Dissing Darwin, Bibles Back in Public School Classrooms
Bibles are firmly rooted in public school science classrooms in Louisiana. The Idaho GOP Central Committee wants to replicate the Pelican State’s educational model.
But nothing worth doing is easy. The experience in Louisiana should show Idaho Republicans, if they really want to put the Bible back in the hands of public school teachers, especially science teachers, they need to be ready for evolutionists and Democrats to push back, and push back hard.
The fight to continue to allow Louisiana teachers to introduce “supplementary materials” into their science classes as part of the discussion of creationism, the Big Bang theory, and climate change is an annual affair.
Louisiana Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D) testified before a Senate Education Committee in 2014 that the state’s Science Education Act pushed their state back into the “Dark Ages” when it was approved in 2008.
“Creationism is being taught in Louisiana public schools and I don’t think it is appropriate that it is taught in science classes,” Peterson said.
She lost that fight. But, Peterson and other Louisiana Democrats are continuing to try to get the Science Education Act repealed in 2015.
Again, it looks like they have no hope. Peterson’s proposal, SB 74 — the Intelligent Outcomes Wanted Act (IOWA) — is stuck in the Senate Education Committee.
The Science Education Act was the first of its kind in the U.S. It permits teachers to bring in material other than the textbooks that have been approved by their school districts to help students “analyze, critique, and review scientific theories.”
“(In reality) I think this law provides an opportunity for creationism to be snuck into science classrooms under the guise of supplemental materials to critique controversial scientific theories such as evolution and climate change,” Peterson added.
However, there are scientists who have supported Louisiana’s Science Education Act. They strongly disagree with Peterson’s assertion that the LSEA is nothing but a loophole through which Christians can slip creationism into public school curriculum.
“The vocal activists who oppose the LSEA are seeking to confuse the issue, since the LSEA is not about creationism. In fact, when a group of Nobel Laureates recently signed a letter calling for the repeal of the LSEA, it is noteworthy that their letter refused to quote from the law itself and instead harped upon the distraction of ‘creationism.’ The truth is that LSEA does not permit teaching for or against any religious viewpoint,” Louisiana College biology professor Wade Warren, Ph.d., said in written testimony submitted to the Louisiana Senate Education Committee in 2011.
“If Darwin were alive today, he would urge us to teach his theory objectively. In Origin of Species, Darwin explained ‘a fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question,’” he added.
Warren’s letter was co-signed by 14 fellow scientists, with doctorates.