HELENA (AP) - Two of the six major-party candidates for governor support teaching creationism in public schools.
Republican gubernatorial candidates Tom Keating and Ken Miller say schools should teach the belief that the Earth and life on Earth were created in a short period of time as described in the book of Genesis.
Democrats Brian Schweitzer and John Vincent, and Republicans Bob Brown and Pat Davison, believe the alternative to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution has no place in public schools.
In Darby recently, the school board gave preliminary authorization for what's called an ''objective origins'' science policy that encourages teachers to help students challenge theories such as evolution.
Keating, a petroleum landman and former Republican state senator from Billings, said he believes the theory of creation should be studied in the public schools in comparison to the theory of evolution.
''Yes, there should be serious study of creationism in the public schools as it relates to America,'' Keating said.
Miller, a furniture outlet store owner and former Republican state senator from Laurel, said creationism and the theory of evolution should have an equal place in school curriculum.
''If God is taken totally out of our schools, than so should Darwin's theory of evolution,'' Miller said. ''If both are presented and accepted as differing opinions, then students can seek out the truth that they and their parents are comfortable with.''
Democrat Schweitzer, a Whitefish farmer-rancher, said religion should be taught at home, or in churches or parochial schools.
''Religion does not have a place in our public schools,'' he said.
John Vincent, a Democrat, former state legislator and Gallatin County commissioner from Gallatin Gateway, said his 30 years as a classroom teacher showed him religious studies would be best taught at the university level.