Saturday, June 18, 2016

Is Louisiana's LSEA Bad Science?

It isn't, according to University of Shreveport political science professor Jeff Sadow. He argues:
[Senator Karen Carter] Peterson’s annual exercise persisted — until this year. With Democrat John Bel Edwards now governor, neither she nor anyone else filed a bill to repeal the act. That’s because the author of the law, former state Sen. Ben Nevers, a Bogalusa Democrat, serves as Edwards’ chief of staff. In the past, surely knowing her bill never would make it out of committee, Carter kept trying regardless as an apparent attempt to make Jindal look bad. She has no wish to do the same to Edwards.

But Peterson’s and others’ opposition to the act should disturb anybody who desires academic excellence in Louisiana education. The law creates a minor incentive for science classrooms to explore important issues and develop critical thinking skills. It also stands as a bulwark against the potential imposition of politically motivated orthodoxy masquerading as science. To oppose the act reveals an intolerance of freedom in academic inquiry — and a willingness to indulge a totalitarian impulse seeking to control information and knowledge.
Here is the problem that I see: the modern creationism movement has taken great pains to divorce the notion of creationism from the Bible, or any organized religion. They treat it as science, and promote it as such. They don't promote it as religion. To be sure, every court case that has been adjudicated has shown that it is, but because of this, the teaching of creationism now masquerades as “Teaching the Controversy” “Teaching the Full Range of views," or “Teach the Strengths and Weaknesses.”  Oddly, enough, these methodologies don't include all of scientific inquiry, but just happen to focus on evolution (and sometimes climate change).  Waiting in the wings is “scientific creationism,”  a view supported by a large number of legislators, it seems. 

Yes, it is true that we should keep science agenda free (and that is becoming increasingly hard in this over-politicized culture), but the LSEA does not do this.  If anything, it promotes the stealth agenda of ID and creationism.

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