Louisiana Creationism Committee Meets Today

Today is the day when a special, statutorily-created advisory committee meets to review Louisiana’s school textbooks, after which they will make recommendations to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (“BESE”).

We recently posted Louisiana Creationists: “We want more ignorance!” which provides the background for today’s news. Basically, the creationists are on an anti-science crusade.

In The Advocate, the major newspaper in Louisiana’s capitol city of Baton Rouge we read an editorial by that newspaper’s opinion page staff: Keep politics out of texts. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

We hope that experience [of the state boards of education in Texas and Kansas] is much on the minds of the committee that today will hear complaints about textbooks for high school biology in Louisiana.

The committee will certainly be thinking of their fellow creationists in those two states. But they’re likely to see the madness in those states as inspirational, rather than cautionary. Let’s read on:

The committee members have a duty to reject intrusion of pseudo-science, such as creationism or its offshoot “intelligent design,” into science classrooms.

We agree, but we fear that the committee imagine themselves to be on a divinely ordained mission to suppress science and spread the word of creationism. We continue:

It’s one thing to be different culturally, as Louisiana is in so many ways. But the facts of science and biology do not change. For Louisiana to be different in the direction of ignorance would be a humiliation in the eyes of the nation and the world.

That was a very noble editorial, but nobility doesn’t apply to creationism, so it was probably futile. We have absolutely no confidence in this advisory committee. What happens today will be no more honest than an old-style Soviet show-trial.

As was pointed out by the National Center for Science Education in this article, Textbooks under siege in Louisiana, two of the committee members are state legislators. One of those two is senator Ben Nevers, who sponsored the Louisiana creationism bill that is now law. See Louisiana’s Ben Nevers: Creationist Doublethink. The other is Representative Frank A. Hoffman, and he sponsored the same creationism legislation in the state House. Both were appointed to the committee by Louisiana’s creationist Governor, Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist.

Your Curmudgeon is willing to bet five quatloos — five! — that the committee will reach a wacky creationist decision, but we can’t find anyone willing to bet that they’ll do anything else.

Surprise Update! See Panel endorse textbook that describes evolution, which says:

A state advisory panel voted 8-4 Friday afternoon to endorse a series of high school science textbooks that have come under fire for how they describe evolution. The vote followed more than three hours of discussion.

Two of the “no” votes were cast by Senate Education Committee Chairman Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa and House Education Committee Vice-Chairman Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe.

Louisiana has experienced what they call a lucid moment. But the battle isn’t over yet.

Update: See Lucifer Laughs in Louisiana.

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12 responses to “Louisiana Creationism Committee Meets Today

  1. How about a game of CreoBingo instead?

    – “only a theory”
    – “multiple accounts”
    – “complexity”
    – “design”
    the saaaaayvin bluuud uv the LaaymvGawd
    – “uniquely human characteristics”
    – “Palin 2012”

    I may have missed a few.

  2. Janice in Toronto

    Seems like Louisiana is just cursed. First Katrina, now the creationists.
    Poor bastards don’t stand a chance…

  3. SC, you’re The Newcomer?

  4. Creationists: Always on the cutting-edge of ignorance.

  5. SY asks: “SC, you’re The Newcomer?”

    No, but I’m always willing to wager a quatloo or two.

  6. Let’s see if Nevers and Hoffman can meet the standard set by McLeroy and Dunbar. It’s a high bar of insanity, but I think they’re up to it.

  7. Ten quatloos that the committee will take the sneaky route through the swamp. They’ll approve the textbooks even though, in the words of a famous American educator, William Buckingham, “laced with Darwinism,” although they will also approve a range of supplementary material that a district may choose to use at their own discretion or peril. This sneaky way lets the committee off the hook, Discovery Institute style, by not mandating the use of creationist material, but simply, merely, conveniently, helpfully, suggestively pointing out that the material is available in case y’all were wonderin’.

    Thus, setting a nice, sharp Dover trap.

    A further 20 quatloos that some poor (very poor) schmuck school administered by a Freshwater-wannabe will dive into the trap head first. A further 20 quatloos that the malfeasant legislators, Louisiana “Family” Forum and the DI skate away from the debacle unscathed.

  8. Doc Bill, your proposed outcomes are sensible, but the sums you’re willing to wager are just crazy. No one has that many quatloos.

  9. Surprise! See Panel endorse textbook that describes evolution, which says:

    A state advisory panel voted 8-4 Friday afternoon to endorse a series of high school science textbooks that have come under fire for how they describe evolution. The vote followed more than three hours of discussion.
    Two of the “no” votes were cast by Senate Education Committee Chairman Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa and House Education Committee Vice-Chairman Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe.

  10. I’ll take 5 quatloos in partial payment waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Come on supplemental material! Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

  11. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Baby needs shoes, Louisiana needs some sanity, but neither answers the REALLY important question: What’s the current dollar to quatloo exchange rate?

  12. Luckily we won and there were no supplementary materials. The room was filled with scientists, students, and teachers, and they did an outstanding job. If any of you live in Louisiana, there is a Dec. 9 meeting where the real creationist (BESE) board is meeting, and we need all the support we can get.