HAVE YOU WONDERED how the Louisiana legislature could have been so spectacularly bone-headed when they overwhelmingly passed their anti-evolution law? We’ve been wondering too, and we’ve found a piece of the puzzle.
From The Town Talk, which describes itself as “Serving Alexandria, Pineville, and Central Louisiana,” we have Origins of life education law prompts debate. Here are some excerpts, with bold added for emphasis:
Educators say the Louisiana Science Education Act will have no initial impact on Rapides Parish students, although opponents say it opens the door to teach religion and creationism in public school classrooms.
Fine, then they tell about the factions on both sides. Very journalistic. But this got our attention:
Louisiana College’s Wade Warren, assistant dean of the college and associate professor of biology, supports the law.
He said he thinks people who are upset by the bill have not read it. Warren said opponents argue that the new law pushes intelligent design and creationism into the classroom, and it doesn’t.
The professor at the private Baptist college in Pineville said he liked the bill because it allows teachers to teach current science information in a field that moves fast.
Really? He’s an “associate professor of biology” and he actually liked the bill? So we checked out Louisiana College in Pineville, La. That’s located where the newspaper we’re quoting from is also located, so we see a natural affinity here. When we click on About LC we learn that the degrees offered are: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of General Studies. Fine. Not every school offers graduate-level science degrees. We also learn:
Louisiana College is a private, Baptist coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences with selected professional programs.
Also fine. This is America. From there we click on Identity & Mission, where we read this:
The mission of Louisiana College is to provide a liberal arts education characterized by academic excellence, a commitment to the preeminence of the Lord Jesus, an allegiance to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and a passion for changing the world for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Bible is truth without any mixture of error. The college seeks to view all areas of knowledge from a distinctively Christian perspective and integrate Biblical truth thoroughly with each academic discipline.
Well, this too is fine. That’s how they like it and it’s up to them. But we noted above that they offer a degree they call “Bachelor of Science.” What is that? We have to wonder, given the scriptural orientation of Louisiana College, whether the biology they teach is essentially “creation science.”
They tell us more here: Division of Natural Sciences. We learn that Dr. Wade Warren, the man quoted above, is indeed the Coordinator, Department of Biology; Assistant Professor of Biology, and that department has three other members besides Dr. Warren.
So we keep digging. We click on a link to a pdf file named Major and Minor Requirements and Course Descriptions for the Department of Biology. It’s eight pages long, and a search on either “evolution” or “Darwin” produces no hits. “Natural selection” gets two hits. Once in a course on “Cell Function and Plant Diversity,” and another in a course on “Ecological Interactions and Animal Diversity.” Neither course seems to specifically teach the theory of evolution, but it’s difficult to judge without knowing the textbooks they use.
So we read the whole eight-page document. There are some apparently detailed courses, but we don’t see anything that suggests they teach the theory of evolution. Unless we learn otherwise, we strongly suspect that they don’t teach anything that might contradict Genesis.
Why, you are wondering, is the Curmudgeon spending his time exploring the biology curriculum of a small (1,056 students) Baptist college in Louisiana? It’s because the story we’re discussing tells us this:
[Dr. Wade] Warren was among three LC professors who testified in Baton Rouge on the [creationism-friendly] bill.
Whoa! Three legislative witnesses from one Baptist college? Yes, and the legislature apparently knew just what was going on. The newspaper story continues:
While there [testifying in Baton Rouge], he [Wade Warren] said some in the science community testified after the LC professors that there was no controversy about evolution.
But a senator pointed out that there was controversy just in the room among the science educators.
Yes, the presence of “science educators” from a bible-based college will certainly do that. The article goes on about what Wade Warren told the legislature:
“Not all evidence does that [support Darwinism],” Warren said.
He said he sees where teachers would be fearful to bring up evidence that does not support the Darwin model.
Warren said he does not understand why some in the science community are upset with the bill.
“I don’t know what they are afraid of,” he said.
So there you have it, Curmudgeon fans. The Louisiana legislature loaded up the hearings on their new “science” bill with testimony from such as Wade Warren. Now you know.