Creationism, that zombie of the American political scene, rises again — this time in Indiana:
An Indiana Senate committee on Wednesday endorsed teaching creationism in public schools, despite pleas from scientists and religious leaders to keep religion out of science classrooms.
Senate Bill 89 allows school corporations to authorize “the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life” and specifically mentions “creation science” as one such theory.
State Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, who voted for the measure, said if there are many theories about life’s origins, students should be taught all of them.
The Republican-controlled Senate Education Committee nevertheless voted 8-2 to send the legislation to the full Senate.
Here’s the substance of the text of the bill:
[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.
Anyone who has followed this issue in the US can tell right away that even if this bill passed the Indiana Senate, and was eventually signed by the Governor of Indiana, that a federal judge would strike it down right away as unconstitutional (with much precedent in the US court system.)
Yet the creationists still try, over and over.
And, to simply use the phrase “creation science” uncritically informs us of how anti-scientific the authors of that bill are.
The Chairman of the committee was one of the original authors, and given that 4 more signed on as co-authors pretty much guaranteed it would get through the committee.
The State senator mentioned in the news article is one of the co-authors, Scott Schneider, has introduced or co-authored several bills, many of which are close to the heart of the tea-partying and creationists/home-schooling groups. For instance, he’s introduced bills on Right To Work, on controlling sexually explicit material, and so forth. He also works the Tea Party circuit for political support.
Sen. Schneider is also a well known anti-abortionist and a favorite of the Indiana Right to Life organization, and last year helped spearhead an effort to defund any organization in IN that performed abortions.
So we see that the stereotype is reinforced – tea party, creationism, anti-abortion – they are all part of the same stew that is today’s Republican party.