Fool, Resigns.
Well, we also reported Whitcomb at Ft. Wayne Creationist Revival Meeting, and those events are often used for creationist networking, so perhaps today’s news was inevitable. Anyway, Indiana now joins the wretched roster of states that — in this century! — are considering laws to force creationism into public school science classes.
After the 2011 session, it’s tough to imagine what education issue GOP lawmakers could possibly offer to push Indiana schools further behind. Now we know – creationism in the classroom.
We like the reporter’s attitude. The tale continues:
Sen. Dennis Kruse, chairman of the Senate education committee, has filed SB 89, providing that “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.”
M’god — he’s chairman of the education committee! This is his page at the legislature’s website: Senator Dennis Kruse. His occupation is one we haven’t seen yet for a creationist legislator — he’s an auctioneer. And here’s his bill: Senate Bill 0089. It would add a new section to an existing statute. The proposed new section provides, as the newspaper correctly reported:
Sec. 18. 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.
That’s rather straightforward. It’s also idiotic. It’s not even one of those slippery “academic freedom” bills. It’s raw creationism. The man must have been living alone in a cave for the last 20 years. That bill could never survive a court test. Let’s read on in the Journal Gazette:
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education [NCSE], told me that attempts to pass creation science legislation are practically unheard of given the decisive 1987 Supreme Court ruling. By a 7-2 vote, the court ruled that Louisiana’s Creationism Act, which allowed the instruction of evolution only if it was taught alongside creationism, was unconstitutional.
She’s talking about Edwards v. Aguillard. We continue:
Kruse filed a creation science bill in 2000, when he was a first-term state representative. It died in committee in the Democratic-controlled House. Today, he’s an influential committee chairman in a GOP-controlled General Assembly.
Whoa, baby! This thing might have a chance of passing. Here’s one last excerpt:
One thing is certain: If Kruse wants the bill approved in this short session, it will happen. If the legislation reaches the full Senate and House, Republicans there will have a difficult time rejecting it.
Isn’t that great? Hey, NCSE has a post about the news: Creationist legislation in Indiana. You’ll want to read it for yourself, but we have to highlight this:
“The obvious problem,” commented NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott, “is that the Indiana legislature can’t authorize a school district to violate the Constitution. … It’s disturbing that a veteran legislator like Kruse is ignorant of — or indifferent to — the blatant unconstitutionality of his bill.“
From this source we learn that the Indiana legislative session for 2012 runs from 04 January to 14 March. We’ll be watching.
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