For the love of science, Indiana, how did this creationist bill pass 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. 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.
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; Reba Boyd Wooden, executive director of the Indiana Center for Inquiry; and Chuck Little, executive director of the Indiana Urban Schools Association.
I checked out Senate Bill 89. The bill’s test is simple and says exactly what the above report says.
I’ll predict this bill does not become law. As I read about this bill, I got to thinking, “oh hey, I know I learned how a bill becomes a law like… 12 years ago, but I’ve long since forgotten the process” – so I looked it up. Here, have a nice graphic:
This bill only passed the committee stage of the Indiana senate, so the people who want to make this bill law have a long road of unconstitutionality to travel on. Most of these attempts to stick religion into public school classrooms die along the road, like a worm trying to cross a summer sidewalk.
Maybe we should teach “various theories of women’s health” in health class and require all students hear about how weaknesses exist in the theory of menstruation and alternative theories claim woman are unclean and should not be touched for seven days while menstruating. Or we could teach various theories concerning germs, and require students hear that prayers are superior to physicians in curing disease.
If you want to indoctrinate your kids into your mythology, send them to a private Christian school.