Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Louisiana Science Education Act — Gov. Jindal signs off on it!


I just received this press release from Seattle’s Discovery Institute:

Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Historic Science Education Act On Evolution and Education

Baton Rouge – Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law the Louisiana Science Education Act, ensuring the state’s teachers their right to teach the scientific evidence both for and against Darwinian evolution.

“The bill is a bold statement protecting the freedom of teachers to discuss both the scientific evidence for and against Darwinian evolution and other controversial scientific theories,” said Casey Luskin, an attorney and program officer for public policy and legal affairs at Discovery Institute. “The bill does exactly what it says, which is to allow teachers and school districts to ‘use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.’”

Here are some key facts about the new law.

Teachers are still required to teach according to state and local science standards. But under the law, a school district could permit a teacher to present additional scientific evidence, analysis, and critiques regarding topics already in the approved curriculum.

Teachers are still required to follow the standard curriculum, and school districts would still need to authorize what teachers are doing in order for the law to come into operation. Moreover, any teaching or supplemental instructional materials would have to be consistent with the prohibition of the promotion of religion in Section 1D of the bill. Finally, any inappropriate instructional materials could be disallowed under the bill by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Upon the request of a local school board, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will be required to “allow and assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” Assistance from the State Board in this area now will “include support and guidance for teachers regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and objectively review scientific theories being studied.”

Teachers will be permitted to “use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.” But teachers using supplemental resources must first “teach the material presented in the standard textbook supplied by the school system,” and the State Board of Education reserves the right to veto any inappropriate supplemental materials.

The law is needed for two reasons. First, around the country, science teachers are being harassed, intimidated, and sometimes fired for trying to present scientific evidence critical of Darwinian theory along with the evidence that supports it. Second, many school administrators and teachers are fearful or confused about what is legally allowed when teaching about controversial scientific issues like evolution. The Louisiana Science Education Act clarifies what teachers may be allowed to do.

The law will not allow for inclusion of religion. Section 1D of the law clearly states that the law “shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.”

