Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Christianity Today: In Louisiana, students read the Book of Genesis in their science classes

Christianity Today has a very matter-of-fact account of young earth creationism being taught in Louisiana.  Marvie Basilan writes:
When a student in Louisiana opens his or her textbook in biology class, he or she may not learn about evolution but the "creation point of view" instead.

For some Louisiana public school students, their science textbook is the Bible. They read the Book of Genesis in their biology class.

Zach Kopplin of Slate.com was able to acquire several emails from the Bossier Parish which discussed the teaching of creationism.
The rest of the account reads like something out of Bizarro World, where parents complain that the kids are being taught evolution and the principal informs them that “it will not happen again.”  As I suspected, Livingston Parish was not unique. 

One of the defenses of the LSEA was that it did not open the door for creationism but, rather, allowed for teaching “the full range of views” on a subject, a position belied by what Basilan writes:
The Louisiana Science Education Act, which was passed by the state legislature in 2008, allows teacher to use other materials to "critique" evolution. This state law opened doors for teachers to teach creationism. Though illegal under federal law, the lessons are permitted under Louisiana law.
Opponents of the law argued that it was stealth creationism. Guess they were right.  The problem is that no amount of evidence will be enough if the legislature thinks evolution is wrong.  This is what happens when politicians get ahold of science education.  Bad things happen. 

UPDATE: more from Zack Kopplin, at Slate.  

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