Louisiana Creationism Repeal: The Full Story

Yesterday, when we posted our Hearing Report about the Senate Education Committee’s hearing on Senator Karen Carter Peterson‘s bill to repeal the odious Louisiana Science Education Act (the “LSEA”), we did the best we could, but we were sometimes distracted from watching the broadcast, and when the vote came it went so swiftly that we missed it.

But now, thanks to one of our clandestine operatives, code-named “Bayou Boy,” we’ve learned that Senator Peterson has a blog, and she’s not only written about the hearing, she has a video of the proceedings. You can see it all here.

Among the interesting things Senator Peterson says are these:

The Senate Education Committee took up the Repeal with only 4 members present on the dais, the minimum for a quorum. At the outset, it was clear that several members wanted to avoid voting to retain this law. Last year, the same Committee boldly voted 6-1 to scuttle the repeal. This year, however, despite an extensive agenda during which other members were present, several walked out in the hall during the Repeal debate.

Then she quotes a bit from Zack Kopplin’s powerful presentation, after which we learn this:

Senator Dan Claitor amended the Repeal bill (SB 374) to repeal further language in Louisiana law, Louisiana RS 17:286.4, which provides explictly for “balanced treatment of creation-based science,” and which has already determined to be unconstitutional. This amendment was accepted without objection by the Education Committee.

Very nice. That’s the law that was declared unconstitutional in Edwards v. Aguillard, but which is still on the books. Let’s read on:

In the end, the Senate Education Committee defeated passage of the bill by a close vote of 1-2, with Senator Claitor voting in favor. The Chairman exercised his right not to vote.

There were only three votes. That’s why we missed it — the voting took only about 30 seconds.

She concludes with this:

The Repeal will return next year, and each year, until we defeat this law. It is the right thing to do for our students, our state and our future.

All right! Cheers for Zack and for Senator Peterson. Now click over to her blog and watch the video.

Addendum: Here are several brief segments from the hearing that have been posted at YouTube: 2012 Attempt to Repeal Louisiana’s Creationism Law.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Louisiana Creationism Repeal: The Full Story

  1. I’m watching the video now and I just have to say this:
    “ZACK IS IN THE HOUSE!”
    I feel better now.
    You can tell that Senator Peterson is not comfortable sitting in the spotlight, but props to her for getting in there.

  2. Sen Claitor: “These Nobel Laureates that you spoke about, are any of them from Louisiana?”
    Answer: “No.”
    My response: “Gee, Senator, if you got rid of this law and, more importantly, the mindset behind it, you could probably correct that deficiency.”

  3. Darlene Reeves is my hero.
    And to Senator “Show Me One Experiment that Proves Evolution” Walsworth, what one experiment would you use to disprove evolution?
    Didn’t think so.

  4. CORRECTION: I’m an idiot. I didn’t realize that the reason that Senator Claitor was asking that question about Nobel Laureates was precisely to point out that Louisiana did not have any Nobel Laureates. Once again, my anger at stupidity blinds me. My apologies for my earlier comment concerning Claitor.

  5. Connecting a couple of dots here …

    Suzanne Passman testified this year as one of the opponents of repealing LSEA, i.e. defending LSEA. She testified last year as well. She states that she’s a home schooler and former science teacher.

    What didn’t she tell us? She registered a website called Creation Evidence, a gateway to YEC nonsense. Check out whois on that site for confirmation.

  6. Rubble says: “Connecting a couple of dots here …”

    Good info. Here are several brief segments from the hearing that have been posted at YouTube: 2012 Attempt to Repeal Louisiana’s Creationism Law.

  7. Well done, Rubble. Dead on. My problem was that I had to stop watching when she spoke (a) cuz I was clogging up SC’s blog with my comments and (b), as soon as she started her testimony with “I proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that evolution is not a fact”, I felt a cerebral hemorrhage coming on.

  8. retiredsciguy

    @garystar1: “…she (Suzanne Passman) started her testimony with “I proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that evolution is not a fact”…”

    Wow! And that’s from a former science teacher. Maybe that explains why she’s a former science teacher. If she’s so sure of her proof, she should publish.

  9. RSG said:

    If she’s so sure of her proof, she should publish.

    That’s exactly what I was thinking when I heard her say that. Well, actually, the first thing I thought was, “Tylenol. I need Tylenol.” After that was fixed, I thought, “Gee, I wonder when I’ll see her earth-shattering paper that undoes 150+ years of scientific research.”
    Yeah. Not holding my breath on that one.

  10. retiredsciguy

    garystar1 says, “That’s exactly what I was thinking when I heard her say that.”

    Hmm. Do you suppose there was something in West Lafayette’s water that makes Boilermaker brains work the same way?

  11. RSG said:

    Do you suppose there was something in West Lafayette’s water that makes Boilermaker brains work the same way?

    That could be. Problem is that most of the time that I was there, people weren’t drinking water (if you know whatta mean…)

  12. Rubble says: “Suzanne Passman testified …”

    Just spotted this in The Advocate: Forrest, Passman to address Press Club:

    Southeastern Louisiana University Philosophy Professor Barbara Forrest and Baton Rouge home school teacher Suzanne Passman will be guest speakers for Monday’s noon meeting of the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

    Forrest and Passman will discuss efforts to repeal Louisiana’s Science Education Act.