Support Senator Peterson!

Senator Karen Carter Peterson is one of the bravest women I’ve had the honor to meet.  I’ve been unbelievably lucky to be on her side and to have spent the last year fighting alongside her for the future of Louisiana students.  Fighting for students like my younger sister, who wants to be a veterinarian, to get the science education they need.  Fighting for students like my friend Benny, who is going to take his first biology class in the fall.

Back in 2008, the Louisiana Legislature passed a creationism law, the misnamed and misguided Louisiana Science Education Act.  This law hurts our state and it hurts Louisiana students.  It makes us a “laughingstock,” to quote Sir Harry Kroto, a Nobel Laureate scientist.  The Louisiana Science Education Act costs our state millions of dollars in lost tourism revenue.  It drives scientists out of our state and keeps science investment away.  This law keeps Louisiana students from getting the science background that many colleges will look for during the application process.  Louisiana students won’t get the science background they need to land cutting edge science jobs.  And besides being just plain dumb, the Louisiana Science Education Act is flat out unconstitutional for violating the First Amendment.

The Louisiana Science Education Act is one of the most regressive pieces of legislation that our state has passed.  Despite that, it passed nearly unanimously in 2008.  Why?  Because powerful lobbying groups like the Louisiana Family Forum threw their money and influence behind the job killing creationism law.  Senator Peterson stood strong and voted against the act.  She was one of only three people with the courage to do this.

If her bravery had stopped there, it would have blown me away, but Karen wasn’t done standing up for Louisiana’s future, for its kids.  This year, she took the extraordinary step to join me in fighting to repeal the misguided job killing creationism law.  She sponsored SB 70 to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.  Last fall, when I was looking for a sponsor, everyone told me that I would never find one.  Not only did I find one, the moment I approached Karen with the repeal, she was one hundred percent behind it.

Senator Peterson is on the right side of history.  She is on the side of over 40 Nobel Laureates who endorsed the repeal.  She is on the side of the scientists.  The American Association for the Advancement of Science, which is an organization of over 10 million scientists, endorsed the repeal.  She is on the side of the teachers.  The National Association of Biology Teachers endorsed the repeal.  She is on the side of 65,000 people who signed a petition in support of the repeal.  She is on the side of the Clergy Letter Project, an organization of over 13,000 clergy members who strongly support teaching evolution in public schools.  Lastly, Karen is on the side of the students.

Louisiana needs a legislature made up of Senator Petersons, but at the moment we only have one.  We need to keep Karen there to fight for Louisiana’s students, for Louisiana’s future.  Please help me keep her there.  Please donate to her reelection campaign.  Head down to New Orleans and spend some time volunteering on her campaign.  Tell her thank you!  Make a difference for Louisiana by helping us keep Karen where she can fight for Louisiana’s students.

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10 Responses to Support Senator Peterson!

  1. Joe G says:

    If you want to really fight Creation and Intelligent Design then perhaps you could produce a testable hypothesis along with positive evidence for the position you are trying to defend. But first you have to get your facts straight, which I doubt you ever will.

    But anyway, evidence, not your whining, will rule the day.

  2. jdg says:

    ******Joe G says:
    July 28, 2011 at 4:29 PM
    If you want to really fight Creation and Intelligent Design then perhaps you could produce a testable hypothesis along with positive evidence for the position you are trying to defend. But first you have to get your facts straight, which I doubt you ever will.
    But anyway, evidence, not your whining, will rule the day.*****

    Funny comment from somebody who is lying for your imaginary jesus. Everybody already knows that ID=God. You guys lost in Dover, and eventually will lose in La.

  3. Floyd Lee says:

    My understanding is that the LSEA has been in force for over three years now, and the Louisiana ACLU is still unable to touch it. That sure is one strong LSEA.

    Evolutionists prefer to look at the past, citing the Kitzmiller decision. But non-evolutionists prefer to look at the future, and we call it the Louisiana Science Education Act.

    • Tenncrain says:

      Floyd Lee says, “That sure is one strong LSEA”

      Yet, over the last three years, more than a few anti-evolutionists have publicly expressed their frustration and dismay that Louisiana creationists had not taken advantage of LSEA.

      Could this reluctance be because even some anti-evolutionists are weary of LSEA withstanding a legal challenge?

      Evolutionists prefer to look at the past, citing the Kitzmiller decision.

      George Santayana of course coined the phrase that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Anti-evolutionists seem to fail to grasp this. It’s not just Kitzmiller, it’s also multiple other legal decisions like McLean vs Arkansas, Edwards vs Aguillard, Daniel vs Waters, etc.

      LSEA is a so-called “academic freedom” law that could do little more than allow anti-evolutionism to be sneaked into science classrooms via the back door, regardless of how little support anti-evolutionism has garnered from the general scientific community.

