Statements of Support for SB 70

Statements of Support for SB 70 to Repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act by Lawrence S. Lerner and Paul R. Gross

Lawrence S. Lerner and Paul R. Gross have conducted exhaustive studies of state science standards in the United States under the auspices of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. In 2000, Lerner produced Good Science, Bad Science: Teaching Evolution in the States.

In 2005, Gross led a reprisal of Lerner’s study that was published as The State of State Science Standards 2005.

Both Lerner and Gross have issued statements of support for the effort to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.

Statement by Lawrence S. Lerner:

“Louisiana has embarrassed itself by imposing on its public education system a set of rules, in the form of the Louisiana Science Education Act, for teaching the dogmas of a narrow group of religious believers as though they were science. But science is a universal consensus of firm if tentative understandings reached by means of a set of stringent tests, not a body of irrefutable dogmas held by a few.

It has taken Zachary Kopplin, a bright young Louisianian who is serious about his high-school education, to set a passel of politicians straight. They should take his clear vision to heart and lift the burden of ridicule they have placed on all Louisianians in their rush to mollify constituents who don’t understand science and are blind to the blessings it has brought upon them. They should support SB 70 and repeal this law.”

Lawrence S. Lerner, A.B., S.M., Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
California State University, Long Beach

Statement by Paul R. Gross:

“The LSEA dishonors the great state of Louisiana: its repeal is overdue. The Act’s core argument is for ‘critical thinking’ about science and nature. It implies that science, as currently taught, lacks such thinking. But the implication is deceitful. More than any other subject in elementary and secondary education, science is concerned with evidence, and with critical thinking about the quality of evidence. The LSEA is a blatant effort to encourage non-critical, political, or religion-driven debate in the already time-pressured science classroom. It has nothing to do with good science or critical thought.”

Paul R. Gross, BA, Ph.D., Sc.D.
University Professor of Life Sciences, emeritus
University of Virginia
President and Director emeritus, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA

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2 Responses to Statements of Support for SB 70

  1. John E. D. P. Malin says:


    Impressive and time-worthy endorsements from the TBF Institute!

    I thought you and your friends might enjoy seeing a specimen of what this “issue” is over: [See p. 2 for the actual Hebrew]

    Can you young ones believe that we are fighting over [Genesis 1: 1-13]?

    What sort of world do we actually live in? Is it not a “global” environment characterized by complexity, uncertainty, and (constant) change? Is it not an “open” system?

    Is this not a world peculiarly American? Does it not reward “vision” guided by “values” that leverage opportunities, converging interests, and interdependencies?

    Zack, what you and your friends are doing, confirms our distinctly American “values.”
    I will enumerate them for our legislators reading this [your father and you do not have to be reminded, you live these “values” in your community acts]!

    [1.] tolerance for all cultures, races and religions;

    [2.] global opportunity for self-fulfillment;

    [3.] human dignity and freedom from exploitation;

    [4.] justice with compassion & equality under the rule of law;

    [5.] sovereignty without tyranny with assured freedom of expression;

    [6.] environment for entrepreneurial freedom and global prosperity, induced by:

    a. access to markets

    b. plentiful water and arable soil

    c. clean and abundant energy

    d. adequate health services.

    In closing, you represent America’s young people with innovation, drive, hard work, and imagination! Your efforts on behalf of the civil citizenry of Louisiana are much appreciated by our intelligentia, of which we have many.


  2. James F. D. P. Malin says:


    My twin brother has warmly disposed me towards your fine achievements in these matters!

    I thought it would be appropriate for me to write you for the first time under the salutation of Dr. Lerner, since he has mathematical training.

    I am a professionally trained theoretical mathematician, as my brother is an ancient language scholar. Between us, we have a fairly healthy understanding as to how common humanity dawdled and dandled its way out of magical & religious barbarism during the last fifty centuries!

    Reading some of these posts here, lead me to be less than charitable, as to the success of the ‘scientific’ enterprise of the last four centuries! One would ascertain that Pythagoras’ cosmology of the harmony of the spheres, Ptolemy’s cosmology of epicycles, and Kepler’s cosmology of the five Platonic solids were still solid atronomical “theories”!

    We brothers cannot commend you, and your friends, adequately, for your contribution to advance knowledge in the majestic ‘State of Louisiana’!

    We both thank you for your considerable achievement today!

    With Affections,



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