Indiana's antiscience bill in the news


"Call it a back-door approach to failed attempts to chip away at state standards on teaching evolution and to bring creationism into the public school classroom," wrote the Lafayette, Indiana, Journal and Courier (January 20, 2015), referring to Senate Bill 562, which if enacted would deprive administrators of the ability to prevent teachers from miseducating students about "scientific controversies."

Jeff Raatz (R-District 27), one of the sponsors of the bill, told the newspaper, "Could it be seen as an anti-evolution bill? Could be," adding, "That doesn't bother me at all. Essentially, we're saying there are competing theories and we should allow the discussion in the classroom. Not to promote anything or one over another. But that we should have the ability to discuss."

NCSE's Glenn Branch, however, charged that the bill was intended to "free the hands of those few teachers who have funny ideas, allowing them to "misrepresent the state of the scientific consensus on the issues" with impunity. He added that it would add to pressure on responsible teachers "who ordinarily wouldn't even consider it, because they know better" to teach creationism or climate change denial.

As NCSE previously reported, SB 562 was introduced in the Indiana Senate on January 20, 2015, with Jeff Raatz (R-District 27) and Dennis Kruse (R-District 14), who has a long history of sponsoring antievolution legislation, as its sponsors. Raatz told the Journal and Courier that he expects the bill to be referred to the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, of which Kruse is the chair.