Rep. Thompson has introduced HB 1283 which is part of the ongoing effort to promote the teaching of creationism as science in public schools and to undermine the legitimacy of evolution. But, since that’s unconstitutional, it’s not an effort to promote the teaching of creationism as science in public schools and to undermine the legitimacy of evolution. [*wink*]
Let’s dissect this thing a little bit.
First, it’s placed in the “mandatory curriculum” chapter of the Indiana Code. Next, it contains a “findings of the General Assembly” section. This is always a red flag to me. When drafting bills, the Legislative Services Agency will never put one of these into the code on their own initiative. A law should tell you what to do or not do on its own. The reasons why are mostly just academic to the functioning of a legal code. Someone asked pretty directly for the findings to be included.
Next it says that school administrators “shall endeavor” to “create an environment” that “encourages” students to “explore” questions and respond “appropriately” and “respectfully” to different conclusions and theories concerning subjects set forth in subsection (a)(2). (emphasis added by me). I suppose “theories” is the tell here. Otherwise, conclusions” would be sufficient as it encompasses theories along with other non-theory conclusions.
And what are the subjects set forth in (a)(2)? (a)(2) reads:
some subjects, including, but not limited to, science, history, and health, have produced differing conclusions and theories on some topics;
The whole thing is just so wishy washy. But why not further elaborate on “some subjects” – religion and politics are notable for producing different conclusions and theories on some topics. But, why even “some topics”? I would contend that all topics have been the subject of differing conclusions.
Facts are unknowable. The scientific method is a poor substitute for anecdotes and strongly held beliefs. Why try? Class dismissed.