Intelligent Design in Louisiana
Outside the Beltway’s Robert Prather notes a shift:
The creationists deserve a few props here. Since the Dover loss they’ve switched strategies away from claiming that ID is science and are instead focusing on “academic freedom”. That the concept of academic freedom doesn’t generally apply at the elementary and secondary levels seems to be of no consequence. The Louisiana legislature has passed, by a veto-proof majority, a bill that protects the “academic freedom” of teachers to teach creationism as science. [...]
As a soon-to-be-resident of Louisiana, it has me wondering what I’ll be walking into. This will do nothing to help the image of the state, or of the state’s high school graduates. Indeed, I can see it making the more prestigious schools avoid Louisiana graduates and it will probably discourage the best professors from working at Louisiana’s finer schools, such as Tulane and Loyola.
Furthermore, if Governor Jindal signs the bill, as opposed to just letting it become law without his signature, it will reduce his chances of being McCain’s VP pick.
Think Progress quotes from Jindal’s appearance on Face the Nation Sunday:
I don’t think students learn by us withholding information from them. … I want them to see the best data. I personally think human life and the world we live in wasn’t created accidentally. I do think that there’s a creator. … Now the way that he did it, I’d certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best science. I don’t want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from them because of political correctness.
TP goes on to note that last year McCain gave a keynote address to the Discovery Institute, a religious right-wing think tank that aggressively promotes creationism.
Newt Gingrich was on that Face the Nation program singing Jindal’s praises; Steve Benen parses Gingrich’s arguments and hopes McCain goes ahead and picks him as VP.
Michael Weiss has a good piece in Slate on the problem with using scientists’ words to support your religious beliefs. Read it!
We in the LA Coalition for Science have reached the point at which the only possible measure we have left is to raise an outcry from around the country that Gov. Jindal has to hear. What is happening in Louisiana has national implications, much to the delight of the Discovery Institute, which is blogging the daylights out of the Louisiana situation.SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has passed both houses of the legislature, and the governor has indicated that he intends to sign it. But we don’t have to be quiet about this. There is something that you and everyone else you know who wants to help can do:
The LA Coalition for Science has posted a press release and an open letter to Jindal asking him to veto the bill. The contact information is at the LCFS website.
It is time for a groundswell of contacts to Jindal, and this must be done immediately since we don’t know when he will sign the bill. The vote in the legislature is veto-proof, so any request for Jindal to veto the bill must stress that the governor can make this veto stick if he wants it to stick. Please contact everyone you know and ask them to contact the governor’s office and ask him to veto the bill. Please blog this. If you have friendly contacts in your address book, please ask them to also contact the governor’s office.
We want people all over the country to do this, as many as possible, since Louisiana will be only the beginning. Their states could be next. Here are the talking points:
Point 1: The Louisiana law, SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has national implications. So far, this legislation has failed in every other state where it was proposed, except in Michigan, where it remains in committee. By passing SB 733, Louisiana has set a dangerous precedent that will benefit the Discovery Institute by helping them to advance their strategy to get intelligent design creationism into public schools. Louisiana is only the beginning. Other states will now be encouraged to pass such legislation, and the Discovery Institute has already said that they will continue their push to get such legislation passed.
Point 2: Since Gov. Jindal’s support for teaching ID clearly helped to get this bill passed in the first place, his decision to veto it will stick if he lets the legislature know that he wants it to stick.
Point 3: Simply allowing the bill to become law without his signature, which is one of the governor’s options, does not absolve him of the responsibility for protecting the public school science classes of Louisiana. He must veto the bill to show that he is serious about improving Louisiana by improving education. Anything less than a veto means that the governor is giving a green light to creationists to undermine the education of Louisiana children.
You can pull additional talking points from the LCFS press release and our online letter if you want them.
Now we have to get the message out to people. People can contact the governor and and also contact their friends, asking them to do the same. We need to create a huge network of e-mails asking people to do this. Where they live does not matter at this point. What is happening in Louisiana has implications for everyone in the nation. The Discovery Institute does not intend to stop with the Pelican State.
Via PZ Myers who comments:
You can read the open letter to Jindal; you can call him at 225-342-7015 or 866-366-1121 (Toll Free); fax him at 225-342-7099. Anyone anywhere in the country should hammer the message home. If Jindal has any national political aspirations, this willful destruction of science education in his home state is going to follow him around like stink on a skunk.