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.
Photo from Amy Loves Yah via flickr.