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Indiana House panel leader leery of creationism bill

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The leader of the Indiana House Education Committee said Tuesday a proposal specifically allowing public schools to teach creationism alongside evolution in science classes could be unworkable.

The bill approved by the state Senate would permit local school districts to add teaching of creationism as long as it included origin of life theories from multiple religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Scientology.

Education committee Chairman Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, said that requirement would probably stop most school districts from even considering the subject.

"I think it's almost impossible to find somebody who would know about all those different theories of creation," he said.

Behning said he personally believed in creationism and didn't think anything in current state law prevented local schools from adding it to their classes.

Critics argue that the proposal is unconstitutional since federal courts repeatedly have found teaching creationism violates church-state separation because of its reliance on the Bible's book of Genesis. Supporters in the Senate, which approved the bill last week in a 28-22 vote, say the broader religious reference improves the bill's chances of being ruled constitutional.

Behning said he wasn't sure yet whether his committee would take up the bill during this year's legislative session that is to end by mid-March.

Many parents who want their children to learn about creationism also have the option of sending their children to private schools with state-supported vouchers under a law that legislators approved last year, he said.

The House could revise the creationism bill to remove the requirement of teaching theories from multiple religions. Democratic Sen. Vi Simpson of Bloomington proposed that change in the Senate with the aim of making it clear that schools couldn't just teach Christian creation theory.

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  • Vote
    These are the people who have been elected. The voting public should remember this next November. We may not get everything we want or need but getting rid of the Republicans is a start.
  • Waste of Time
    Every year I'm gobsmacked by the things our legislators find to busy themselves with. Really? There's nothing else going on in the state that you could be working on besides teaching creationism in schools? I have a handy solution for you: if you want your child to learn about creationism, take them to Bible study. Stop wasting everyone's time with this politicized crap that makes our state look about as backward as it is.
  • pitiful
    All the good publicity from the Super Bowl ruined by these yokels. Saturday Night Live already lambasted the state. Pitiful just pitiful
  • Excellent
    Good work boys....only focus on the important stuff. Now if I could only get to work and avoid breathing in smoke........if only
  • Unconstitutional
    Maybe this bill is wrong because it violates the seperation of Church and State? I'm just guessing.
  • Say NO to Creationism
    Creationism is not relation to factual science. Creationism is purely only religion in terms of its approach. Creationism is based solely upon a hypothesis and not on any proven facts. In no way should creationism, in any form, be taught as science in public schools. The Supreme Court has already ruled on the Constitutionality of creationism. Religion belongs in religious institutions or in religious education classes, philosophy classes but it should not be taught as fact.
  • It Belongs in Church
    If parents want their children to learn about "creationism" then send them to church. Creationism is a religious belief it's teaching has no business in public schools.

    Keep YOUR religious beliefs out of OUR public schools!
  • Parental Option
    If all the different theories can not be taught because of resources and it is changed to Biblical only, parents should have the opportunity for their children to opt-out of the classes.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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