Legislation Filed to Repeal Louisiana’s Creationism Law
On Friday, April 15th, Senator Karen Carter Peterson introduced SB 70, which would repeal the misnamed and misguided Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), Louisiana’s creationism law. Enacted in 2008, the LSEA is stealth legislation that allows the unconstitutional and unscientific teaching of creationism into public school science classrooms.
“Louisiana’s top priority must be to educate our children so they can compete for the high-paying jobs that we want to create in Louisiana,” said Senator Peterson. “Louisiana’s ‘job killing’ creationism law undermines our education system and drives science and technology based companies away from Louisiana.”
The true intent of the LSEA is clear. The Livingston Parish School Board has taken steps to make creationism part of their curriculum in response to the LSEA passing and, according to Tangipahoa Parish School Board’s March 15, 2011 minutes (P. 69), they are also exploring using this law to teach creationism in their public school system.
Senator Peterson introduced the bill at the request of the Louisiana Coalition for Science and high school senior, Zack Kopplin, who together launched a campaign to repeal the LSEA last summer.
“Louisiana public school students deserve to be taught accurate and evidence based science which will prepare them to take competitive jobs,” said Zack Kopplin. “When you look up creationism on CareerBuilder.com and other job sites, you find zero creationist jobs. That’s right, there are zero creationist jobs.”
The LSEA’s repeal has been endorsed by the National Association of Biology Teachers and also the Louisiana Association of Biology Educators
The LSEA ”employs code language like ‘critical thinking’ and ‘teaching the alternatives’ in order to pretend to be promoting something noble,” wrote Zack Kopplin in the Huffington Post earlier this year. “But creative language doesn’t change the fact that they are simply pushing their religious agenda into the science classroom.”
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Zack Kopplin at 225-715-5946.
Reasons to Repeal
- Teaching Creationism, which is a religious belief, is in clear violation of Supreme Court rulings on the subject (one of which, Edwards v. Aguillard, originated in Louisiana). (http://ncse.com/creationism/legal/intelligent-design-trial-kitzmiller-v-dover)
- The young people of Louisiana deserve the best possible scientific education. Creationism is not science, and teaching it as science leaves our students at a disadvantage when competing for jobs in the global economy. (http://ncse.com/evolution/why-teach-evolution)
- The teaching of Evolution is sound science and is also compatible with religious faith, a position that is supported by all mainline religious denominations. (http://ncse.com/media/voices/religion)
- The Louisiana Science Education Act costs jobs. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology cancelled its 2011 convention in New Orleans to protest this law (http://www.sicb.org/resources/LouisianaLetterJindal.pdf). How many others will do the same? How many businesses will locate elsewhere because they want well trained scientists? How many researchers will take their talents elsewhere or never come to Louisiana because of this anti-science law?
- The bill is already producing its intended result. The Livingston Parish School Board is taking steps to act on the legislation’s goals. According to an account in the July 24, 2010, Baton Rouge Advocate, board member David Tate said: “We let them teach evolution to our children, but I think all of us sitting up here on this School Board believe in Creationism. Why can’t we get someone with religious beliefs to teach Creationism?” Fellow board member Clint Mitchell responded, “I agree … Teachers should have the freedom to look at creationism and find a way to get it into the classroom.” (http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/99153999.html)