Creationism, Indiana Style

The Indiana State Senate has passed a bill that allows schools to teach creationism. What is different about this bill is that it includes the ability for schools to teach the origin theories of several religions. Republicans who support the bill dominate in both the Senate and the House, so the measure is expected to become law at the end of the legislative session. Given the changing composition of the US Supreme Court, supporters believe that the bill overcomes objections that led to the court to rule against previous creationism bills.

James McGrath, a Butler University professor, has offered an interesting commentary opposing the bill from his perspective as a professor of religion. He questions the extent to which high school teachers are prepared to teach the curriculum, which seems a valid concern.

But perhaps the most interesting twist in this story to me is the fact that the bill's proponents include the creation stories of six religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Scientology. Yes, Scientology. I am not aware of any instances in which Scientology has received such high-level support at a state level. I do not know if this indicates that there is a groundswell of interest in Scientology, or if it is included for more political reasons. In any case, it is a fascinating development.

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