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.
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