Indiana Creationism Bill Evolves, Passes Senate

Jen McCreight reports that the Indiana Senate passed that creationism bill by a 28-22 vote. But after passing out of committee, it was amended on the floor to broaden it out in an attempt to avoid being struck down by the courts. The original bill said:

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.

But the version that passed said:

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.

Sorry, it’s still going to be struck down by the courts. And there aren’t any theories from any of those religions. In science, the word “theory” doesn’t mean “ridiculous myth” or “wild-assed guess.” It means a systematic, testable explanation for a range of data.

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  • Reginald Selkirk

    it was amended on the floor to broaden it out in an attempt to avoid being struck down by the courts.

    I heard differently. I heard the amendment was proposed by Democrats in an attempt to poison the bill, since they didn’t have the votes to stop it outright.

  • The Lorax

    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    Shit by any other name would not.

    Creationism by any other name will fail in courts. ID, anyone?

    Moral of the story: a weak argument remains a weak argument, even if you use big words.

  • John Hinkle

    Ridiculous. These tards think it’ll survive a court challenge?

    I can see how this’ll go in the classroom. “Ok everyone, today we’re going to talk about the truth of Adam and Eve, and tomorrow we’ll hit upon some of the weird, obviously fictional creation myths from other quote unquote religions. *humongous eyeroll*

  • kermit.

    I can imagine how those other “theories” will be presented. People who think it’s swell to teach their religion in public schools will not teach the others correctly – not even close.

    When I was in college I took a Comparative Religions course. Two fellas showed up who said they were going to be missionaries, and they had been advised to find out what other people thought about religion first. Okay, as good a reason as any to want to learn.

    The first two weeks were devoted to the Roman Catholic Church. As the professor started talking about RCC doctrine, these two became very agitated, and raised their hands for attention. They informed the professor that he was “Teaching the bible wrong.” He was somewhat taken aback, and explained that he wasn’t teaching what the bible said – he was taking no position on religion in class – he was teaching what several hundred million other people thought it said.

    Over the next two classes they got more and more fidgety, and finally looked at each other and shouted “You’re teaching it wrong!”, and stormed out of the class. We remaining students were atheist, and a variety of religions, but we were all baffled by two young men who were capable of getting into college but couldn’t seem to grasp the difference between making a claim about X and making a claim about what other folks claimed about X.

    I was perhaps less shocked than the others were, having been raised by these kind of folks. One thing they are very “good” at is not being able to see other points of view. That way, after all, leads to tolerance, doubt, and even changing one’s mind, so mental tricks to prevent it are taught from infancy. I don’t know why it didn’t take in me.

  • coragyps

    I knew that “scientology” sounded pretty fishy! That’s genius!

    There was a similar move here in Texas a year ago – a rider to the bill we now have that forces sonograms on women getting an abortion. The amendment would have allowed the woman to force the provider of the sperm for the little conceptus to have a vasectomy.

    Didn’t pass, though…….

  • peterh

    Consider the irony: All these brain-dead conservatives, who far too often place their insupportable trust in chastity/abstinence for teens*, advocate the exposure of said teens to the creation myths of “many religions” including their incest, orgies amongst the gods, fathers/mothers copulating with daughters/sons, gods in the guise of animals copulating with humans, gods as themselves copulating with animals, gods as themselves copulating with humans . . . .

    *A approach which manifestly does not work. But you knew that.

  • eric

    @3 – no John, that is not how it will go. It will go more like this: “Okay class, for the next 17 weeks, four days, and 45 minutes, we will discuss Genesis. In the last 10 minutes of the semester, we will cover all those other “theories.””

  • Doug Little

    Well in a way it’s good for Ed and Dispatches as there is going to be a quite a few posts worth of material coming out of Indiana soon.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    Ridiculous. These tards think it’ll survive a court challenge?

    It’s simple: The Christian Riech is going to keep tossing this shit at the courts this in hopes they can get it to a right-leaning court that will approve this. Even if they lose, they can use the defeat as more evidence of the alleged liberal, secularist, agenda that supposedly has infected our government in hopes electing more right-wingers to office who will appoint judges who will overturn the anti-creationism rulings.

  • This morning I found this unintentionally funny headline from, a christian news site:

    “On Eve of Darwin’s Birthday, States Take Steps to Limit Evolution”

  • Abby Normal

    Barely related, I just had a good time reading this io9 post about legislating the value of pi. I thought others here might enjoy it.

  • peterh

    And these ‘tards still don’t catch on that evolution, pretty much as viewed today – minus the specifics of genetics – was quite well settled (except amongst the fundies) before Darwin was even born?

  • M Groesbeck

    billdaniels @ 10:

    This morning I found this unintentionally funny headline from, a christian news site:

    “On Eve of Darwin’s Birthday, States Take Steps to Limit Evolution”

    These things always remind me of the title of a Jello Biafra album — “If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve”. The seeming assumption that individuals “evolve” bugs me, but still.

  • michaelgibb

    I know I’m nitpicking but it should be pointed out to these people that evolution isn’t actually a theory for the origins of life, instead it explains the origins of species and virtually everything else in bilogy except abiogenesis.

  • exdrone

    Teaching creationism may be unconstitutional, but teaching Scientology is a copyright infringement. They’re asking for it now.


    Xenu – the other intelligent designer

  • mfuller

    For any Indiana residents I have created a petition (State of Indiana: Creationism is not science!) that I will send to The Indiana State House, The Indiana State Senate, and Governor Mitch Daniels.

    Thank you.

  • Vi Simpson, the Democratic Indiana Senator who pushed the amendment on the bill, should be thanked for an utterly brilliant move. Think about it. What school district administrator is going to teach kids about all of the creation myths out there. And they will have to discuss the noodly appendages of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Now I think it would be fascinating to teach kids all of the various creation myths, because at least some, who aren’t addicted to their Xbox, might think “hey wait, everyone makes this crap up, why is mine better? Better stick with science.”

    Anyways, the amendment makes the bill useless, because the creationists failed to understand what had happened. Further, the Republican (sit down for what I’m going to say) speaker of the Indiana House stated: “the legislature should not mandate what is taught by public schools in science courses.” Seriously, I had to read that quote several times.

    I blogged a much more positive spin on how the Democrats emaciated this bill.