Louisiana Senator Wants to Know if E. Coli Could Evolve Into a Human


As it turns out, this whole “evolution” thing isn’t just a phase. And now Louisiana has to figure out whether we should be teaching it in our schools.

This video was posted to YouTube last April, but has only recently gone viral. It shows a science teacher calmly trying to explain a concept 4th graders have no trouble with to her state senator. Sen. Mike Walsworth asks if there are any concrete examples of evolution that could be taught in the classroom. The teacher patiently responds that yes, there are. She is used to speaking slowly and in small words for the kids in the back of the classroom, so this is not that difficult for her.

She begins to describe Richard Lenski’s long-term E. coli research when Walsworth interrupts with another question:

“They evolve into a person?”

The E. coli. Evolving. Into a person.

Written By: Robert Kessler
continue to source article at gawker.com


  1. No e. coli can’t evolve into a person, because there is a steep climb up Mount Improbable before it gets that far. E. Coli’s descendants must first slowly, painstakingly evolve into something far simpler than a person. You know, like Mike Walsworth.

  2. In reply to #2 by crookedshoes:

    E. coli lives in colons. This senator wants to transform (no pun intended) Louisiana schools into colons. coincidence???

    Louisiana is among the lowest performing states regarding education. So no they won’t transform into colons. Semi colons maybe (please feel free to groan loudly)

  3. Modern organisms evolved from ancient ones, the same ancient ones from which modern organisms evolved. Modern organisms, if their lineage doesn’t go extinct, will evolve into future organisms. The common ancestor of E coli and humans was a third type of organism entirely; and, while its being single-celled would make it seem “more like” a bacterium than a human if cell number is your only measure, if you look at all the genetic info bacteria are far more diverse than the rest of life combined. Put the anatomy aside for the second: the ATCG sequences of DNA would differ about as much in the human-ancestor case as in the E coli-ancestor case, provided you use careful methods to correct for things like gene duplication.

  4. In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:


    If there are monkeys and there are humans, how could monkeys have evolved into humans??

    Some did. Others simply preferred fruit to adequate pensions provision. It’s free will and turtles all the way down.


    (How do you put in a line-space these days? Teleology in action?)

  5. Questioning evolution is the way progress in evolutionary thinking emerges. Purposely misunderstanding what is being explained to you makes you ignorant. This senator is not questioning evolution. This senator is being obtuse so that he can advance his own agenda.

    His reelection resides on advancing the ignorance. Multi-generational idiocy is the policy that will ensure he stays rich and in charge.

    BTW, How DO you put in a line space?????

  6. In reply to #14 by crookedshoes:

    BTW, How DO you put in a line space?????

    The same way you did with Disqus: by typing ‘br’ inside the square brackets.

    It shows up in the preview but disappears when you post.

    Edit: you may need to double up on the br thing and then hit refresh before the break appears.

  7. In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:


    If there are monkeys and there are humans, how could monkeys have evolved into humans??

    Well most of the early immigrants to the United States came from Europe, but there are still Europeans; and ‘Native’ Americans originally came from Asia, but there are still Asians, and of course everyone originally came from Africa but there are still Africans

  8. You know how faith-head wishful thinking goes: – “If E. coli could be classed as evolving into humans before developing brains – think how many of them there would be with votes !!! “

    Seriously though, – Considering the diversity of life and habitats, I think almost anything could evolve into anything else – given resources, an empty planet with a favourable climate, and and a few billion years.

  9. Does this guy need help putting his underwear on right-side-out in the morning? Can he walk and talk at the same time? And are these two things what distinguishes Louisiana’s high school graduates from state senators? Or is it just the cephalocaudal acquaintance he has with the E. coli in his own sigmoid colon that makes him think they might someday walk and talk just like him?

  10. The senator’s cheap sneer at a proper science experiment, whilst interrupting the teacher, just shows the complete arrogance of the YEC view. Not only does he not know, he doesn’t want to know, about evolution. And yet arrogant bar-stewards like him are quite happy to take and use the benefits of modern science for their own advantage.

    He’ll believe in a 6 day creation of the universe, a talking snake, a man who conceived himself and who came back from the dead on the third day and levitated to heaven and all sorts of other completely unfounded rubbish, – yet he sneers at one of best tested theories in science!

    Types like him are just despicable.

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