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Indiana Senate Passes Academic Freedom Bill Targeted at Evol
Indiana Senate Passes Academic Freedom Bill Targeted at Evolution’s Stranglehold
by Steve Eastman
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — The Declaration of Independence
Thanks to Senator Dennis Kruse, Indiana educators may soon have the same freedom to express their beliefs about the origin of man as Thomas Jefferson did when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. This week the state Senate passed SB-89, which states, “The governing body of a school corporation may offer instruction on various theories of the origin of life. The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.”
Although some Indiana school districts currently teach creationism alongside evolution, the legislation may result in a layer of state support whenever the action is challenged in court. The usual argument against teaching both sides of the issue is the so-called separation of church and state. However when the First Amendment is actually examined, instead of merely referred to, unbiased observers find there is no mention of any level of government below the federal. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Asserting the equivalence of a school board to Congress is like saying local board members can declare war, balance the federal budget and impeach a President. There was an attempt in the nineteenth century to extend the Congressional prohibition to the states, but the proposed constitutional amendment failed.
In this century, there is a feeble attempt to say that the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause requires states to make sure atheists are not exposed to the other side of the issue. If that were a true reading of legislative intent, the reverse would also be true, that people of faith have a right to only hear about divine creation.
Charles Darwin is not entirely to blame for his fanciful theory of origins. He was a child of his times. The nineteenth century was a period of great scientific naivety, when Newtonian physicists never dreamed of relativity, flight in heavier than air craft was declared impossible and biologists were blithely ignorant of the multiple interdependencies of the microscopic structures within a living cell. Today, intelligent design biologists use the term “irreducible complexity” to describe this system of mutual reliance, something that could never spring fully formed from ”natural selection.”
It is expected that the Indiana House will pass its version of SB-89 and that Governor Mitch Daniels will sign it. And it’s even more certain that today’s descendants of the Flat Earth Society will use threats of expensive lawsuits to fight discoveries made since evolution was cutting edge science.
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