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Louisiana Lawmaker Wants Evolution Taught In Science Classes

Louisiana Lawmaker Wants Evolution Taught In Science Classes

After years of losing ground to anti-science forces at least one Louisiana lawmaker wants to make sure evolution is taught in Louisiana’s science classes.

Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D) introduced a bill that would repeal a four-year-old state law that encourages teachers to critique “contested” science like evolution and global warming. It’s the second effort in the last year to repeal the Science Education Act, a bill that when passed in 2008 was considered the bellwether for bringing religious study into the science classroom.

The Louisiana Science Education Act writes in this idea of a “continuing controversy” around the theory of evolution which opens the door for debating alternative theories of the origins of life, including creationism. Scientists have taken the state to task for science teaching standards that are nothing more than “religion presented as science.”

Over 75 scientists, including many Nobel laureates, sent a letter to the Louisiana State Legislature explaining the difference. “Science offers testable, and therefore falsifiable, explanations for natural phenomena. Because it requires supernatural explanations of natural phenomena, creationism does not meet these standards.”

It’s encouraging to see a state like Louisiana decide that its students deserve to be taught actual science in their biology courses and not religion, especially considering at least four other states have tried to pass legislation similar to Louisiana’s Science Education Act in the name of “academic freedom”. These bills are not about promoting academic freedom but instead about pushing the pro-corporate, pro-religious agenda driving climate change denial and creationism. American students deserve better.

Related Stories:

No Politics In Science Class In Louisiana, 75 Nobel Laureates Plead

Failing Grades In Science Standards For US Schools

Indiana Republicans Push Creationism In Public Schools

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Photo from Amy Loves Yah via flickr.

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8:04PM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

teach it!

2:22AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

LD, I'm not certain either. But I will talk to him as if it were because it makes completely good sense. And...if he didn't know that before, he does now. He has decisions to make now and he has more information than he had before. Of course, that doesn't mean he will make a better decision. But I've done what I could. And that's important to me. It just may do some good some place.

2:21AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Sorry Pat; I didn’t mean to refer to you as Pam; I mistakenly saw Pat M as Pam. Doh!

LD; apologies to you too, I’ve not been following the thread too closely and assumed that Pat was quoting Darryl. Having re-read the thread I now see where I went wrong but at least we can all agree that hope & despair are not plans of action but emotional responses to the plans of others.

1:26PM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

Spot on, Pogle. BTW I am Pat. Pam is what Jeffrey calls me when he is in his sneering mood.

LD, Darryll was man enough to open a wound in front of us. In doing so he went to the very heart of the human question, "where is there any hope?".

Beyond semantics there is a more important idea here. Life is hard. Sometimes brutal. We all feel it. But few can express it as well as Darryll did because they can't face it directly. Religion gives them Dr. Pangloss phrases they can use to distance themselves from despair. New brain research on the differences between liberal and conservative brains is demonstrating that cons. think shallowly. They turn despair into fear. They need more money, more bombs, more control, more need to make liberals "the other", and more religion.

It takes planning and organization to acquire those things. But given the chance to actually govern the greatest Country in the world, there instincts were all wrong. Shallow.

I attempted to give Darryll some positive ways to combat despair. Take control, as Darryll is trying to do. Don't fall into phony mysticism; attack life on a deeper level. Design your life to embrace what's real. Take pride and joy from knowing you have conquered living creatively with zest and audacity.

LD, is that better?

4:30AM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

LD: I know that you love a debate but despair is not a plan either!

Hope is the emotional state, [the opposite of despair], which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life.

Please don’t belittle Pam’s wisdom lest you demean yourself my friend!

I assume that we all need to live in hope!

11:15PM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

to finish...much pain and loneliness, fear of death and death of loved ones, etc. But seeing yourself able to rise above the pain, rise above your birth circumstances, rise above the conservative minds that science is finding are shallow thinking without the ability to sustain deep concentration and ideas, become the person you can be proud of, and seeing yourself grow in the knowledge that you truly understand the world with the best minds our species have produced, without having to settle for supernatural humbug or the mediocre answers mediocrity thrives on, is worth all the effort it takes to get there.

