Indiana bill to teach creationism being shelved

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A bill that would have specifically allowed Indiana's public schools to teach creationism alongside evolution in science classes has been shelved by the leader of the Indiana House of Representatives.

The proposal cleared the state Senate two weeks ago, but Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma is using a procedural move to kill the proposal for this legislative session.

"It seemed to me not to be a productive discussion, particularly in light that there is a United States Supreme Court case that appears to be on point that very similar language is counter to the constitution," Bosma said Tuesday. "It looked to me to be buying a lawsuit when the state can ill afford it."

The bill approved by the state Senate would have permitted local school districts to teach creationism as long as the curriculum also incorporated origin-of-life theories from multiple religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Scientology.

The original bill proposed by Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, simply called for allowing schools to teach creationism, but the Senate revised it to include references to multiple faiths.

House education committee Chairman Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, said last week he believed the multiple faiths requirement made the proposal unworkable because it would be almost impossible to find teachers who would know about origin beliefs from so many religions.

Kruse said Tuesday that he had hoped the House would revise the bill to be closer to his original proposal and was disappointed by Bosma's decision.

Kruse said he will probably introduce the proposal again next year and that lawmakers shouldn't just rely on the Supreme Court's 1987 ruling on the teaching of creationism.

"We have five pretty decent Supreme Court members who have been ruling pretty conservative on a lot of different things and they might have had a different ruling," Kruse said.

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