IT WASN’T REPORTED much, but Dr. Alan I. Leshner, head of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), sent a letter to Jim Tucker, Speaker of the Louisiana House, urging rejection of the creationism bill. Excerpt:
Backers of the bill, including the Louisiana Family Forum and the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, are longtime supporters of attempts to teach creationism or intelligent design as science. The judicial courts have ruled that both of these are religious concepts that do not belong in public school science classrooms. In fact, it was Louisiana’s own “creation science” law that the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 1987.
Louisiana students need a firm understanding of evolution and other essential scientific concepts to compete for high-skill jobs in an increasingly high-tech world economy. Asserting that there are controversies about these concepts among scientists – when in fact there are not – will only confuse them. I urge you to protect the future of science education in your state by rejecting this bill.
But the House, in its wisdom, ignored the AAAS. Why shouldn’t they? After all, the AAAS only represents around 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. They are also the publishers of Science, which has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million.
There is also a local organization, the Louisiana Coalition for Science, working to defeat the bill. Barbara Forrest, a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University, is a founding member. She was a key witness in the Dover litigation back in 2005 — Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
The Louisiana Coalition for Science has a lot of good information at their website. Check it out.