Louisiana Creationism: Battling Letters to the Editor

louisiana

Louisiana, having enacted the nation’s only anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism education law, is being embarrassed because of a boycott by the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, one of the nation’s leading scientific societies, who have decided not to have their convention in New Orleans.

According to Dr. Barbara Forrest, a star witness for the winning side in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, one of the principal architects of this creationist legislation is Rev. Gene Mills, the executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF). Forrest has been critical of Mills, saying that he and his support for the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), is a big part of the reason for the law’s passage, and therefore he — along with Governor Jindal who signed the law — must share responsibility for the science group’s boycott.

A few weeks ago we wrote: Gene Mills Lashes Out, about a letter Mills wrote in response to an editorial calling Louisiana’s law an “affront to reason.” His letter, dated 10 March, appeared in the Advocate from Baton Rouge. To remind you of the quality of Mills’ intellectual style, we’ll repeat one brief excerpt from his letter:

Darwin’s ideas do have an observable scientific track record. They have left in their wake a trail of feticide, genocide, racism, hatred, war and terrorism. To Louisiana Family Forum, that is “an affront to reason.”

Every few days, the Advocate publishes another letter from citizens about the creationism problem. One letter in this series, dated 21 March, was so “good” that we wrote about it here: Creationist Wisdom — Example 33.

Two more have appeared since then. This one is by Barbara Forrest, dated 24 March: Mills, Jindal craft public policy. She says:

Why is Mills so concerned with what other people’s children are learning in public schools? Whom does he think he’s fooling when he claims to be concerned with “academic freedom”?

[…]

Mills has promoted creationism for years. In June 2008, when Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the LSEA, the LFF Web site offered a “fact sheet” titled “Origins Science Web sites” with hyperlinks to both young-Earth and intelligent design creationist Web sites.

[…]

Mills, with Jindal’s help, is crafting public policy that reflects his personal religious agenda. The responsibility for the negative economic blowback rests squarely on their shoulders.

That was followed by another letter in the Advocate, dated 26 March: God and science in the classroom, written by a member of the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board, which concluded by saying:

I firmly believe that, if we find space for both God and science in our classrooms, we may learn that the two have a great deal in common. I say to the fundamentalists on both sides: Bring your best evidence to an open marketplace of ideas, and let the biases fall where they may.

And now, to bring this back to Barbara Forrest and Gene Mills, we present to you yet another letter appearing in the Advocate: Backer responds to critic of Mills. It’s a short letter, so we’ll copy it all, except for the author’s name and city. The bold font was added by us:

Response to Barbara Forrest’s March 24 letter about Gene Mills of Louisiana Family Forum:

Barbara Forrest is evidently trying to make Gene Mills feel bad because Louisiana lost the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology’s meeting due to his “personal religious agenda” resulting in “damage” he didn’t anticipate.

Well, I say Louisiana was saved any further damage caused by her fellow ill-informed evolution religion buddies coming here.

I would pray that she would also move to Utah, where she is evidently more wanted, but I, too, am concerned with other people’s children. So I pray that she would read and consider Romans 1:18-21.

[Writer’s name and city can be seen in the original.]

Although you’ll have to click over to the newspaper to see the name of that letter’s author, we will give you this one bit of information: He gives his occupation as “health club manager.” Truly, this is a battle of intellectual giants.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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One response to “Louisiana Creationism: Battling Letters to the Editor

  1. As someone who grew up in Texas and has lived and taught college-level biology in Louisiana for 30 years, all of this is very disturbing to me. A recent poll in Louisiana indicated that 58% of Louisianians want creationism taught in the public schools. How are we to combat this? Next year the science standards in Louisiana will be reviewed just as they have been recently in Texas. We expect a nasty fight here just as we saw in Texas. The outcome will be hard to predict. But we will give it our all.