As we mentioned yesterday (see Louisiana Creationism Repeal: Hearing Tomorrow), today was the hearing in the Senate Education committee on Senator Karen Carter Peterson‘s bill to repeal the odious Louisiana Science Education Act (the “LSEA”), which the legislature passed almost unanimously in 2008.
We were able to watch the hearing because it was broadcast from the committee room. Senator Peterson, who sponsored the repeal bill, spoke first. Then Zack Kopplin testified and did a fine job. He mentioned his list of 78 Nobel Prize winners — 78! — who supported repeal.
A retired biology teacher spoke for repeal, and she was interrogated by some creationist who was probably a member of the legislature. He asked her for an experiment that “proves” evolution. She talked about the fossil record, and how evolution predicts the types of fossils that will be found at each level, and then she mentioned an experiment involving generations of E. coli, in which some evolved to be able to digest various substances introduced into their isolated environments. The guy questioning her asked if they had evolved into a human or remained bacteria. Brilliant!
The wildest witness of all was some woman who home-schools her kids. She did a Gish gallop, but one of her points was that evolution is “historical science” and is therefore unreliable. There were a few other witnesses, including some constitutional “expert” who claimed that the law was fine and didn’t need to be repealed.
After the last witness we’re pretty sure a vote was taken. Alas, it happened so fast that we missed it. As soon as we learn the result we’ll mention it here. Were we to guess, we’d say the vote was against repeal. If anyone else watched the hearing, feel free to add your commentary.
An effort to repeal a Louisiana law that allows teachers to introduce alternatives to evolution in science classrooms was rejected in a Senate committee.
The Senate Education Committee voted 2-1 against the measure with Sens. Mike Walwroth, R-West Monroe and Bodi White, R-Central voting against the repeal. Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, voted for SB374 by Sen. Karen Peterson, D-New Orleans. Several members were absent and Committee Chairman Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, did not vote.
So there you are. What are a mere 78 Nobel Prize winning scientists compared to the brilliance of the Louisiana legislature?
See also: Louisiana Creationism Repeal: The Full Story.
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