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Opposition to Indiana's creationist bill

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (January 3, 2012) editorially criticized Indiana's Senate Bill 89. Introduced by Dennis Kruse (R-District 14), the bill, if enacted, would 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." Although Kruse introduced the same bill in the Indiana House of Representatives in 2000 and 2001 without success, the editorial observed, "Kruse now is chairman of the Senate Education Committee, and Republicans control both chambers. Democrats were powerless to stop any GOP education bill last year, including the voucher program under challenge in a Marion County court."

If SB 89 is successful, NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott told the Journal Gazette, a legal challenge is inevitable. Noting the precedent of the Supreme Court's 1987 decision in Edwards v. Aguillard, in which a Louisiana law requiring creation science to be taught in the state's public schools was ruled to have violated the Constitution, Scott explained, “The law is very, very clear on this ... If this bill is passed, it is going to be challenged, and they will lose. The case law is so strong against them.” The editorial concluded, "How refreshing it would be if the General Assembly avoided inevitable legal battles and limited its work to the intended use of a 30-day session." (The legislative session begins on January 4, 2012, and ends by March 14, 2012.)