We’ve written a few times about the latest bit of creationist madness in the Louisiana legislature — which adjourned on Thursday, 23 June. The bill we’ve been concerned about is HOUSE BILL NO. 580 (10-page pdf file). It was sponsored in the House by Frank Hoffmann.
Opponents have referred to it as a “stealth creationism” bill, which would allow local public schools to decide on their own to use state money for purchasing any textbooks they want — without state supervision. We’ve been exaggerating a bit by calling it the Flat-Earth Option bill because it would allow local schools to opt for flat-earth textbooks (which is not unthinkable in Louisiana). But of course it’s a creationism bill, and it sailed through the House on 08 June by a vote of 87-5. After that, all the action has been in the state Senate, where it was sponsored by Mike Walsworth.
Our last post about this was Louisiana’s HB 580: The Flat-Earth Option, #4. Today’s post is #5 in that mini-series, but we felt like a more celebratory title. Our last report informed you that the bill had suffered a procedural setback in the Senate but it was still alive — needing a two-thirds majority vote to be passed in the final days of the legislative session. The bill’s backers were still hoping for victory.
That was the situation when we ended our post two days ago, so we had an old-fashioned cliff-hanger going on.
Now we can tell the rest of the story. Or rather, since there are as yet no newspaper accounts of the affair this morning, we refer you to the ultimate source of information about The Controversy in Louisiana — Barbara Forrest, philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University, co-author of Creationism’s Trojan Horse, a founder of the Louisiana Coalition for Science, and a star witness for the winning side in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
Barbara already had the full story at her blog before any of the newspapers were out, so we refer you to her account of victory in the creationism (and flat-earth) affair: Announcement: Louisiana HB 580 is dead.
Barbara singles out a few people for credit in defeating this legislative horror. Among them are Zack Kopplin and state Senator Karen Carter Peterson. Peterson had worked with Zack in the earlier Campaign to Repeal Louisiana’s Creationism Law — a noble effort which, alas, Failed in a Senate Committee.
But this time the good guys won. And although Barbara doesn’t mention her own efforts, we imagine that they were considerable, so we’ll thank her for all that she has done.
Okay, dear reader, now click over to Barbara Forrest’s Coalition for Louisiana Progress and read the good news. Reason can prevail — even in Louisiana.
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