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.
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