Today’s letter-to-the-editor isn’t the typical creationist nonsense penned by a maniac in a shack. This one appears to be part of a well-orchestrated campaign to jam creationism into Louisiana’s public schools.
We wrote about the situation two weeks ago (see Louisiana Capitol’s Schools Teach Creationism). One of the school districts in Baton Rouge, the state’s capitol, had adopted a “teach the controversy” policy that we speculated was drafted by a certain theocratic think-tank in Seattle.
Now we’ve encountered a letter-to-the-editor published in The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which supports the creationist school board and which also appears to have been drafted in Seattle. This isn’t the first time we’ve suspected a Discoveroid propaganda piece had found its way into that newspaper (see Creationist Wisdom #260: Hook, Line, & Sinker).
Today’s letter is Academic freedom isn’t religion. We’re immediately suspicious because no one talks about creationist indoctrination as “academic freedom” except the neo-Luddite, neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
Although we usually omit the writer’s name and city, we’re making an exception this time. The author of today’s letter is Keith Holmes, described as a physician in “Central.” We assume that refers to the Central Community School District, which is the creationist school district about which we wrote earlier. Google informs us that there are six people by that name in Louisiana, but only one lives in Baton Rouge, and he’s a physician. We’re not certain, of course, but we think that’s our letter-writer. We always assume that creationist physicians are proctologists, but this one is an internist. Here’s his webpage: Keith Holmes, MD.
The good doctor’s letter contains nothing but Discoveroid talking points which we’ve all seen before, so we won’t bother with too many excerpts. He quotes from Louisiana’s 2008 Science Education Act where it says that it “shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.” Yeah, but it doesn’t prohibit teaching creationism or intelligent design, because that would be the opposite of its purpose. We’ve referred to that language as a pathetically transparent “cloaking device,” and we put it this way:
The ridiculous “Hey, Judge: Here’s how to construe this law” section of such bills is comparable to a suicide-bomber’s explosive-laden vest being sewn with a tag saying: “Attention Bomb Squad Coroner: The deceased wearer of this garment should not be construed to be a suicide bomber.”
Then the letter talks about teaching the “strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories,” but the good doctor never bothers to tell us what those imaginary “weaknesses” of evolution might be. It’s all right out of the Discoveroids’ play-book. Here are a few excerpts from the end, enhanced by some bold font for emphasis:
Critics of academic freedom are trying to mislabel scientific critiques of evolution as “creationism” in a bid to censor from students the right to learn about current scientific controversies. I would hope that all parties would encourage critical thinking and analysis on all issues discussed in the classroom.
Uh huh — “censorship” and “critical thinking.” Who really wrote this letter? We suspect it was Casey. Let’s read on:
This new policy allows teachers the freedom to present scientific evidence for the pros and cons of all controversial issues. How can anyone be opposed to letting the students analyze the information and decide for themselves what they believe to be true.
We’re opposed, for the simple reason that the victims of the policy are children, and they’re not qualified to make those decisions. The function of the schools is to teach them the best information available — not to confuse them with pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo. We hope the good doctor doesn’t run his medical practice the way he wants the schools run. He probably practices only the best medicine, and doesn’t prescribe quack cures proposed by every alternative “theory” that’s drifting around the internet. Nor does he offer his patients a choice between medical treatment and faith healing. Patients aren’t qualified to make those decisions. But he somehow thinks the public schools should be run differently. Okay, here’s how the letter ends:
I strongly encourage other school boards to step forward and provide similar guidance to their teachers and institutions.
So there you are. If you’re looking for a physician in Baton Rouge, now you know the name of one. Good luck.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.