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 runsCreationEvidence.info, 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.”
You might think that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Brown University biology major and someone who recently called on the Republican Party to “stop being the stupid party,” would not support nonsense such as critiquing evolution with dragons. You’d be wrong. Jindal recentlyre-emphasized his support for teaching creationism in public schools through LSEA. As he said in an interview with NBC News:
“We have what’s called the Science Education Act that says if a teacher wants to supplement those materials, if the school board’s OK with that, if the state school board’s OK with that, they can supplement those materials.
“I’ve got no problem if a school board, a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about creationism, that some people have these beliefs as well. Let’s teach them about intelligent design. I think teach them the best science.”
Evolution is not the only scientific theory that is controversial to Louisiana politicians. Apparently, modern medicine is also subject to debate. Louisiana state Sen. Elbert Guillory had a novel argument in defense of LSEA: It should not be repealed because he doesn’t want to “prematurely” declare that faith healing is “pseudo-science.”