“Oppressive Indoctrination” at LSU

We found a pro-evolution article in the Daily Reveille, a student newspaper at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It’s titled Professors should teach evolution theory as provable fact.

We weren’t going to blog about it because — although it’s unusual to see anything like that coming out of Louisiana — we all pretty much agree with what it says, so there’s nothing entertaining about it. But then one of our clandestine operatives (code name “Armadillo”) informed us of a companion piece in that same newspaper: The theory of evolution is not infallible. Ah — that one is worth discussing. We won’t name the author, but she’s a 20-year-old English junior from Baton Rouge. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Evolution should be honestly presented as a possible but still unproven explanation of life origin — not the only explanation.

Evolution isn’t about the origin of life, but what’s the student’s explanation — aliens from Uranus? We shall see:

Observational science uses observable, testable, repeatable and falsifiable information to understand how nature commonly behaves. Scientists can’t directly observe, test, repeat or falsify a singular past event like the origin of life. Instead, they must interpret the evidence.

Aaaargh!! That’s the same madness we see routinely spewed from Ken Ham’s website. See the section about “Operational” science vs. “Historical” (origins) science in our post on Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Let’s read on:

Evolution has several meanings, so to clarify, when I use the term “evolution,” I am referring to macroevolution — the idea that all life originated from a common ancestor due to a combination of natural selection and mutations.

Lordy, lordy — it’s the Micro-Macro Mambo. That too is discussed in the post to which we just linked. We continue:

Scientists and teachers who dare to even consider other theories such as “intelligent design,” or ID, are ridiculed for being unscientific or stupid, and they risk losing their jobs.

Yeah, yeah — that’s the theme of Ben Stein’s trashy “documentary” — Expelled. Here’s more:

But no theory that claims to explain life’s origin can be proven accurate since no human was there to record the events.

Aaaargh!! Evolution is not about life’s origin, and again we see another of Ken Ham’s creationist debate techniques — Were you there? This column is a compendium of creationist coprolites. Moving along:

Take the age of the earth, for example. Observational science has proven that sedimentary rock layers can be deposited slowly by rivers. This may support the idea of an extremely old earth. The same form of science has also proven that rock layers can be formed quickly in natural catastrophes, such as floods or volcanic eruptions. This would support the idea that the earth is young.

Aaaargh!! Now it’s the Deluge! And we’re only about half-way through this thing. It goes on to mention the Cambrian explosion, the absence of transitional forms, “missing links” are fake or wrongly interpreted, etc., We’re not going to bother with those — we’ve rebutted that junk too many times in the past.

It ends up with this familiar creationist demand:

Textbooks, teachers and scientists should truthfully present all the facts and interpretations of scientific theories, including data that contradicts the most popular theory. Anything less is oppressive indoctrination.

Is there any hope for Louisiana? Maybe, but we don’t see much cause for optimism.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to ““Oppressive Indoctrination” at LSU

  1. The real danger of promoting creationism to children exemplified: It hobbles young people’s critical faculties and impartiality to the extent where they are not able to recognise that they have been seriously biased through misinformation. The saddest part is that it is probably already too late for our young English junior student to revise her stance on evolution.

  2. I’m not sure if the poor little dear is a shill for the Discoveroids, or AiG.
    One thing for sure: she doesn’t know anything about geology or biology.

    Now, as a retired earth scientist, it’s time for me to turn my attention to the ongoing debate about who really wrote using the name “William Shakespeare”. Teach the controversy!!

  3. I was going to complain about the headline saying that “evolution theory” was a “provable fact”, but the writer doesn’t say that. That is the responsibility of the headline writer.

  4. It’s no wonder LSU was upset by Ole Miss on Saturday – they’re teaching the evolution to them poor kiddies in Baton Rouge. Liberal brainwashers!

    Evidence: Mississippi’s head coach tweets after the win, “To God be the glory, He’s been so good to us.”

  5. The government should step in and set the record straight. Send someone who knows how to deal with this and shut them off once and for all.

    Or maybe just teach this stuff in high school!

  6. “Scientists can’t directly observe, test, repeat or falsify a singular past event”
    I totally agree. Since her birth is one such event we should maintain she is from Uranus indeed.

  7. “Scientists can’t directly observe, test, repeat or falsify a singular past event”
    I totally agree. This applies to the birth of her great-great grandparents as well. So we should maintain they are from Uranus indeed and thus that she is not human.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    This onslaught of dumb/uneducated creationists slinging the same fallacies is like playing a video game against zombies, where they just keep coming, wave after wave. Her inability to work within given definitions (an english skill) eliminates the value of anything else she has to say.

  9. … and in other news, a former teacher of Intelligent Design is running for governor of South Dakota

  10. “Republican challenger claims governor is not conservative enough for South Dakota”

    I just keep wondering when did the term conservative become synonymous with stupid?

  11. Techreseller

    Erik Bertel. Your comment stings me so. There are many of us out here who hold Conservative beliefs (Goldwater-Buckley-Will) that believe the current Republican party is completely bat crazy. I identify as a conservative who cannot, will not, vote for current Republican candidates.

  12. Techreseller, you have company here.