It never ends, does it? Even in the face of palpable unconstitutionality, state legislatures keep trying to sneak creationism into American public schools. Of course it’s illegal, but so long as religion holds sway in the U.S. we’re going to have initiatives like this.
As the National Center for Science Education reports, such a bill has just passed an Indiana state senate committee:
Indiana’s Senate Bill 89, which if enacted would allow local school districts to “require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science,” was passed by the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development on January 25, 2012. . .
. . . Testimony against the bill stressed the unconstitutionality of teaching creation science, established by the Supreme Court in 1987. Among those testifying against the bill were John Staver, professor of chemistry and science education at Purdue University; Chuck Little, executive director of the Indiana Urban Schools Association; David Sklar, the Director of Government Relations for the Jewish Community Relations Council; the Reverend Charles Allen, a chaplain for Grace Unlimited, a campus ministry in the Indianapolis area; and Reba Boyd Wooden, executive director of the Indiana Center for Inquiry.
Note who voted for and against the bill (in America “D” stands for Democrat and “R” for Republican):
The vote was 8-2, with the bill’s sponsor and committee chair Dennis Kruse (R-District 14), Carlin Yoder (R-District 12), Jim Banks (R-District 17), Jim Buck (R-District 17), Luke Kenley (R-District 20), Jean Leising (R-District 42), Scott Schneider (R-District 30), and Frank Mrvan Jr. (D-District 1) voting for and Earline S. Rogers (D-District 3) and Tim Skinner (D-District 38) voting against the bill.
As usual, it’s the damn Republicans behind this stuff.
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning education.
SOURCE: IC 20-30-6-18; (12)IN0089.1.1. –> SECTION 1. IC 20-30-6-18 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2012]:
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.
Of course to become law, the bill has to pass the State Senate, then the state House of Representatives, and then be signed into law by the governor. As the Indiana ACLU notes, the bill is unconstitutional on its face: teaching of creationism in public schools was rejected on freedom-of-religion grounds by the U. S. Supreme Court in the 1987 case of Edwards v. Aguillard.
Given all this, the bill is likely to be stopped at some point short of becoming law. But I want to say for the gazillionth time that we wouldn’t be facing these brushfires if there were no religion. If we didn’t have goddy creation myths, why would anyone oppose the teaching of evolution?