I personally think this is great news for a few reasons: 1 – Protects the freedom of teachers. This law relieves a great deal of stress felt by teachers. Our society has created robots for teachers. These types of teachers, who always fear losing their jobs, only pass on their robotic recitation of textbooks to students. Every student coming out of their classrooms will be trained in the way of one idea, never having heard the contradictions, challenges or complications of the Evolution theory. It is only wise to demand that students be able to efficiently answer, or at least analyze, questions posed from both sides of the argument. 2 – Clarifies legislation. It is said very plainly in the article: “[M]any school administrators and teachers are fearful or confused about what is legally allowed when teaching about controversial scientific issues like evolution. The Louisiana Science Education Act clarifies what teachers may be allowed to do.” 3 – Separates Intelligent Design from “religion”. It is smart to separate Intelligent Design from the common perspective of “religion”. Religion is not the part that redeems people anyhow. There are other places to appropriately discuss moral standards or the beliefs of certain religions regarding creation. In the classroom, it is best to “use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.” Help students engage in this ongoing debate rather than tell them that science is final in all its findings. 4 – Allows for critical thinking. Critical thinking is a huge factor in the development of any person, but unfortunately it is not required or necessary in many classrooms. There is no reason our culture, our educational system, our political leaders or any person for that matter, should shy away from the truth. The truth is what sets us free. I am excited to see if this sparks any fires in other legislative offices. srshibley
right, but the issue here is that he is a biologist, and I want to know if he believes in a 6,000 year old earth. If so, then, as a biologist, he doesn't believe in common descent. ajl
Errr I think the above link is not properly set. Here is it. http://www.kolbecenter.org/what_church_teaches.pdf Mats
Catholic THeology is not dogmatic when it comes to the age of the universe, but the historical position of the RC, starting from the church fathers, is the young earth position. Only in the last 100/150 years they have become less dogmatic on that. Check this out! Mats
Jindal is a Catholic and while I believe it is not part of Catholic theology it is possible to believe in a young earth and still be a Catholic. It was certainly the common belief through the centuries. I know there was a Polish Catholic scientist who was mentioned here about a year ago who espoused a young earth. However, I am not sure what else is tied to YEC beliefs that would not be in sync with Catholic theology. Maybe some of the YEC's might know more. jerry
I heard Jindahl is indeed at YEC, and a biologist. Someone recently commmented "how did this guy get out of college as a biology major and YEC". A professor of his said "he certainly didn't let on that he was a YEC while here". Does anyone know if this is true? ajl
IDEA Center Promotional Video 3 http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=6868b4403958a1784824 bornagain77
Pardon: Dr Dembski! kairosfocus
Denyse: Pardon a remark or two on the broader side to the issue of strengths and limitations of scientific theories and knowledge bases. For, inherently, scientific methods are provisional, being based on what is, strictly, a basic logical fallacy (actually, the very fallacy that Pope Urban VIII was trying to point out to his then friend Galileo . . . only to have it put in the mouth of Simplicio in the notorious Dialogue ):
OBSERVATIONS, O --> EXPLANATIONS [We infer from observations to explaining perceived patterns] EXPLANATIONS, E = hypotheses, models and/or theories [of which we choose the currently "best"] But now, the logic is, bringing in predicted future observations P1, P2 . . .: E => O + P1, P2, . . . Pn Empirical test: we look for predicted observations [and use them to confirm the "current reliability" of E] [Provisional] inference: E => O + P1, P2, . . . Pn O + P1, P2, . . . Pn So, E. PROBLEM This affirms the consequent, i.e P --> Q, Q, so P has the logic structure of "if Tom is a Cat, then Tom is an animal. Tom is an animal so he must be a cat." (That is implication is not equivalence in logic.) Major historical exemplar: Newtonian dynamics -- champion 1680's - 1880's, found severely wanting 18880's - 1900's, new [and incompatible] Relativity and Quantum theories emerged 1900's - 1930.
Current conundrum: Darwinian Evolution is in trouble but is being as stoutly defended by the power-brokers of science as was Ptolemaic astronomy in C17. Compounded by politicisation of science and embedding of worldviews censorship and slander or worse of questioners, in defence of establishments. Similar concerns extend to claimed Anthropogenic Global Warming and several other issues. So, I believe the Louisiana initiative needs to dig in a bit deeper into the underlying issue of the nature of science and its epistemological strengths and limitations. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
Another fairly good video that appears to be done by a young I.D.E.A. member. EVOLUTION: a theory on life support http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=325ef3ad56001a87e093 bornagain77
Southpark: Why Darwin's 'Evolution' is a 'Bad Thing' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUHwanHMmLs Dogbert and the theory of evolution http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19PfUIovUaU bornagain77
I wonder if this type of debate will now be allowed High School classrooms of La.? Does Science Point To A Creator? Michael Shermer and Stephen Meyer Debate. From the program ''Faith Under Fire'' with Lee Strobel. http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=9fd3346a00e0a0e1668f bornagain77
IDEA Center Promotional Video http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=42c97bd3bd355c4cbfd9 bornagain77
IDEA Center Promotional Video 2 http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=6fd1e33868c4bed83c95 bornagain77
ICC = Internet Chess Club? ICC = International Criminal Court ? ICC = International Code Council ? Mats
Mats, Will you be at ICC 2008? Sal scordova
Jindal for President! scordova
So creationist Jindal has allowed this creationist bill to go on? I should have known! Creationists of a flock fly together! Can't you all see that this is a bill to teach young earth creationism in Lousiana?! YOU ARE DESTROYING SCIENCE |"$!#!!! On a related news, Spain is giving human rights to chimps. Isn't evolution great?!! Mats
russ, I used my real name of course. Beancan5000 is just an anonymous name I made up on the spot. I picked the name beancan because during the Y2K scare people were buying massive amounts of canned beans to stock up for the apocalypse. I had this image of people hunkered down in bunkers surrounded by piles of empty bean cans, waiting for doom to fall. In the silence, clock ticking close to midnight, everyone scared waiting for the dreaded Y2K bug to disable civilization, the effects of all them beans kicks in: someone cuts the cheese. Someone laughs albeit nervously. Then another laughs then everyone laughs. At 12:01 AM the fearful bean eaters see the absurdity of the situation and sheepishly crawl out of the bunker and go to bed. A few weeks later in the mail a bill arrives for several thousand dollars worth of canned goods and supplies. Much cursing and swearing is heard and a loud voice yells out, "I never want to eat another bean as along as I live!". So, that's the story of my UD moniker. PS: As a system administrator I was aware that the Y2K was a non-issue, had to console and assure family members it wasn't a big deal. I was not in any bunker. beancan5000
Hooray! I am heartened to feel that my online letter did some good.
Not if you signed your letter "Beancan5000". ;) russ
ID theory leads to a critical analysis of evolution. A critical analysis of evolution leads to the movie Expelled. The movie Expelled leads to changes in legislation. This legislative change leads to teaching the truth. Way to go. Thank you very much Bill!!! Peter
Hooray! I am heartened to feel that my online letter did some good. Here is what I wrote to his office:
Dear Governor Jindal: SB 733 recently was passed by both houses of the legislature. Please support SB 733. This will allow critical analysis on the Theory of Evolution and will allow students to think for themselves instead of blindly accepting an unproven, dogmatic assertion which is the Theory of Evolution. This theory takes the observed science of changes within a kind (evolution) and extrapolates this into speculation concerning the origins of the species, particularly mankind. This is NOT science, it is materialistic philosophy coated in the noble discipline of biology to give it the appearance of truth and scientific authority. Thank you, sir, for your time and attention to this matter
Wow! This is great news Jindal for VP!!! jpark320
Jindal was a biology major at Ken Miller's IVY league school, Brown University.... This is why I'm enthusiastic about the spread of true science in the universities through channels outside of the public school system and even the college classroom. The movement for open inquiry is fascilitated by public leactures, public debates, books, internet, DVD, churches and things like the IDEA chapters.... I suspect Jindal is sympathetic to critical analysis because of the free flow of information in the court of public opinion.... scordova
Great,,,Now Children of at least La. will be allowed to question life origins instead of being indoctrinated by a one-sided barrage of propaganda. As a sidelight I found this video put together by an I.D.E.A club. This video shows me that young people have a fairly good grasp of the Intelligent Design theory. INTELLIGENT DESIGN ( A TESTABLE THEORY) http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=57976dac265008c3f7db bornagain77

Leave a Reply