The Goal of the LSEA
The creators of the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) pretend the law promotes academic freedom and critical thinking in the science class, but in reality the law is not about these things. It is designed to be a loophole to avoid supreme court rulings that prohibit the teaching of creationism and its offshoot intelligent design in public school science classes (Dover vs Kitzmiller and Edwards vs Aguillard).
The LSEA’s creationist agenda clearly gives itself away through its wording. Although the law claims to promote critical thinking, its rhetoric reveals its true intent, which is to pass off the unscientific theory of creationism as science in Louisiana’s public schools. By suggesting there are viable alternatives to evolution that can be taught, and that evolution needs to be “analyzed, critiqued, and objectively reviewed”– typical creationist code language– the law gives away its real agenda. This is despite the fact the majority of scientists (95% according to the 1997 Gallup poll) agree that evolution is a solid theory. Creationists have gotten a lot of attention for their campaign to “Teach the Controversy,” but the truth is, there is no “controversy.” Today’s scientists agree that evolution is a fundamental facet of biology. Attempts to allow the teaching of “alternatives” to evolution are attempts to insert creationism into the public school science class, and should not be allowed.
Why Creationism is not Science
Science offers a testable, falsifiable, repeatable and expandable explanation for natural phenomena.
Creationism (and intelligent design) offer supernatural explanations for natural phenomena which inherently make them untestable and unrepeatable as well as unexpandable and unfalsifiable. It fails the basic standards for what is science. There is nothing an intelligent design theorist can research. There is not a single peer-reviewed work supporting creationism or intelligent design that has been submitted to the scientific community. There has not been a single piece of scientific research done on creationism. Creationism is clearly not science.
According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which represents about 10 million scientists worldwide:
The science of evolution underpins all of modern biology and is supported by tens of thousands of scientific studies in fields that include cosmology, geology, paleontology, genetics, and other biological specialties. It informs scientific research in a broad range of fields such as agriculture and medicine, work that has an important impact on our everyday lives.
In short there is no controversy about evolution among researchers, many of whom, like you, are deeply religious.
Evolution should be taught in public school biology class. Creationism and intelligent design should not be taught in public school science class.
The LSEA’s Strategy
Creationists rely on the wording in the law that allows “supplemental materials” to be used in the classroom to critique standard scientific theories. Unfortunately “supplemental materials” do not have to meet any of the state’s scientific standards applied to the approved text for each science class. One piece of creationist supplemental literature, Of Pandas and People, was taken to court and thoroughly discredited, along with intelligent design (Dover vs Kitzmiller). The same case would be made for other creationist supplemental materials, if each one was similarly investigated. Imagine if we had a law passed like this meant for history or math class. You could bring in your own textbooks and teach your students that the Ancient Greeks never existed or that 1+1=3. It would be an outrage. It is no different for science.
Teaching it in the public school classroom is making a mockery of science, and will put our students at a disadvantage compared with the rest of the country and the world. We will not be in a position to succeed in the global economy unless we are educated with proper science.