There’s a great new article by 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.
Our last post about Dr. Forrest was Forrest v. Passman, discussing a debate at the Press Club of Baton Rouge about the recently-failed attempt to repeal the infamous Louisiana Science Education Act (the “LSEA”), which the legislature passed almost unanimously in 2008.
Her new article is Discovery Institute to LA Family Forum: “Repeat after me: ‘The LA Science Education Act is *NOT* a creationism law.’”. The article is loaded with informative links which we haven’t included. You’ll want to click over there for all the background information. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
[Louisiana’s 1981] Balanced Treatment Act, which required the teaching of “creation science” along with evolution, was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987. The Court explicitly rejected the “academic freedom” defense. But losing in court has never deterred creationists. A small band of brave souls simply — and opportunistically — ditched the “young earth” and “flood geology” (that’s Noah‘s flood) and rebranded themselves as “intelligent design theorists.” They also continued to write creationist legislation — except that such bills must now be written as “stealth” bills using code language such as “critical thinking,” as in the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA). There is only one teensy-weensy problem: the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) and its disciples just can’t seem to get the “stealth” part down.
Then it gets really funny:
The “new” Tennessee law is essentially the same as SB 561, the “Louisiana Academic Freedom Act,” which was actually the first bill that Senator Ben Nevers filed in 2008 on behalf of the LFF — and the on[e] with which the verbal slips (read: unintentional truth-telling) began. Sen. Nevers told the April 6, 2008, Hammond Daily Star that he introduced SB 561 because (emphasis added) “They [the LFF] believe that scientific data related to creationism should be discussed when dealing with Darwin’s theory.” Oops! The stealth patrol had to act fast. LFF director Rev. Gene Mills did some quick clean-up work in the April 11 Daily Star:
[Quoting Mills:] This bill is not about teaching creationism or religion. If one reads the language of his bill, it is clear that it simply permits teachers ‘to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.’ [emphasis added in Forrest’s original]
It is about creationism. No — ignore that man behind the curtain! It’s really not about creationism. Let’s read on:
Whew! That was close. Hopefully, everyone would now stay on script and pretend that the LSEA was all about teaching good science and enhancing critical thinking. Just to be sure, when the LFF and DI realized that there would be opposition to SB 561, they sanitized the language of the bill even more, renumbered it as SB 733, and renamed it the “Louisiana Science Education Act” (LSEA). That fixed everything, right? Lesson learned, right? Actually, not right. Staying on high alert all the time has proven to be too difficult for the Louisiana Stealth Patrol. And here is where things get really delicious.
What follows in Forrest’s article are screen shots of two different versions of Rev. Gene Mills’ End of Week newsletter, the first of which says that Mills’ LFF promotes creationism, and the corrected version which omits that little detail. Delicious indeed. We continue:
Whew! Another close one! But actually, such slips are understandable. It’s just so taxing for creationists to man the barricades of mendacity 24/7/365.
Forrest goes on and on, documenting one grotesque blunder after another. In each one the perpetrators expose the actual purpose of the Louisiana law, with each such gaffe hastily followed by a clumsy cover-up. Here’s how she ends the article:
The Discovery Institute can take great comfort in knowing that their supporters are on the job down here, protecting DI’s hard-earned victory. As the old saying goes, “With friends like these . . . ”
There have been other blunders in Louisiana. Forrest couldn’t possibly include them all in her article. You may recall the Livingston Parish School Board’s fiasco back in 2010, which we wrote about here: World-Class Idiocy, which was followed by a bungling Discoveroid coverup, reported here: Bruce Chapman’s Louisiana Damage Control.
When the LSEA is eventually litigated, its opponents will have plenty of ammunition. Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of Barbara Forrest and you’re interested in the Louisiana Science Education Act — the Discoveroids’ big breakthrough — then click over to her website and read the whole article.
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