Letter: Louisiana Should Teach Intelligent Design

As you know, Louisiana is a swirling vortex of voodoo and creationism. It was the first state (of only two) to enact a version of the Discovery Institute’s anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act (about which see the Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws). It became the infamous Louisiana Science Education Act (the LSEA).

Last month, in Another Science Circus in Louisiana?. we wrote that Louisiana is about to revise its science standards for public schools. The process may take a year to complete, and there will be opportunity for the public to participate. It’s going to be ugly.

Meanwhile, a propaganda war is being waged in the form of letters to newspapers. We wrote about one from a social scientist in Louisiana Creationism: A Professor’s Opinion. He gave all the Discoveroid talking points, and he hoped that the new science standards would “emulate the spirit of free inquiry encapsulated in the Louisiana Science Education Act.” After that, in Letter from Barbara Forrest, we wrote about an excellent reply in the same newspaper.

Today we have a response from another Discoveroid supporter. In the Baton Rouge edition of the Advocate we read Louisiana Science Education Act religion ties misunderstood. [Better link to re-titled headline: Science Education Act not a creationist law]. The newspaper has a comments section, but we don’t see any yet. The letter-writer’s first name is Cecil, and he describes himself as a “retired management consultant.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

In various opinions published in The Advocate, including columns by James Gill and a recent letter from professor Barbara Forrest, the authors have quite wrongly interpreted the Louisiana Science Education Act.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The LSEA was written and promoted by the Discovery Institute, and they defend it every year there’s a repeal effort. It’s not difficult to understand the law’s intent. But Cecil is going to help us. He says:

The act expressly excludes the use of religious views in the teaching of science. The wording is: “This (law) shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against any particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.” What could be more clear?

We discussed the law’s phony “shall not be construed” language in the Curmudgeon’s Guide, to which we linked earlier. Let’s read on:

And yet opponents of the law keep trying to twist the meaning by claiming that it is a “Trojan horse” that opens the door to religious material. They are especially fearful, it seems, that the religious ideas of “creationists” could creep into science courses covering various theories of evolution.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What about all that “educational” material offered by the Discoveroids — for example, see their Educator’s Briefing Packet, and this impressive list of Books by Center for Science and Culture Fellows.

Cecil isn’t worried about that stuff. He explains:

Forrest and other opponents of the law also confuse the concept of “intelligent design” with creationism. It is true that some proponents of creationism use the evidence of design in evolution to support their religious beliefs. However, there are many highly qualified scientists who make a purely scientific case that Darwin’s theory of evolution cannot account for the complexity of biological organisms and that there is strong scientific evidence that some kind of design mechanism is at work.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s more:

Still, no one yet knows the source of the design function, nor how it works. It stands as one of the great unsolved questions in science, along with the source of the Big Bang, Stephen Hawkings’ “theory of everything” and others. I find the subject fascinating and one that should be included in advanced biology courses, not excluded.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Cecil thinks intelligent design “theory” ranks right up there with the other great science questions. He finishes his letter with this:

The Louisiana Science Education Act helps to keep the scientific doors open to such exciting research.

So there you are, dear reader. Louisiana is full of people like Cecil. Maybe the new science standards will also provide for teaching about the Time Cube. They should keep the scientific doors open to that exciting research too.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “Letter: Louisiana Should Teach Intelligent Design

  1. And yet all of those highly qualified scientists have not been able even to suggest an account of what happens in the world of life, without mentioning evolution, so that life exhibits the variety that it has: How does the “design” get implemented, where and when? Let alone, what would count as evidence? All that highly qualified scientific talent going to waste!

  2. Don’t worry, Cecil, we perfectly understand that IDiocy is creacrap without Holy Scripture references.

    “no one yet knows the source of the design function”
    Almost correct. Read the Wedge Document and you – just like us – will understand that this source is supposed to be some immaterial entitiy. Exactly that’s why IDiocy isn’t science, no matter how fascinated you are.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    Geez, why does this dolt want to educate kids about ID despite not knowing what causes it or when it happens? To make a metaphor, he knows he wants to show a movie about Batman, but isn’t sure if the movie is done being made yet. You know, when you see a movie preview and first you see the “This film is not yet rated” message. Something’s fishy.

  4. And yet opponents of the law keep trying to twist the meaning by claiming that it is a “Trojan horse” that opens the door to religious material.

    Or, to use the Discoveroids’ preferred terminology, a Wedge.

    Stephen Hawkings’ “theory of everything”

    News to me that Hawking has established a “theory of everything.”

  5. I wonder if he also finds the subject of astrology fascinating and one that should be included in advanced astronomy courses.

  6. Derek Freyberg

    The “shall not be construed” is the ID/creationist version of what the good folks at Science-based Medicine refer to as the “quack Miranda warning” (the label on homeopathic etc. “medicines” or ads for strange devices that says “These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration, This product is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of any disease”). Maybe we can label it the “creacrap Miranda warning” .

  7. I love the smack of facepalm in the morning…

  8. I would agree that teaching ID is OK …IF & ONLY IF…the stoopid teachers, principles or school boards would not punish the student who then asks “and what experiment can be done to show ID is true?!” like the girl whose GPA went from 98 to 73 after she questioned the validity of some religious BS being taught!!! Because the school system is ruled by religious bigots this must not be allowed to enter or it will never be removed.

  9. Ummm, if the LSEA had no connection with religion, then Cecil could have entitled his letter as “Louisiana Science Education Act Religion Ties Non-Existent“. Instead, he said they are “misunderstood”.
    Soooooo…
    P.S. As of this morning, there are a lot of comments, and I did not see one supportive comment for poor Cecil. Oh, whoa be to him!

  10. As of now, Cecil’s letter appears to have been pulled.

  11. Thanks! I see all the adverse comments have magically vanished. Odd, that.

  12. But there’s nothing to teach but negativity. Evolution can’t do this, evolution can’t do that, etc. Just replace it all with “the Great Designer did it.” Every science test would also include that as option E to every question, and of course students would pick E.

  13. Eric Lipps

    There’s a clearer way of understanding Louisiana’s law. Remember that creationists insist that evolution is a religion.” Therefore, by the logic of the paragraph cited above by “Cecil” (the seasick creationist?) creationism, er, “intelligent design” must be taught alongside evolution or neither should be taught. This is an end run around not only recent court decisions such as Kitzmiller v. Dover but even the 1968 ruling in Epperson v. Arkansas, which invalidated laws explicitly forbidding the teaching of the theory of evolution.

    If Louisiana’s law stands, we could see renewed efforts to simply ban Darwin from the public schools, since teaching his ideas would “promote” the “religion” of Darwinism.

  14. Eric Lipps says: “If Louisiana’s law stands, we could see renewed efforts to simply ban Darwin from the public schools …”

    Perhaps. And it’s unlikely that there’s a John Scopes to be found in Louisiana.

  15. Eric Lipps

    Re the Time Cube, by the way, DC Comics could have sued Otis Ray, since its fictional Legion of Super-Heroes had a time-travel device by that name. introduced in 1966, long before Ray set up his goofy web page. I’m guessing they either never heard of Mr. Ray or simply didn’t give a flying you-know-what.

  16. What Louisiana schools need are courses in logic and critical thinking. If taught well, then students would see the BS for themselves when teachers try to slip creationism into science classes.

    The Texas Republican platform had a plank specifically opposing classes in critical thinking in 2012:

    Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

    Yes, it is officially against party doctrine to challenge student’s fixed beliefs.