Bruce Chapman’s Louisiana Damage Control

IN the American Spectator we came across something they designate as a “Special Report” titled A Classic Evolution Policy Blunder.

The author is Bruce Chapman, founder and president of the Discovery Institute — a/k/a the Discoveroids. Chapman’s Seattle organization devotes about half of its resources to supporting and promoting the neo-theocrats at their Center for Science and Culture. Chapman’s position makes him Lord High Keeper of the Discoveroids’ Wedge strategy, and the ultimate leader of all cdesign proponentsists (described here: Missing link: “cdesign proponentsists”).

Now that you know what we’re dealing with, here are some excerpts from Chapman’s article, with bold added by us:

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law last year an act that sets parameters for teachers who introduce scientific supplements on Darwinian evolution, global warming, human cloning and other controversial subjects. The state’s Science Education Act encourages “open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied.” It specifically prohibits religious instruction or interpretations (or irreligious interpretations, for that matter). The law is simple, reasonable and avoids constitutional and scientific mistakes that afflicted earlier laws in Louisiana and elsewhere.

Right. “Simple, reasonable …” Just routine stuff. But that doesn’t quite explain the veritable orgy of celebration in Seattle when that shameful law was getting passed. See: Discovery Institute — Ecstasy Over Louisiana.

By the way, Chappy, your creationism law wasn’t signed by Jindal “last year,” it was in 2008. Let’s read on:

But in Livingston Parish, east of Baton Rouge, some enthusiasts for a literal Biblical account of creation decided that the new law gives them authority to teach creationism — the account from Genesis. That view clearly violates the law and also the U.S. Constitution as it long has been interpreted. Reported statements from Livingston school board member David Tate were so fallacious and confrontational that they could have been scripted by his supposed adversaries if they were looking for ways to make him look bad.

All observers of The Controversy have been following this. We wrote about it here: World-Class Idiocy. The National Center for Science Education did here: The latest from Livingston Parish; and Barbara Forrest did here Livingston Parish School Board Wants to Implement Discovery Institute’s “Academic Freedom” Law; and Lauri Lebo did here: “Taking a Stand for Jesus” in the Public Schools.

Hey, Chappy: Are you embarrassed by one of your Louisiana followers? What’s the problem? Ideas have consequences. You reap, you sow. Why does any of this surprise you?

Chapman’s article continues:

Tate’s fulminations are not characteristic of the educators and legislators who passed the new Louisiana law, but you can be sure that the Darwinist opponents of the law will try to make them sound representative. The same thing happened in Dover, Pennsylvania, in 2005 when school board members decided to grab onto the phrase (not the reality) of “intelligent design” to promote religious doctrine.

But Chappy, Tate’s “fulminations” are indeed a reflection of the law that you and your faithful followers got passed in Louisiana. The problem, Chappy, is that while you and your Discoveroid comrades in Seattle are clever enough to devise a stealth creationist campaign and to disguise it as the “science” of intelligent design, it’s not going to work.

Why won’t it work? The reason, Chappy, is that your obedient followers in the states that adopt your scheme are inevitably going to be among the dumbest people in the universe; they can’t stick to the script. They’re creationists — and that means they’re stupid. Got it? We explained the problem in detail here: Intelligent Design, the Great Incongruity.

Here’s more from Chapman:

Darwin’s theory of evolution, as its main advocates assert it, presumes that there can be no scientific evidence against a totally unguided and unintelligent course to evolution. Evidence to the contrary is ruled out ahead of time. This causes Darwinists to label practically anyone a “creationist” who refuses to take the standard line.

“Evidence to the contrary is ruled out.” Okay, Chappy. We’ve heard all this before. Moving along:

To clear the air of Darwinist cant and enter a debate on the actual evidence, no religious assertions are necessary or desirable.

True. But Chappy … you will need to bring some evidence to the debate. Let us know when you’ve got some. Bring along some of that stuff that’s been “ruled out.” We’ll look at it — if you’ve got it.

Here’s the end of Chapman’s article:

Science class — in public schools, at least — should leave religious implications at the school door. Even if one doesn’t agree with that policy, the federal courts are clear on the matter. Someone should explain the facts of life to the Livingston Parish school board.

