LOUISIANA HAS PROBLEMS with creationist legislation, which seem strikingly similar to those we’ve been reporting about in Florida. In two informative posts at Eugenie Scott’s National Center for Science Education, we learn that Louisiana has bills pending in the state’s House and Senate, both having begun as “academic freedom” style bills, but the Senate’s bill has been amended a bit.
Here’s the first: Antievolution bill in Louisiana progresses, which discusses the bill in the state Senate. Excerpt:
Senate Bill 561 — originally called the “Louisiana Academic Freedom Act”; now renamed the “Louisiana Science Education Act” — passed the Louisiana Senate Education Committee on April 17, 2008. As introduced, the bill contended that “the teaching of some scientific subjects, such as biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy, and that some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects,” and extended permission to Louisiana’s teachers to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.”
It is reported that Senate Education Committee Chairman Ben Nevers, who sponsored the bill, denied that his proposal was a bid to promote creationism. They all say that, don’t they? It is also reported that:
… Nevers acknowledged … that he introduced the bill at the behest of the Louisiana Family Forum, a religious right group that recommends a variety of young-earth and “intelligent design” creationist organizations, including the Institute for Creation Research, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, and Kent Hovind’s Creation Science Evangelism.
But of course, there’s no intent here to promote creationism. The bill has been amended (watered down, some say) and is still pending in the state’s Senate.
There’s also some hot creationist action in the state House of Representatives: A second antievolution bill in Louisiana. Excerpt:
House Bill 1168 (PDF) was introduced in the Louisiana House of Representatives on April 21, 2008. Dubbed the “Louisiana Academic Freedom Act,” HB 1168 is a counterpart of the original version of Senate Bill 561 … A local paper editorially described it as “a policy that is so clear that one School Board member voted affirmatively while adding, ‘but I don’t know what I’m voting on'”
Don’t laugh. It’s happening in Florida; and it’s happening in Lousiana. Your state may be next.