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Creationist legislation in Indiana

Senate Bill 89, prefiled in the Indiana Senate and referred to the Committee on Education and Career Development, would, if enacted, amend the Indiana Code to provide that "[t]he 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." The sponsor of the bill is Dennis Kruse (R-District 14), who chairs the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development. In 1999, while serving in the Indiana House of Representatives, Kruse pledged to introduce a law to remove evolution from the state's science standards, according to the South Bend Tribune (August 27, 1999). Instead, however, he introduced bills with the same wording as Senate Bill 89, House Bill 1356 in 2000 and House Bill 1323 in 2001. Both died in committee.

"The obvious problem," commented NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott, "is that the Indiana legislature can't authorize a school district to violate the Constitution. And the Supreme Court held, in its 1987 decision in Edwards v. Aguillard, that it's unconstitutional for creation science to be taught in the public schools." She added, "It's disturbing that a veteran legislator like Kruse is ignorant of — or indifferent to — the blatant unconstitutionality of his bill." The most recent antievolution bill in Indiana, 2006's House Bill 1388, was aimed at supposed errors in textbooks, although its sponsor had previously announced his intention to introduce legislation requiring the teaching of "intelligent design" in the state's public schools; HB 1388 died in committee. The current legislative session resumes on January 4, 2012.