      But, “academic freedom” by creationists is hardly new. In the early 2000s, anti-evolution state school boards in both Kansas and Ohio wanted to introduce ‘academic freedom’ or ‘balanced treatment of evolution’ lessons, at least before both boards were tossed out by voters. Close inspection of these Kansas and Ohio lessons show they came almost word for word from publications of organizations like the Discovery Institute, strongly implying religion. Thus, it might be a formidable challenge for a court not to rule that such lessons violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, along with any law that allows such lessons. LSEA could have little legal leg to stand if this law goes to the judicial process.

      The hollowness of ‘academic freedom’ was not lost on Judge John Jones. He of course ruled strongly in the 2005 Kitzmiller decision that ID is religion and not science. But Jones (a Lutheran and conservative Republican) also commented on the idea of ‘academic freedom’; on page 89 of his decision, Jones said in his own words, “ID’s backers have sought to avoid… scientific scrutiny… by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard”

  4. Gary says:

    Evolutionists prefer to look at the past,

    Exactly right! That’s where all of our evidence for evolution comes from. Ya know, all those fossils and things that are actually testable and falsifiable. But, hey, you hold on to your ID and try to have your kids sell that in an interview with a high-tech company, especially a biotech firm. See how well it flies when you say, “Biology? Why, we learned all about how God created the universe and everything in it in six days…” You’ll be lucky if they get that far in the sentence before the interviewer says, “Okay, this interview is over. Next!”

  5. Floyd Lee says:

    “LSEA could have little legal leg to stand if this law goes to the judicial process.”

    Hmm. The Louisiana ACLU has already conceded that, as currently written, the LSEA is “fine” (translation: the Louisiana ACLU doesn’t dare take the LSEA to court at this time, or the Louisiana ACLU will get stuck with all the court costs after they publicly lose big-time.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      Floyd, you should stop quote mining

      • Floyd Lee says:

        The actual wwltv.com story (New Orleans TV), that featured Louisiana ACLU Director Marjorie Esman’s actual comment, is no longer there. But no matter; she definitely said what she said, and it was a very candid admission.

        The juicy details can be found at the following link:
        http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/06/aclu_says_louisiana_science_ed008301.html

        ***

        Meanwhile, ENV also quotes a Louisiana college biology professor, Wade Warren, as saying:

        “The Louisiana Science Education Act will help our state produce young scientists who understand science, and know how to think critically and use innovation to solve the problems currently facing our society. ”

        “But without the Science Education Act, many teachers will be afraid to cover controversial scientific topics in an objective manner, out of fear of the same kind of attacks on academic freedom I have experienced in my own career.”

        He’s right, you know.

        • Tenncrain says:

          Have anti-evolutionists actually used the LSEA? Anybody is free to comment. If not, interesting that there is this long three year wait; I myself use to be a young-earth creationist and seems anti-evolutionists would be chomping at the bit. I searched sites of Discovery Institute, ICR, AIG, even the Louisiana Family Forum, but no evidence so far of LSEA being used for lessons.

          I did find that Livingston Parish entertained the idea of teaching anti-evolutionism in 2010, but that was soon shelved. Interestingly, several school board members openly said the word creationism.

          Floyd Lee, quoting Dr Warren, “…without the [LSEA], many teachers will be afraid to cover controversial scientific topics in an objective manner…”

          Ideally, what Warren, Behe (whatever credibility he has left since Dover trial), Scott Minnich, etc, need to do is publish their experiments in mainstream peer reviewed papers. If many in the scientific community can replicate the experiments and then accept the results, then the views of Warren and others may rather automatically earn a place in school science lessons.

    • Tenncrain says:

      Floyd Lee says, “…ACLU doesn’t dare take the LSEA to court at this time”

      Again, after three long years, Louisiana creationists have seemingly treated the LSEA like the bubonic plague.

      Science advocates may be awaiting better opportunities to challenge LSEA. If LSEA is finally used to blatantly include creationism in science lessons, that could be a game changer.

      “…or the Louisiana ACLU will get stuck with all the court costs after they publicly lose big-time”

      Remember how anti-evolutionists were so cocky just before the Dover trial? William Dembski’s website even had a pic of a Charles Darwin doll, its head gripped in a big vise. Dembski gloated how ID was going to ‘squeeze’ the truth out of the evil Darwinian evolutionists 😉

      As we know, it was instead the defendants that got their clocks cleaned so badly (partly from excellent plaintiff testimony, but the defendants also did multiple self-inflicted wounds). The Dover school board got stuck with the huge court bills.

      In McLean vs Arkansas (1982), ‘creation science’ proponents had the same public sureness in defending the state creation science law. Yet another creationist legal debacle. It was so bad for creationists, even two defense expert witnesses proclaimed under oath that no rational scientist accepts a world flood and a young-earth!

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