WE’VE REPORTED EARLIER about anti-evolution legislation pending in Louisiana and some other states. It now appears that the forces of reason are bringing out the heavy guns.
Appearing in the New Orleans Times-Picayune is a letter written by Dr. Alan I. Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), with 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. They publish 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.
This is Dr. Leshner’s letter: Anti-science law threatens tech jobs of future. Excerpt:
The 21st-century economy will require a new generation of scientists and engineers, and signs point to trouble ahead for New Orleans and Louisiana. Employers already are struggling to fill science and tech jobs, and recent test scores show that 53 percent of the state’s eighth-graders — the workforce of tomorrow — lack basic competence in science.
It is therefore alarming that the Louisiana Senate has passed a bill that directly threatens science education.
Proponents offer deceptive arguments about encouraging students to think critically. But Louisiana’s education standards already do that.
The real intent is to introduce classroom materials that raise misleading objections to the well-documented science of evolution and offer a religious idea called intelligent design as a supposed alternative. That would unleash an assault against scientific integrity, leaving students confused about science and unprepared to excel in a modern workforce.
This is excellent, but it may not be enough. Curmudgeon fans in Louisiana should contact their legislators and inform them of the deleterious nature of the pending legislation.