State Senator Dennis Kruze of Indiana is bound and determined to find some way, any way, to undermine the teaching of evolution in that state, come hell or high water. After trying and failing to pass a law allowing schools to teach creationism last year, now he’s got a new, more vague, bill:
The expected antievolution bill in Indiana appears to have mutated. As NCSE previously reported, state senator Dennis Kruse (R-District 14) told the Lafayette Journal and Courier(November 10, 2012) that he planned to introduce a bill drafted by the Discovery Institute, presumably along the lines of the bills enacted in Tennessee in 2012 and Louisiana in 2008, encouraging teachers to misrepresent evolution as controversial. But now the Indianapolis Star (December 4, 2002) reports that Kruse plans “to pursue legislation that allows students to challenge teachers on issues, forcing them to provide evidence to back up their lessons.”
In 2011, Kruse’s Senate Bill 89 would have allowed local school districts to require the teaching of creation science — despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 1987 case Edwards v. Aguillard that teaching creation science in public schools is unconstitutional. SB 89 passed the Senate but was amended there to delete the reference to creation science and to require reference to “Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology”; the speaker of the House of Representatives declined to let it come to a vote there, citing concerns about a potential lawsuit, and the bill died when the legislature adjourned.
Describing his new idea as “a different approach,” Kruse explained to the Star, “I would call it ‘truth in education’ to make sure that what is being taught is true … And if a student thinks something isn’t true, then they can question the teacher and the teacher would have to come up with some kind of research to support that what they are teaching is true or not true.” He added that the bill would delegate the exact implementation of the process to local school districts: “It’s going to be written in kind of a broad way.” Although Kruse was not quoted as mentioning evolution in particular, the Star seemed convinced that it was in his sights.
The talk I gave in 2006 about the evolution of the anti-evolution movement is out of date. We’re now on to phase five or six as anti-evolutionism continues to evolve at a very rapid pace.