Reactions to Indiana’s Creationism Bill

A few days ago we reported Indiana Creationism Bill Passes in Senate. The bill, as amended, can be seen here: SENATE BILL No. 89. It adds a new section to an existing statute. The new provision says:

Sec. 18. The governing body of a school corporation may offer instruction on various theories of the origin of life. The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.

The reactions we’ve seen have been mostly negative, because rational observers can see the stunning stupidity of the Senate’s action. Two reactions that we find interesting are from prominent creationist groups. They don’t like the Indiana bill, presumably because it makes them look ridiculous. Well, they already look ridiculous, but even they don’t want this bill to become law. We’ll give you some excerpts from each, with bold font added by us:

The first such reaction comes from the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

Their blog offered this: Discovery Institute Condemns Passage of Creationism Bill by Indiana Senate as Bad Science and Bad Education. They say:

A bill approved yesterday by the Indiana Senate to allow the teaching of creationism in public schools is being criticized as bad science education by Discovery Institute, the nation’s leading intelligent design think tank.

The Discoveroids are opposed to “bad science education”? Since when? Their little article continues:

If made law, Indiana Senate Bill 89 (SB89) would allow creationism, a religious view on the origin of species, into the Hoosier state’s biology classrooms. In 1987, the Supreme Court struck down similar legislation as an unconstitutional establishment of religion. Instead of scrapping SB89 in deference to legal precedent, the Indiana Senate has amended the bill to allow more religious views on origins, as if more religion could cure the original problem.

That’s a fair description of things, but why do the Discoveroids have a problem with it? It’s consistent with their wedge strategy. They were certainly on board with the creationist school board in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District; and they supported the efforts of the Kansas State Board of Education when they wanted to redefine science to include supernatural phenomena — thus allowing creationism to be taught in science class. (see Kansas Flashback: The Crazy Days).

Perhaps, after numerous setbacks, the Discoveroids have learned to conceal their motives better than before. Let’s read on:

“Instead of injecting religion into biology classes, legislators should be working to promote the inclusion of more science,” said Joshua Youngkin, a law and policy analyst at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. “There are plenty of scientific criticisms of Darwin’s theory today, and science students should be able to hear about them, not about religion.”

Okay, we get it. The Discoveroids are frantically pretending that their sanitized version of creationism (they don’t officially identify the designer as Yahweh) is really science. Well, that hasn’t worked yet, but they still have hopes.

Now let’s look at another reaction to the Indiana madness. It comes from Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

This one is found in AIG’s latest News to Note, February 4, 2012 — “A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint.” It’s the second item at their news summary, titled “Indiana Senate passes amended school bill.” They summarize the news from Indiana, and then they compare the Indiana bill to the 2008 law in Louisiana, which they favor. AIG says:

In contrast to the Indiana proposition that schools wishing to present alternatives must teach a smorgasbord of religious ideas, Louisiana’s Science Education Act allows school boards the option to “assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment . . . that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”

Ah yes, “academic freedom” to sneak creationism into science class. AIG continues:

And the Louisiana law specifies it is not to “promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.”

No, not quite. AIG is quote-mining the Louisiana law. Like the Discoveroids’ Academic Freedom Act, after which it’s modeled, the Louisiana Science Education Act says, with the part omitted by AIG shown in red:

This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.

We’ve previously described that “shall not be construed” provision of the law as a transparently silly “cloaking device” designed to make the law’s obviously religious purpose invisible by attempting to tell the court how to construe the law. Instead of clearly forbidding creationism, it actually encourages it while falsely insisting that the statute’s purpose is entirely secular — the exact opposite of its actual purpose. We said this:

The ridiculous “Hey, Judge: Here’s how to construe this law” section of such bills is comparable to a suicide-bomber’s explosive-laden vest being sewn with a tag saying: “Attention Bomb Squad Coroner: The deceased wearer of this garment should not be construed to be a suicide bomber.”

Here’s more from AIG:

As we have written many times, we are encouraged by the efforts across the country to try to provide teachers and students the opportunity to question and critically examine evolutionary claims. However, we remain “opposed to the compelled instruction of any alternative view (i.e., biblical creation or intelligent design) in public schools.

