Discoveroids Celebrate Ten Years of ‘Success’

We’ve posted a few times about the dreary record of the Discovery Institute — most recently Discoveroids in the Wilderness. After sumarizing their 20 years of failure, we said:

To be fair, we should mention their “accomplishments.” There are none in science, of course, but back in 2008 Louisiana’s Democrat controlled legislature overwhelmingly passed the misnamed Louisiana Science Education Act. It was based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discovery Institute. We’ve critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

But today the Discoveroids have found something to cheer about. This just popped up at their creationist blog: Louisiana Science Education Act Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary, written by Sarah Chaffee, whom we call “Savvy Sarah.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Today the Louisiana Science Education Act (or LSEA) turns ten years old.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We remember the occasion well. This humble blog was new then, and we were writing about that legislation almost every day as it worked its way through the state legislature. When it passed the House we wrote Discovery Institute — Ecstasy Over Louisiana. A few days later we wrote Louisiana Senate Passes House’s Creationism Bill.

Two weeks later, after a furious email campaign urging then Governor Bobby Jindal to veto the thing, he signed it and we wrote Jindal Signs Louisiana Anti-Evolution Bill. And now the Discoveroids are celebrating. Savvy Sarah says:

The LSEA demonstrates that we don’t have to teach evolution dogmatically in public schools; we can teach it objectively, acquainting students with the methods of weighing evidence through scientific inquiry.

There’s so much wrong with that sentence that we’ll just leave it as it is — a monument to creationist Doublespeak, about which Wikipedia says:

The term “doublespeak” originates in George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Although the term is not used in the book, it is a close relative of two of the book’s central concepts, “doublethink” and “Newspeak”.

After that, Savvy Sarah tells us:

The LSEA, which was based on model academic freedom legislation by the Center for Science & Culture … gave teachers the freedom to discuss both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory without fear of retaliation.

Ah yes, strengths and weaknesses — another example of creationist doublespeak. Hey — Wikipedia has an article on Strengths and weaknesses of evolution. Savvy Sarah continues:

Though critics led by activist Zack Kopplin relentlessly and falsely sought to depict the LSEA as permitting instruction about “creationism,” a religious doctrine, it explicitly did not permit teaching religion. Nor did it authorize talking about a rival scientific theory, intelligent design. Rather, it called for “critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied.” In other words, not “science denial” but more and better instruction about science, including evolution.

“Critical thinking” — even more creationist doublespeak. Instead of searching Wikipedia, we’ll direct you to one of our own posts: What Is “Critical Thinking”? Okay, let’s read on:

Now it’s 2018, ten years later. The people of Louisiana seem content with the act. There have been no court battles. [Not yet!] Mr. Kopplin, after a years-long media campaign for repeal, has moved on to other issues. … Nor have there been any lawsuits for Tennessee’s similar law (2012), now on the books for six years. All this should be an encouragement to other states and localities to do a favor to teachers, students, and the cause of improved science education.

Yeah, “improved” science education. Okay, that’s enough. We’ll leave the Discoveroids to their celebrations.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “Discoveroids Celebrate Ten Years of ‘Success’

  1. “Nor did it authorize talking about a rival scientific theory, intelligent design.”
    I’ll let the “rival” and “scientific” nonsense pass. Instead I have a humble question: what did the introduction of the Wedge Document say again? Savvy Sarah’s silence on this issue is rather deafening.

  2. Michael Fugate

    I kept waiting for Sarah to cite all the studies demonstrating science education has improved in Louisiana since the LSEA was signed – and I am still waiting…

    Education is not so good in Louisiana…
    “This year, Louisiana finishes 47th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with an overall score of 68.3 out of 100 points and a grade of D-plus. The nation as a whole posts a grade of C.”
    https://www.edweek.org/ew/collections/quality-counts-2018-state-grades/highlight-reports/2018/01/17/louisiana.html

  3. Holding The Line In Florida

    I am gratified to see that Florida is higher than Louisiana. But give us a chance to race to the bottom. We have that potential! I have moved from the Ark of Florida to Miami Beach. I am most curious as to level of my students. I went from Lower Alabama to supposedly one of highest ranking in the state. Both schools are “A” ranking according to the state. Should be an interesting transition.

  4. If the sole criterion for success of your ideas is “there have been no lawsuits against it”, you’re putting the bar so low a mole could jump over it.

  5. Steve Gerrard

    Louisiana 10 years ago, and Tennessee 6 years ago. Wow! It is catching on like wild fire!