The Consequences of Louisiana Creationism

A year ago we posted Who Sucked the Brains out of Louisiana? That described the situation then, and nothing has changed.

But we’ve discovered a mystery — some of the school children in that officially creationist state are disgracing not only themselves but also their political and spiritual leaders when compared to the national average in educational achievement tests. It’s well-known that the national average is nothing to make the country proud, but it’s a figure that most states aim to surpass.

In the case of Louisiana, however, their leadership actively seeks to stay below that mark — well below. They’re achieving that goal, but as we learn today, they still have a distance yet to slide.

We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from La students score lower on science test which appears in the Advocate, the major newspaper in Louisiana’s capitol city of Baton Rouge. The bold font was added by us:

Louisiana public school students scored lower in science than students in most other states on the nation’s latest report card. The exam is called the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. The exam measured how students in grades 4, 8 and 12 fared in 2009.

That’s great news for the state’s ambitious governor, Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist, and for their legislature, which almost unanimously enacted the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), encouraging unspecified “supplemental materials” — wink, wink — to be used in science classes. It’s also great news for the Louisiana Family Forum run by Rev. Gene Mills. Those worthies have been tireless in suppressing science education in their state.

Let’s read on in the Advocate to see how Louisiana’s divinely-inspired creationist efforts have paid off:

The results show that:
* Fourth-graders scored lower than students in 38 states, higher than two and about the same in six others.
* Eighth-graders scored lower than students in 37 states, higher than one and about the same as eight others.

Somehow their fourth-graders are still ranking above two states and their eighth-graders are above one state. The trend is down as the kids “progress” through the system, but there’s still room to go lower. Louisiana’s leaders aren’t done with their work.

But let’s get specific here. What about science — the devil’s tool?

The science test covers physical, life, earth and space sciences. It includes questions on matter, energy, evolution, the history of the earth and climate.
* Nationally, 32 percent of fourth-graders scored at proficient or above. The rate in Louisiana was 25 percent.
* Nationally, 29 percent of eighth-graders scored at proficient or above compared to 20 percent in Louisiana.

American students in general are an embarrassment to Western Civilization, but in Louisiana they’re rapidly plunging to the bottom. Soon they’ll be entirely science-free. Here’s a final excerpt:

Ian Binns, an assistant professor of science education at LSU, said Thursday youngsters typically enter kindergarten with lots of curiosity about science.

“Somehow we lose that,” Binns said.


Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “The Consequences of Louisiana Creationism

  1. Gabriel Hanna

    Almost all of us here have no trouble spotting the fallacy of “post hoc ergo propter hoc” when used by creationists. I don’t see any reason to stoop to arguments we know to be fallacious.

  2. Gabriel Hanna says:

    I don’t see any reason to stoop to arguments we know to be fallacious.

    Because it’s fun!

  3. Isn’t that what ACT No. 473 of regular session 2008 was intended to address? I mean that proponents of that bill surely must resent not being 50th in US education.

  4. Since Obama has brought Sputnik to mind, it’s good to recall that Stephen J. Gould gave an analysis on the question of whether laws enacted around the time of the Scopes trial held back the United States in science. He wrote that after the Soviets beat us to space, we suddenly found that evolution was the right idea again for our public schools.

    Perhaps it’s not post hoc, ergo propter hoc, but more a case of loose correlation. When a state holds opinions that are antithetical to science, its students do poorly in the subject. Of course, a general attitude against critical thinking and knowledge may also be indicated here.

  5. Wait a minute, tied for 48th or 49 place in the entire USA is actually pretty good. I mean there must be 1000’s of school districts and they came out in the top…..

    What? Oh, rated by state?

    Then, not so good. 😦

    The plan will work. Get elected by promising to teach the controversy and getting the Bible back into the schools. When science scores drop, blame teachers, parents, tv, etc. Demand more Bible in schools. Get re-elected. Repeat.

  6. retiredsciguy

    MontyMoose wrote, “Get elected by promising to teach the controversy and getting the Bible back into the schools. When science scores drop, blame teachers, parents, tv, etc. Demand more Bible in schools. Get re-elected. Repeat.”

    Hey, it works. Why mess with success?

  7. I wonder which state their 8th grades beat. My guess is Texas… maybe Kentucky or Arkansas (Kansas?)

  8. Your country is getting behind Europe. Sarah Pallin is the pinnacle of stupidity, the «sputnik» phrase was her best 🙂

    My advice? <Get those theocrats out of office, get ppl that understand science in office!