Monday, August 09, 2010

Lauri Lebo Comments on Livingston Parrish and Bruce Chapmen's Response

Lauri Lebo is particularly critical of Bruce Chapman's response to the goings on down in Louisiana, where Livingston Parrish School Board has elected to add creationism to the school curriculum in 2011-2012. Chapman was quick to distance the Discovery Center from the fracas, writing:
But in Livingston Parish, east of Baton Rouge, some enthusiasts for a literal Biblical account of creation decided that the new law gives them authority to teach creationism -- the account from Genesis. That view clearly violates the law and also the U.S. Constitution as it long has been interpreted.
In response to this she writes:

Once again, after pushing for anti-evolution language that opens the door to teaching creationism, the good fellows at the Discovery Institute bravely turned around and ran away from the local creationist-talking school board members who want to champion their cause.

Because the DI’s first rule about creationism? Don’t talk about creationism.

In lobbying for academic freedom bills, the DI carefully avoided discussion of Christianity, instead arguing that it was in the students' best interests to learn about all of the "wide range of views" regarding evolution. But that didn't work. She continues:
In lobbying for LSEA, the Discovery Institute had worked closely with the Louisiana Family Forum, a conservative Christian organization that directly championed the teaching of creationism as recently as 2004. (Read how Louisiana Coalition for Science’s Barbara Forrest connects the dots here.) However, because of that pesky First Amendment, which prohibits using public school biology class as a pulpit, creationism is never specifically mentioned in the LSEA. Instead, LSEA relies on code language to attack the teaching of evolution and other subjects that Christian fundamentalists hate because it contradicts their narrow religious worldview - reality be damned.
Forrest's referenced article is devastating in presenting its evidence that the Discovery Institute is clearly aware of what is going on in Louisiana and is supportive of it. As with Dover, all of the effort has gone into making this another test case of a law but the DI continually fails to understand that, contrary to what Chapman writes, these people in the rural parrishes and counties don't want ID taught, they want creationism taught. Because of the vague language of the LSEA and the fact that the language prohibiting the teaching of creationism was stripped from the law, local boards are taking action. Maybe this is not what the Discovery Institute had in mind, but they should have realized that this is what would happen. It is exactly the same thing that happened in Dover.

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1 comment:

  1. Another instance of the operation of a Dover Trap.