Sunday, February 22, 2009

More on the Louisiana Bill

The Washington Times has a story on the passage of SB 561, the "academic freedom" bill that would allow supplemental materials into science classrooms. They note that the vote was 94-3 in favor of the bill—is Louisiana really that conservative?—but that Governor Bobby Jindal has not promised to sign it, but review it. They note:

"It's not about a certain viewpoint," said supporter Jason Stern, Vice President of the Louisiana Family Forum, a conservative group pushing the bill. "It's allowing [teachers] to teach the controversy. It's an academic freedom issue."

Would they think the same thing if someone wanted to teach an alternative to germ theory? Infections are caused by demons, rather than bacteria? If groups like the LFF can continue to promote the "teach the controversy" idea, despite the fact that there is none, they will continue to succeed. The story also notes:

Similar bills allowing teachers to criticize evolutionary theories have been introduced in Michigan, Missouri, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, though some of them have died for the year as legislatures adjourned. The Discovery Institute, a think tank in Seattle that promotes the "intelligent design" theory, has helped craft many of the bills - a fact that has raised alarm among the bill's opponents.

The Louisiana bill would require the state board of education - at the request of a city, parish or local school board - to "allow and assist" schools to foster an environment that "promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis and open and objective discussion of scientific theories" such as evolution, global warming and human cloning.

Lauri Lebo is correct: the DI seems to have jettisoned the idea of promoting the science of intelligent design and is now consumed by the idea of ramming the "academic freedom" idea through the legal system. Their similarity to the ICR and like organizations just becomes more apparent every day.


  1. Jim,
    Thank you for keeping us up-to-date on these I.D. in the classroom issues in the various states. Even when there are few if any comments, please know that the work you do to keep your readers abreast of this legislative treadmill is appreciated!

  2. You are quite welcome, Cliff. I am happy to do it.