Politicians in Texas are considering a bill that would give legal protection to teachers who present Creationism as a scientific theory.
It is one of eight US states where similar laws have been proposed since the start of the year. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma and South Dakota are the others.
The Texan bill would allow science teachers to present ideas “that may cause controversy” on issues such as evolution and global warming.
The proposals are the latest in a long-running debate over whether religious beliefs should be allowed in the classroom.
A 2014 Gallup poll found that 42 per cent of Americans believe humans were created by God 10,000 years ago. A further 31 per cent believe in evolution, but under God’s guidance.
Only 19 per cent believe God has nothing to do with evolution.
Kimberly Villanueva, a teacher at a middle school in Texas, thinks that changing the law would actually help keep students in her classroom.
"I had children last year get up and leave the classroom when we taught plate tectonics and evolution,” she told Agence France Presse news agency.
Should the bill pass, Ms Villanueva believes it would help keep her pupils in school and “open minds to scientific possibilities as well”.
But critics of the bills say they are an attempt to get around constitutional limitations that separate church from state.
In giving teachers the option to teach religious theories, rather than making it compulsory, detractors have claimed it puts schools in an impossible position.
Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, told AFP: "Allowing the teacher to teach Creationism would risk the possibility of a lawsuit from a parent objecting that it's unconstitutional to teach Creationism.
"Stopping the teacher from proceeding would risk the possibility of a lawsuit from the teacher."Reuse content