As we interpret Chapman’s article, he’s sending this message to Livingston Parish:

You guys blew it! You’re on your own! (But unofficially, we Discoveroids will do what we can to help you out, because we’re all on the same side.)

It’s difficult to do what Chapman’s “think tank” is attempting to do. Trying to coach creationists to be clever is like trying to train toads to be ballerinas.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “Bruce Chapman’s Louisiana Damage Control

  1. THE COMMENTS! The COMMENTS on that article!!!


  2. ERV says:


    Chapman knows how to pick the right audience.

  3. Chapman’s idiocy illustrates why, IMO, these stealth tactics may produce token victories but will never win creationists the war.

    Sure, DI et al. can use stealth and coded language to pass ambiguous legislation. But ultimately someone has to teach something. They eventually have to pull back the curtain if they want to reach the students with their message. And as long as the content is religious, they’re going to fail at that point – at the point of implementation.

    Chapman is utterly wrong to think that ‘confrontatinal statements’ are the problem. The Livingston board is being pretty clear about what they want to teach, and its the content that is the problem. It always has been, and always will be, and no DI-approved language change is ever going to get around that. The whole approach of stealth and coded language is (IMO) doomed to failure.

    Which, to be honest, makes me glad they’re pursuing it.

  4. ERV:

    Yeah, they are pretty amazing. I liked this one:

    Evolution violates the 2d law of
    Thermodynamics. I can’t remember what it is, but Evolution violates it..

  5. WOW OH WOW!
    “Tate’s fulminations are not characteristic of the educators and legislators who passed the new Louisiana law”

    “I did not have sex with that woman!”

  6. Charley Horse says:

    “I did not have sex with that woman!”

    This really is amusing. Louisiana was the one bright spot in the Discoveroids’ enterprise, and these guys in Livingston Parish have given the whole game away.

  7. “Where public school districts have been willing to stick to scientific evidence for and against Darwinian theory, and ignore religious implications in the classroom, Darwinian opponents have not sued, let alone sued successfully.”

    Curmudgeon—Any idea as to which public school districts he refers to?

  8. SC:

    “Damage Control” was exactly the conclusion I came to as well. But I got a better picture! 😉


    “Any idea as to which public school districts he refers to?”

    Probably Ouachita Parish’s “academic freedom” policy, which was a kind of precursor of the Science Education Act. See Barbar Forrest’s article “Livingston Parish School Board Wants to Implement Discovery Institute’s “Academic Freedom” Law.” As far as I know, it’s never been challenged but, then again, I don’t know if it has ever been implimented either.

  9. Charley Horse asks:

    Any idea as to which public school districts he refers to?

    Nope. Maybe John Pieret is right. Anyway, if a teacher sticks to genuine evidence, that’ll be fine.

  10. Good job, John Pieret.

  11. Gabriel Hanna

    It is so awesome that, for an essay ostensibly deploring the teaching of creationism in school, the majority of favorable comments are advocating the teaching of creationism in school.

    In the age of the Internet, you can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth without getting caught.

  12. Gabriel Hanna says:

    In the age of the Internet, you can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth without getting caught.

    They should have learned by now to stick with websites that don’t permit comments. When the comments are critical they’re embarrassing; when they come from fellow creationists they’re also embarrassing.

  13. The DI is like the kid who encourages another kid to throw an egg at a car, then goes on to expound on the evils of throwing eggs at cars.

    Who’s covered in egg now, Chapers?

  14. retiredsciguy

    Wow. Reading the comments on the AmSpec site makes me fully appreciate the way you run your shop here, Curmy.

    Thank you for screening out the personal attacks — from either side of the controversy.

  15. The law is not necessarily bad just because one school board is trying to misuse it. And even the ACLU conceded that the law is constitutional.

  16. New ISP, Larry Fafarman? Okay, that one’s banned too.

  17. You might also want to take a look at Lauri Lebo’s column about Chapman’s cowardly retreat from Livingston parish!

    Great stuff. I was in the middle of writing my own response when i read hers. I was surprised that we saw it the same way. I almost didn’t post mine, but as I said in my post but any chance to make fun of those ID’iots in Seattle is well worth it.