Creationism Bill rejected after receiving nationwide backlash

The week of Apr. 11, the Arkansas house introduced a bill titled, “The Creationism Bill.” According to John Timmer of, the bill states the following: 

“A teacher of kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) science class at a public school or open-enrollment public charter school may teach creationism as a theory of how the earth came to exist.”

Supporters of the bill believe that through the teaching of creationism, students are able to have discussions and debate which theory is most logical to them individually. Promoting this discussion not only improves the learning of this subject, but encourages flexible individuality in the classroom. According to 5News reporter Bailey Devane, prior to the passage of the bill, the teaching of creationism was restricted to either religious or philosophy classes, not science classes. According to Devane, the bill was brought about on behalf of a group of teachers in District-73.

“The bill’s author, Rep. Mary Bentley, told 5NEWS science teachers in her district asked her to write the bill so they could discuss multiple scientific theories of origin.”

However, after getting nationwide backlash, the bill was rejected. Critics claim the bill was unconstitutional and that Arkansas should not follow through with the passage of this bill because of the similarity to the 1982 case that involved the Arkansas Board of Education. 

In the court case, McLean V. Arkansas, the teaching of creationism in the classroom was concluded to be unconstitutional based on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

Although I do agree that we should abide by the Constitution, I believe that there is a constitutional approach that could be taken to allow this bill. The Creationism Bill does not require teachers to teach creationism. The bill rather gives them the option to introduce the creationism theory as a rebuttal to the classic theory of evolution. By giving teachers the option to teach creationism, the bill strays away from being considered unconstitutional based on the fact that it is not a curriculum requirement.