Debate About Louisiana’s Creationism Law

WE TOLD YOU YESTERDAY (Upcoming debate on Louisiana Science Education Act) that this was coming. Now, from the Advocate in Baton Rouge, we have this eagerly-anticipated story: Lawyers debate fate of La. evolution law.

The topic was, as you know, the newly-passed Louisiana Science Education Act, signed by governor Bobby Jindal — a potential Vice Presidential nominee. Both debaters agreed that Louisiana is the only state in the nation with such a sweeping measure.

Regarding the two debaters, we previously informed you that one of them, Judge Darrell White, is the founder of the Louisiana Family Forum, which was instrumental in getting the legislature to enact the Louisiana Science Education Act. We also gave you a link to Judge White’s website, which reveals a strong creationist viewpoint: Origins Science: “Teaching the Controversy”.

The judge’s debate opponent, Michael Wolf, is a Baton Rouge lawyer. The debate was attended by the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

Here are some excerpts from today’s article (with Curmudgeonly commentary):

“Science itself is still an evolving discipline,” White said.

Not in Louisiana, creation-boy! You’ve seen to that.

Opponents have charged that the law is designed to inject religious views into public schools.

What other purpose does the new law have? Louisiana was already teaching science, and no additional legislation was needed for that.

White said the law echoes just the sort of science exploration advocated by Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution. “Should students not have the facts and be able to draw the implications themselves?” he asked.

[Curmudgeonly harrumph!] We’ve never yet encountered a creationist in these circumstances who was honest and straightforward about his purposes. While ramming Noah’s Ark down the kiddies’ throats (at state expense), they always claim that it’s good science. To be fair, some creationists aren’t intentionally lying; they’re merely crazed. We suspect that Judge White knows exactly what’s going on here.

Back to the article:

Wolf said he thinks any lawsuit to challenge the law will stem from how it is applied in public school classrooms.

“I am confident it will be held unconstitutional,” he said.

“What the Family Forum is trying to do is put religion in the classroom,” Wolf said.

Indeed. The fat’s in the fire.

The neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) were promoting laws like this in several states. They would have preferred to get their law passed in Florida, because that would have a big effect on the textbook industry. Being the intellectual scavengers they are, however, they’ll have to settle for what they can get.

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3 responses to “Debate About Louisiana’s Creationism Law

  1. “Should students not have the facts and be able to draw the implications themselves?” he [superannuated Judge White] asked.

    The learned Judge’s comment here is unobjectionable, but leaves open the question, what do the Cdesign Proponentsists actually have to put on the table by way of “facts”?

  2. The Curmudgeon

    I respectfully disagree. The judge is wrong. For example, before Isaac Newton, everyone had access to the same facts: the moon was up there, and apples fall to the ground. But Newton figured it out. So we teach Netwton’s ideas.

    Ditto for Darwin. Everyone saw living things. But it took a Darwin to figure out the process of evolution. So we teach Darwin’s ideas.

    In other words, you don’t dump facts on the kiddies and let them figure it out for themselves. They’re in school to learn what’s already been figured out. If they go on to become PhD researchers, then — and only then — maybe they’ll do some original thinking of their own.

  3. Pingback: A View from the Altar :: More monkey business in Louisiana