That’s only because they know that compulsory creationism laws will certainly be unconstitutional. Moving along:

We [AIG] maintain teachers should have the academic freedom to help students develop critical thinking skills by openly discussing various scientific positions on origins without fearing to criticize evolution or fearing to mention creationism. Origins science — because it involves interpretations outside the realm of observable science — always involves faith, even if it is an evolutionist’s faith that no deity was involved.

No, it’s not faith. Quite the opposite. It’s the simple recognition that — unlike evolution and other historical sciences (e.g., cosmology, geology, climatology, plate tectonics, anthropology, paleontology) — creation science is unsupported by evidence. Another excerpt:

Students allowed to explore the difference between historical science and observational science should develop a superior understanding of the true nature of science. And by seeing evolutionary claims are not unassailable as commonly claimed, students should then be able to see true scientific observations are consistent with the Bible’s account of Creation and the Flood.

Yeah, okay. Their “news analysis” goes on for a bit, but that’s enough. Oh, wait — they conclude with this:

Biblical young earth creationism offers models consistent with observable evidence, but treating it as a “religious option” will just obscure its consistency with science and make all ideas but the evolutionary fairy tale look foolish.

So there you are. The bill passed by the Indiana Senate is too crazy, even for the Discoveroids and AIG. That’s really crazy!

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

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9 responses to “Reactions to Indiana’s Creationism Bill

  1. So, AiG wants to promote “critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories”?


    Yeah… Right…. Nothing better promotes “critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories” than promoting as unquestionable scientific fact the literal interpretation of 4000 year old mythology passed down by Middle Eastern goat herders.

    Where the DI is blatantly dishonest and tells shameless lies, AiG is completely irrational and totally insane, but often quite amusing.

  2. Stupid is as stupid does. What do you think? If we tell those Indiana legislators that this makes their state look more stupid than Louisiana, will they take a second look at what they are doing. Maybe not.

  3. I sent a note to Indiana State Senator Vi Simpson through her website congratulating her on amending the bill to include Scientology. It was brilliant, actually, and the creationists were too stupid to see the ploy.

    Imagine how much more fun science class would be discussing Xenu and the Thetans.

  4. The Discoveroids are opposed to “bad science education”? Since when?

    They meant to say they are opposed to “forthrightly bad science education.” They prefer “disingenuously bad science education.”

  5. Despite their prostrations I still think the real reason they object to the legislation, still mainly still boils down to this :-

  6. All I can say is your an idiot. Of course you are to believe in the fairy tale lie of macro evolution. How desperate people like you are. And gullible.

  7. @Steve (who will not be able to reply): You need to learn English. “Your” is possessive, as in “your car”. I realize it takes extra effort to put in the apostrophe and “e”. Since it required some effort, that’s probably why you didn’t do it. You prefer to let others do your (note the possessive case again) thinking for you. But by typing the sentence that you did, you only showed that you, Steve, well, you’re a poor speller.

  8. Ken Ham of AiG might be thinking that the Ind. bill would be competition
    for his Creation Museum. After all, if his Hoosier neighbors can get their fill of creationism for free in their own schools, he may be worried they’ll stop being his marks — er, “customers”.

    Three days ago, Jack Hogan provided a link in his comments on your previous post, quoting Ind. Speaker of the House Brian Bosma concerning the unlikelihood that the bill will come up for a vote in the house:

    “House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said he has not made a final determination on whether Senate Bill 89 will get a hearing and vote, but said he believes the General Assembly should not mandate what’s taught in science classrooms.

    “Delving into an issue that the United States Supreme Court has, on at least on one occasion, said is not compliant with the Constitution may be a side issue and someplace we don’t need to go,” Bosma said. “Parents, families have a choice on where their children go to school; it’s an increasing choice now due to the legislation we passed last year.”

    So, Bosma is suddenly aware of the Constitution? The legislation “passed last year” established a voucher system funneling state money to religious schools. How ironic! This is the same Brian Bosma who challenged another court ruling that said it was unconstitutional to begin each day’s legislative proceedings with a sectarian prayer.

    At the time, a reader (not me) sent a letter to the ‘Indianapolis Star” suggesting that the members of the House should read Matthew 6: 6, in which Jesus admonishes his followers against public prayer. Maybe Tim Tebow should read that, also. But now I’m off-topic.