LD, if you can't acknowledge that human life is random and often painful, you are either very, very lucky or very,very deluded. I hope, friend, that you are very lucky.

10:37PM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

LD B., the default circumstances for human life is NOT to be born into wealth with a functional family life, having enough talent and money to become whatever your dream is, never having any sickness, without ever loosing someone you love, and with all the philosophical questions answered for you in a way that you can be absolutely sure are absolutely correct with no doubts to ever bother your mind or drag your spirit down. Human life is hard for most people. That is the default human circumstance.

For people who say plainly they are looking for hope, you can be pretty sure they are fairly familiar with circumstances quite different than those listed above. That means they will have to give up wanting a lot of happiness, give up wanting boundless love, or give up truth. I think many religious people are willing to settle in those ways because of not having the strength or courage to dig in and make better lives for themselves. They either are or have been made passive by the load of guano they are made to carry around and become willing to settle for less than a fully realized, self actualizing life and settle instead for the appearance of happiness, belonging even if the group they belong to is crippling to them, or, as science is finding out about the conservative mind, they are shallow thinkers too lazy to work at learning and digging for truth.

With the randomness of human life, all of us will experience aching questions they cannot readily answer, much pain an

5:49PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

LD, I count on you to be rational. Hope DEFINITELY is a PLAN. Otherwise you are not in control of your own life.

The human condition is more adequately described as "sh*t happens and then you die." Our lives consist of things that can and do happen to us that are completely random. And that makes for much depression. We are only slightly better off than animals that live eat or be eaten. Will we get a good doctor? Will our kids be safe? Will we have a good government? Will we and when will we contract cancer? Will the partner we chose stay with us? Will we die tomorrow in a car accident? Will corporate food production poison us? Will an act of nature destroy all we have worked for? If you think trying to protect yourself from these things and the pain that goes with them is not planning you are much deluded in a number of ways. You buy insurance. You save money. You vote? This is all planning hoping to save your ass.

If you don't or can't be content to get your jollies in heaven, then you should plan to get them now here on earth. Sociopaths simply trample anyone in their way.
But some of us don't want to add to other humans' misery.

My point is that if you want to have hope, hope in yourself. In stead of just insuring your prosessions, plan
for the health and expansion of your mind also. Make it so broad that it can lift you above depression, despair, and especially mediocrity.

10:42AM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Again I'll ask all the creationists on this thread to put up their evidence for their specific brand of creationism. You guys live under a false dichotomy, just as all religions tend to do with the "god or the devil" one or the other line of useless beliefs

Let's say Evolution is falsified, ie shown to be incorrect, tomorrow. Where is the evidence for creationism and not something else entirely? The idea that creationism MUST be true is as inane as asking a man if he's "Mr. Smith" and if he says, "No", then he MUST be "Mr. Jones". There are many other choices.

Show us your evidence FOR creation and better yet show evidence for YOUR brand of Creationism. There's Buddhist, Sioux, Hindu, Zulu, Hawaiian, Mongol, Aztec and 1000 other creation stories out there.

Show us your evidence FOR YOUR brand of creationism.

3:25PM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

Cont...Hear the leitmotifs and follow the characters by their own themes. Read the History of Venice. Then dig into other history books. Once you have done some of these things, you will begin to see how anemic people's lives are who let others make decisions for them. But you don't have to live a deadened life foisted on you. Living with reality is hopeful. It is truly living.

When you start to love all human beings because of what we all share you will start being a contributing member to the human family. You will simply understand right from wrong viscerally. You may decide not to spend time with all of them, but you will know which ones it is important to spend time with. Some of them may be dead and only in books. Relish them if the have something to teach you.

Knowing who and what you truly are is the most hopeful thing you will find in human life because it puts you in charge of your own life. Then you will be proud of your hard work and enjoy daily the rich life of both the physical and the knowledgable.

Never settle for anything less than the truth.

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