One of the things we look forward to at the start of each year is the resumption of state legislative activity. There’s always a creationist who got elected by his drooling constituents, and he fulfills his campaign promises by introducing some crazy piece of legislation. So it is in Indiana.
We haven’t written about creationist legislative activity in that state since Indiana Creationism: New Bill for 2015. That was a typical Discoveroid academic freedom bill, introduced by Senator Jeff Raatz and Senator Dennis Kruse. It died in committee — see Indiana’s 2015 Creationism Bill — Dead.
This year the madness has returned. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted Creation science bill in Indiana. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Indiana’s Senate Bill 373 would, if enacted, provide that “[t]he 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 bill was introduced on January 10, 2019, and referred to the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development.
If you read the thing you’ll see that before the deranged creationist provision, the bill lulls a reader to sleep by providing for a number of other things which are nothing but patriotic cotton candy, including:
[E]ach school corporation and charter school shall place a durable poster or framed picture representing: (1) the national motto of the United States, “In God We Trust”; (2) an accurate representation of the United States flag; and (3) an accurate representation of the Indiana state flag; in each school library and classroom within the school corporation or charter school.
The sponsor of the bill, Dennis Kruse (R-District 14), has a long history of sponsoring antievolution legislation. In 1999, while serving in the Indiana House of Representatives, Kruse pledged to introduce a law to remove evolution from the state’s science standards …
That was before your Curmudgeon started this humble blog. They go on to describe all of Kruse’s attempts at creationist legislation. Verily, he’s a big-time, hard-core drooler. NCSE’s post ends with this:
The teaching of creation science in the public schools was ruled to be unconstitutional by a federal court in McLean v. Arkansas (1982) and by the Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987); the legal director of the ACLU of Indiana observed, of SB 89 in 2012, that the bill is clearly unconstitutional and would invite litigation.
Here’s the legislature’s page on Dennis Kruse. It doesn’t give any personal information, but Wikipedia has a write-up on Dennis Kruse, and it says that he used to be an auctioneer. In fact, he’s a 1964 graduate of the Reppert School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Indiana. Then he “graduated from the School of Education at Indiana University in 1970, and was a licensed teacher in Indiana from 1970 to 1975.”
The Indiana legislature convened on 03 January and is scheduled to adjourn on 29 April, so there’s plenty of time for chaos. That’s all we’ve got on this one, dear reader. Nothing to do now but watch what happens.
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