Pseudoscience, interrupted?

A bill that would introduce creationism into Indiana science classes may not make it through the legislative process.

Introduced at the beginning of January, the bill is one of several attempts in parts of the U.S. to introduce religious ideas on the origin of life into biology classes dealing with the study of evolution.

Bill SB89 passed in the Indiana Senate on Jan. 31, with 28 votes in favour and 22 against, and has been referred to the House of Representatives, which may amend or reject it. Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, has not yet decided whether the bill will be heard and voted on a second time — but may be leaning toward “No.”

“Delving into an issue that the United States Supreme Court has, on at least on one occasion, said is not compliant with the Constitution may be a side issue and someplace we don’t need to go,” Bosma said. He added that legislation passed last year gave concerned parents more options in choosing a school for their children.

The bill, as originally introduced, read: “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.” However, an amendment by Senator Vi Simpson modified the wording to include “multiple religions,” including Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.

Simpson voted against passing the bill, and introduced the amendment to make the bill less attractive to local school boards in predominantly Christian areas. “I wanted to draft an amendment that would do two things. First, it would remove it from the science realm. And second, school boards and the state of Indiana should not be in the business of promoting one religion over another,” said Simpson, in an interview with the website the Village Voice.

“I was a bit surprised that it was adopted,” she added.

Previous laws that mandated the teaching of creationism in science classrooms were struck down in Louisiana, Kansas and Arkansas. At least seven other major court cases in the U.S. have been decided against creationists, and according to John Staver, an education professor from Purdue University, this bill is likely to follow them.

“If this does become law, they are going to face legal problems and, given the legal precedents, it is very likely to lose,” said John Staver, an education professor from Purdue University in Indiana, talking to local media. “And then they’re going to have bills to pay and schools are struggling enough with bills to pay without this happening.”

Surprisingly, the Discovery Institute, a Seattle think tank that promotes creationism, released a statement saying that they do not support the Indiana bill. They say that these kinds of laws “politicize the theory and hinder fair and open discussion,” and that most teachers do not know enough about creationism to teach it accurately.

The Indiana Department of Education commented on the bill, saying that they do not decide what is taught in the schools beyond setting educational standards.

Stephanie Sample, an Indiana Department of Education spokesperson, told the Times of North West Indiana: “We believe this is a local issue best left to school communities to decide.”

1 Comment on "Pseudoscience, interrupted?"

  1. Herman Cummings | February 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm |

    The Truth of Genesis: When Are Elected Creationists Going to Learn?

    I had written Indiana State Senator Dennis Kruse, about dropping the foolishness of Creation Science, and teaching the truth of Genesis. But he remained in a delusion, refused to respond, and continued to think that “young Earth” creationism is what the Bible teaches. He is wrong. In fact, all current creationism doctrines are in error, and misrepresent the Genesis text. So then, instead of just the truth of Genesis being presented along side of the (false) conclusions of science, the education reform bill was mired down with the myths from Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others.

    Genesis does not have any “creation stories” or myths. Genesis chapter one is about the 4.6 billion year history of life on Earth, and not about Creation Week. Both the worlds of Creationism and Theology do not understand the Genesis text, and teach false doctrines that Genesis does not support.

    I also wrote New Hampshire, Missouri, and Oklahoma bill sponsors, trying to wake them up to reality. I urged them to schedule the 62 minute presentation of the “Observations of Moses”, for their fellow lawmakers to see, which proves current creationism and evolution to be in error. But no. They wanted to try to push the foolish doctrines of Creation Science, forsaking the truth of God’s Word.

    Both Creation Science and Intelligent Design have had their day in a court of law, and lost. Neither one addresses the geologic and fossil records of the prehistoric past. When are elected lawmakers going to learn? How can an untruth ever prove another lie to be in error?

    How important is it to teach the truth of history? Suppose school children in Japan were taught that Tokyo went to war in 1940 because the USA attacked Okinawa in 1939? The reason is wrong, the place is wrong, the dates are incorrect. Would you think that someone was in denial? Or that they wanted to brainwash the students? That is what the religion of Atheism has been doing in our public schools, and being state sponsored, which is both evil and unconstitutional.

    The PowerPoint presentation reveals the truth of our pre-historic past, which state education committees, school board members, and science teachers should all see. It explains Genesis chapter one, and reveals the truth about both the geologic and fossil records of Earth. None of those (other) “origin myths” address the prehistoric history of Earth. The “Observations of Moses” is the ONLY true rendition of Genesis, and is the correct opposing view to the evolution theory

    It is the responsibility of school officials to teach students the truth, and not just the false conclusions of science, and neither the false doctrines of current Creationism. How can they make the correct decisions when they fail to examine the correct information? The world of Theology, and all “so called” Bible colleges and seminaries have no clue to what the Genesis text is saying. It is not about “creation”, as the world of Creationism teaches. Genesis has no “creation accounts”.

    Also, I teach a 6-hr class for science teachers, which I call a “Genesis appreciation” course. It goes into more depth concerning the geologic and fossil records of our ancient past, and trains the teachers on how to teach the students about Genesis, and to answer the questions the students would ask.

    So, you elected creationist lawmakers. When are you going to learn to drop your foolishness, and allow the truth to be shown and taught to our students? The Indiana Education Bill is now dead, because of the stubbornness of State Senator Dennis Kruse. Didn’t I tell you that he would fail, Senator Gary Hopper? Your efforts will also come to naught, as long as you support a lie.

    Herman Cummings

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