New Rule: Presidential Candidates Should Not Make Stuff Up.

New Rule: Presidential Candidates Should Not Makes Stuff Up.

I’m channeling Bill Maher and I have a New Rule:

Presidential candidates should not make stuff up.

This rule is inspired by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.  She likes to make stuff up.  Now that she is in the running for leader of the free world, she should stop.

In 2006, she claimed, “there is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact… hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.”

Intelligent design is another name for creationism.  Teaching these interchangeable theories in public school science classrooms was found unconstitutional in the 2005 Dover vs. Kitzmiller case because neither is science.

I’m an 18 year old from Louisiana, and I’ve been leading the campaign to repeal my state’s creationism law, the misnamed and misguided Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) because it denies kids the good science education they deserve.

Louisiana’s law is similar to a creationism bill, SF 1714, that Michele Bachmann authored in 2004 while she was in the Minnesota State Senate.

I know Michele Bachmann’s “controversy” about evolution is as fictional as her Nobel Laureates.

There is no controversy among scientists over evolution.  Our effort to repeal the LSEA has been endorsed by major science and educator organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which contains over 10 million scientists.

Even more significant, our repeal effort is backed by 44 Nobel Laureate scientists.

Where are your Nobels Michelle Bachmann?

You have a fake controversy and made up Nobel Laureates!

Your ongoing misrepresentation of science and scientists at a national level gives false authority to the lobbyists and politicians in my state who have an agenda to undermine evidence-based science.  Your imaginary Nobel Laureate scientists have given those lobbyists a powerful argument from a prominent voice.  You help them keep their harmful creationism law in place and keep students in my home state of Louisiana from getting the good education and good jobs we need.

MIchele Bachmann, please stop making stuff up.

Posted in LSEA | 8 Comments

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.

Posted in LSEA | 10 Comments

MSNBC Video: High School Student Takes On Administration

 

Posted in LSEA, Video | 22 Comments

17 Year Old to Michele Bachmann: Show Me Your Nobel Laureate Scientists

17 Year Old to Michele Bachmann: Show Me Your Nobel Laureate Scientists

I’m a 17 year old from Louisiana, and I’m calling Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s bluff when it comes to creationism and Nobel Laureate scientists.

In 2004, while she was in the Minnesota State Senate, Congresswoman Bachmann tried to pass SF 1714, a bill similar to my state’s creationism law, the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which I’m fighting to repeal.  This misnamed and misguided law creates a way to sneak the teaching of creationism into Louisiana public school science classrooms.

The LSEA is hurting my state and the students in it.  And now, as the congresswoman is laying the groundwork to run for President, she is upping the ante for the rest of the country by bringing an anti-science, creationist stance to the national stage.  Why is this a junk hand for students?  Just look at the lessons from Louisiana.  Colleges both at home and across the country may question our science education and withhold admission because of our dubious science background.  In addition, Louisiana students may lose out on cutting edge science jobs to kids from countries like China and Britain where they teach accurate science and the theory of evolution.

This law gives Louisiana an anti-science reputation, which hinders the state’s ability to attract scientists who can help find innovative solutions to rescue the Louisiana seafood industry from disasters such as the BP oil spill and stop our coast from disappearing.  The LSEA also handicaps our bio-tech start ups and efforts to attract investment in companies that do scientific research.

According to the 2009 survey of 8th grade students’ science education by the National Center for Education Statistics, Louisiana was at the bottom of the list, ranked lower than all but one state.  Do not let Michele Bachmann drag the rest of the country down to Louisiana’s level.

In 2006, Congresswoman Bachmann claimed “there is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact… hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.”

Intelligent design is another name for creationism.  Teaching these exchangeable theories in public school science classrooms was found unconstitutional in the 2005 Dover vs. Kitzmiller case because they are not science.

Bachmann’s ongoing misrepresentation of science and scientists at a national level adds fuel and false authority to the lobbyists and politicians in my state who have an agenda to undermine evidence-based science.

Does Congresswoman Bachmann really think the public will fall for her sleight of hand and believe she has Nobel Laureate scientists who support these unscientific theories?

Congresswoman Bachmann, I see your “hundreds” of scientists, and raise you millions of scientists.

For the next hand, I raise you 43 Nobel Laureate scientists.  That’s right:  43 Nobel Laureate scientists have endorsed our effort to repeal Louisiana’s creationism law.

Major science organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which represents over 10 million scientists, have publicly endorsed the repeal.

Congresswoman Bachmann, you claim that Nobel Laureates support creationism.  Show me your hand.   If you want to be taken seriously by voters while you run for President, back up your claims with facts.  Can you match 43 Nobel Laureates, or do you fold?

Posted in LSEA | 404 Comments

Support for the Repeal is Growing!

Following an April 28th rally at the Louisiana State Capitol announcing support from over 40 Nobel Laureates, the effort to repeal Louisiana’s creationism act has been surging.

  • Last week the New Orleans City Council Council voted unanimously to endorse the repeal bill, SB 70, by Senator Karen Carter Peterson.
  • And this week, the repeal effort is Change.Org’s featured petition, having already garnered 55,000 signatures.
  • The repeal has also been endorsed by The Clergy Letter Project, an organization of over 13,000 clergy members who affirm their support for teaching evolution.
  • The repeal was called “remarkable” by the Joint Baptist Committee, and also gained support from Rev. Welton Gaddy, a Baptist minister from Monroe, Louisiana who is President of the Interfaith Alliance.
  • Seven more prominent scientists have endorsed the repeal (including Dr. Francisco Ayala, and John Sulston, the 43rd Nobel Laureate) and Paul Gross and Lawrence Lerner issued statements in support of the repeal.

Background

On May, 5, the City of New Orleans overwhelmingly endorsed Senator Peterson’s SB 70 to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.  The New Orleans City Council voted 6-0 in favor of the repeal.  The Council members’ strongly supported the repeal (Watch here at 2:58, Item 60).

Hundreds of students and professors from around the state have signed petitions and resolutions in support of the repeal.

Other national science organization who have endorsed the repeal include:

Posted in LSEA | 4 Comments