Wednesday, June 05, 2013

More Bad News For Louisiana Science Education

Zack Kopplin has written a piece for Slate in which he relates recent legislative attempts to derail legitimate science education.  The situation is much worse than I thought:
Last month, for the third year in a row, Louisiana’s Senate Education Committee killed a bill to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act. LSEA is stealth legislation that creates a loophole for creationism to be snuck into public school science classes. LSEA allows classroom use of supplemental creationist materials that “critique” evolution.

To get a sense of the supplemental materials approved under this law, you need look no further than its proponents. Suzanne Passman, who runs, testifies in support of LSEA every year. (You can see her testimony here and here.) She highlights LSEA on her website and suggests supplemental materials from the Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis (source of the Creation Museum), and the Discovery Institute, a think tank for intelligent design creationism. She also offers to provide notes from creationist lectures she has attended; my favorite is “Jurassic Prank,” which discusses “dragons as real creatures” and shows that “people saw dinosaurs and not so long ago.”
This certainly sheds light on the legislature's unwillingness to strike the equal treatment law from the books, even though it has been ruled unconstitutional.  The flat earth religion crowd simply won't give up!  The coup de grace, though is the video in which the poor science teacher is trying to explain basic evolutionary principles using E. coli and the legislator asks if it turns into a human.

I once thought that Louisiana science education would have trouble moving out of the 19th century into the 20th. Now I wonder if it will be perpetually stuck in the 18th century.  How tragic for the students of this state to be stuck with adults who don't know any better. 


  1. What idiots. I feel sorry for the students.

  2. What is amazing is that Louisiana has been the center of the storm for thirty years now. Whatever else happens in the country, you can be dang sure that Louisiana will lead the way.