Indiana legislators are moving forward on a bill that would allow creationism to be taught in the state's public school system.
The Senate Education Committee voted 8-2 Wednesday to present the bill to the full Senate, the Associated Press reports.
With origins in the Bible's Book of Genesis, creationism suggests that divine power created man, animal, and all earthly matters. The idea is an opposing view to the science-based theory of evolution.
If the bill passes, Indiana school districts will have the option to include creationism as part of science courses, Indianapolis' WXIN reports.
The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Dennis Kruse, head of the Indiana State Senate's Education Committee.
Kruse previously proposed similar legislation in 2000 when he served as a state representative. That bill never made it past a committee vote, according to the Journal Gazette.
Indiana isn't the only state to examine the possibility of adding creationism to school curriculum.
Oklahoma, New Hampshire and Missouri have all looked at similar bills designed to encourage a critical look at evolution theory, the Wall Street Journal observes.
About 60 percent of high school biology teachers teach evolution in the classroom without taking a direct stance on the issue LiveScience reports.
The article states:
Based on respondents' write-in answers, the researchers surmised that many of these cautious teachers toed the line, weakly teaching evolution without explicitly endorsing or denying creationism in order to avoid controversy and questions from both students and parents.
Only 13 percent of the teachers surveyed in the nationwide study published in the journal Science said they support creationism and teach it "in a positive light."
*This story has been updated for greater clarity.