A bill approved today by the Indiana Senate to allow the teaching of creationism in public schools is being criticized as bad science education by Discovery Institute, the nation’s leading intelligent design think tank.
If made law, Indiana Senate Bill 89 (SB89) would allow creationism, a religious view on the origin of species, into the Hoosier state’s biology classrooms. In 1987, the Supreme Court struck down similar legislation as an unconstitutional establishment of religion. Instead of scrapping SB89 in deference to legal precedent, the Indiana Senate has amended the bill to allow more religious views on origins, as if more religion could cure the original problem.
“Instead of injecting religion into biology classes, legislators should be working to promote the inclusion of more science,” said Joshua Youngkin, a law and policy analyst at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. “There are plenty of scientific criticisms of Darwin’s theory today, and science students should be able to hear about them, not about religion.”
This story from Indiana is wild. A Democratic state senator inserted into the bill a requirement that the state’s public schools teach not only the Biblical creation story, but creation stories from other religions too. To be clear, the Democrat doesn’t really endorse this. She thinks, rightly , that the whole thing is unconstitutional, but she wanted to make a worthwhile point about the folly of teaching religious doctrine as science. Snarks Greg Laden:
So, science teachers in Indiana, I have a question for you: Which three weeks of science do you want to cut out of your syllabus to make room for a discussion of worlds built on turtles and goat herders walking down the Milky Way at the beginning of time? Oh, and don’t forget to include the origin story I found in the Congo in which the beginning of humanity is associated with a particularly ribald sex act. That would be cool.