Here’s what looks to be a new twist in the debate over teaching creationism in public schools. A state senator in Indiana has succeeded in amending a bill on the topic to require that public schools teaching creationism must include origin theories from multiple religions, including not just Christianity but also Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology, the Associated Press reports.
Critics of the original bill said they believe it would be rejected by the courts, as have previous efforts to teach creationism in public schools. The author of the new amendment, Sen. Vi Simpson, a Democrat, said she did not think the changes would have any bearing on the constitutional question. But she suggested it might make school districts pause before tackling creationism, the biblically based view that God created humans in their current form.
“It does make it clear that a school board can’t just say we’re only going to teach Christian creation theory but we also have to cover other multiple religions,” Simpson said, according to the AP.
The broadened bill still faces a vote by the full Senate before advancing to the House, the AP story notes.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.