Why our campaign against creationism in schools matters for science in the US

16

In 2008, the summer before my sophomore year in high school, my home state of Louisiana passed a creationism law. The misnamed and misguided Louisiana Science Education Act (pdf) allows creationism to be snuck into public schools science classrooms through supplemental materials that “critique” evidence-based, but politically controversial science, like evolution. This law also promotes the denial of climate science.

Defenders of this law often claim it’s only meant to teach critical thinking and provide academic freedom to teachers who want to challenge evolution scientifically. There is
no scientific controversy over evolution or climate science for these
teachers to discuss, though. The only reason to have this law is to
sneak non-science, like creationism, into classrooms.

The purpose of the law becomes even more clear if you listen to its legislative sponsor. Louisiana state Senator Ben Nevers said (pdf) that the Louisiana Family Forum, a powerful lobbying group for religious rights, suggested the law to him:

“[The Family Forum] believe that scientific data related to creationism should be discussed when dealing with Darwin’s theory.”

These anti-science laws are not just a Louisiana problem; they’re an American problem.

In 2012, Tennessee passed its own creationism law,
based off the model in Louisiana. Each year, dozens of states around
the country have creationism bills introduced. This year, bills have
already been killed in states including Oklahoma, Colorado, Montana, and
Arizona. We still have a creationism bill in Missouri to defeat this year. Next year, a whole new set of creationism bills will be introduced.

Written By: Zack Kopplin
continue to source article at guardian.co.uk

16 COMMENTS

  1. Defenders of this law often claim it’s only meant to teach critical thinking and provide academic freedom to teachers who want to challenge evolution scientifically. There is no scientific controversy over evolution or climate science for these teachers to discuss, though.

    The fundamentalist faith-heads who think “circular arguing is critical thinking”, are going to teach everyone else “critical thinking”.
    - That is THEIR “critical thinking” – which is wilfully deceptive mindless criticism of anyone who disagrees with their ignorant bronze-age assertions!
    Too stupid to know just how stupid they are!

  2. One just has to concede that a huge proportion of Americans are retarded fundamentalist christians who, like all religious bigots, are absolutely incapable of leaving well balanced rational non beleivers alone. The dogmatic fools are compelled to spoil everything because they imagine they are doing the work of god. The USA is going to the same end that all civilisations always eventually do – consigned to oblivion. And why not when you consider that humans live in disappearingly thin wisp of ecosphere hopelessly lost in an unimaginably fantastically huge totally inhospitable universe. God is only an illusion sustained in the electrochemical flickerings of the brains of a totally insignificant but incredibly arrogant life form. Such stupidity.

  3. There’s examples of narrow minded creationism everywhere, I was watching bear grills on the discovery channel its a survival show, but bear found a beautiful flower high in a rainforest canopy he said that the fact that this beautiful flower happen to be where no one would ever see it proved that a divine being could only be responsible for putting it there.

    • In reply to #5 by Dublin-atheist:

      There’s examples of narrow minded creationism everywhere, I was watching bear grills on the discovery channel its a survival show, but bear found a beautiful flower high in a rainforest canopy he said that the fact that this beautiful flower happen to be where no one would ever see it proved that a divine being could only be responsible for putting it there.

      Well, isn’t Bear Grills just a Richard Cranium then? How on Earth did he get his job?

      • In reply to #9 by ArloNo:

        Well, isn’t Bear Grills just a Richard Cranium then? How on Earth did he get his job?

        I understand he is an ex-military survival specialist, not a naturalist.

        There was also a scandal over one of his TV programmes, which made the news a few years ago. He set up a camp on camera to “tough out the wild conditions”, before going off to a hotel for the night and returning in the morning!

        • In reply to #10 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #9 by ArloNo:

          Well, isn’t Bear Grills just a Richard Cranium then? How on Earth did he get his job?

          I understand he is an ex-military survival specialist, not a naturalist.

          There was also a scandal over one of his TV programmes, which made the news a few years ago. He set up a camp on camera to “tough out the wild conditions”, before going off to a hotel for the night and returning in the morning!

          He’s the Eton-educated son of a Conservative MP. A cynical individual might suggest that a capacity for being dishonest has been inculcated in him from his moment of birth.
          Not me though.

          I’m just grateful he isn’t in the current Cabinet. Although If he doesn’t stand for election within the next ten years, I’ll eat my hat.


          Here is an ad by Grylls promoting something called the Alpha Course.

          I don’t know if it’s meant to be funny, but it flippin’ is. The clip I mean; I’m sure the Alpha Course is hilarious.

          • In reply to #12 by Katy Cordeth:

            Here is an ad by Grylls promoting something called the Alpha Course.

            I don’t know if it’s meant to be funny, but it flippin’ is. The clip I mean;

            Yep! It has the same “super” stuntman fakery.

            I’m sure the Alpha Course is hilarious.

            Isn’t that one of those religious courses about understanding the world, but which never got beyond the Ancient Greeks and learning he first letter of their alphabet?

  4. “[The Family Forum] believe that scientific data related to creationism should be discussed when dealing with Darwin’s theory.”

    Well, that won’t be too disruptive, as it will take a grand total of 0 seconds.

  5. These anti-science laws are not just a Louisiana problem; they’re an American problem.

    No, it’s more than that. They are a Global problem. Anti-science laws anywhere are everyone’s problem.

    • In reply to #7 by Greyman:

      These anti-science laws are not just a Louisiana problem; they’re an American problem.

      No, it’s more than that. They are a Global problem. Anti-science laws anywhere are everyone’s problem.

      To be fair, this has been Zack’s focus since the age of 14. From his prospective, fighting the La creationism bill (and, unfortunately, more states following La’s lead) is tantamount. This is his battle in the war against anti-science.

      Go get ‘em Zack!

  6. This trend really worries me, because scientific thinking has been put aside in the past,in favour of superstitious belief. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility for it to happen again despite the huge gains we’ve made in the fields of medical science and technology in particular. ( I mention these, because people can see tangible improvements in their own lives. )

    We need only look at the example of the Islamic world, once at the forefront of science, now steeped in backward , superstitious dogma.

  7. “Defenders of this law…” ? It’s indefensible!

    A perfect example of religious faith rendering people incapable of rational thought.

    Either this childishness stops or America slips back into the dark ages.

  8. Today I took action against this “law” and signed the petition developed by Zack Kopplin. If you’d like to help fight it as well you can sign the petition at, http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-louisiana-to-teach-real-science-in-public-schools-not-creationism-and-climate-change-denial. Make sure you leave the period off the end of the web address or it will get confused. There are only 357 signatures left to get it to the next level! I wish I could do more but it’s a start.

Leave a Reply