It’s happening again, as it has happened every year since 2011. We’re talking about this year’s attempt to repeal the maniacal Louisiana Science Education Act (the LSEA). When it became law back in 2008, Louisiana revealed itself to be the most ignorant and backward state in the union — their legislature passed it almost unanimously. The bill was promoted by the Louisiana Family Forum, run by Rev. Gene Mills, and it was signed by the state’s ambition-crazed governor, Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist.
The law was based on the Discovery Institute’s anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act (about which see the Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws). When it passed, the Discoveroids in Seattle thought they were on the way to achieving their dark dream of implementing their insidious wedge strategy, but since then, only Tennessee has joined Louisiana in their legislative leap into the Dark Ages.
The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) reports Repeal effort revived again in Louisiana. They say:
Senate Bill 74 (PDF), dubbed the “Intelligent Outcomes Wanted Act,” would, if enacted, repeal Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1, which implemented the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act, passed and enacted in 2008. Governor Bobby Jindal told NBC News in 2013 that the LSEA permits the teaching of creationism, including “intelligent design.”
The bill to repeal the LSEA was introduced by Karen Carter Peterson (D-District 5), who sponsored the similar SB 70 in 2011, SB 374 in 2012, SB 26 in 2013, and SB 175 in 2014. Those four bills were all eventually shelved by the Senate Committee on Education. SB 74 was prefiled in the Louisiana Senate on March 31, 2015, and subsequently referred to the Senate Committee on Education.
Senator Karen Carter Peterson was the sponsor of all the previous repeal efforts. She seems to be one of the few sane members of the Louisiana legislature. Here’s a link where you can monitor the progress of her bill. It was pre-filed on 31 March, and yesterday — the day the legislature convened — it was sent to Senate’s Committee on Education. That’s where all her earlier repeal bills have died.
We don’t have high hopes for this year’s effort. After all, we’re talking about Louisiana, a state which — with a few notable exceptions — seems to be a hopeless morass of ignorance. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn on 11 June.
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