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Louisiana Uses Public Funds To Teach Creationism

Louisiana Uses Public Funds To Teach Creationism

First came Louisiana’s Science Education Act, passed in 2008, which encourages teachers to critique science such as evolution and global warming and see creationism and evolution as competing theories. It was the first of its kind to be approved in a state legislature, although other states, notably Tennessee, are following suit.

Now this year, Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law a new voucher program, which gives thousands of poor and middle-class students the funds to pay for the full cost of tuition at 120 private schools across Louisiana, including small, Bible-based church schools.

Louisiana has embarked on the nation’s biggest experiment in privatizing public education, as the state moves tens of millions in tax dollars out of the public schools to pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children.

Every time a student receives a voucher, his local public school will lose a chunk of state funding. This is the nightmare that many of us educators have been afraid of for a long time: getting rid of public education.

But it gets worse: the Science Education Act, as bad as it is, directs teachers to present creationism and evolution as equal options. Instead, some of these state-sponsored private schools will be deliberately spreading ignorance by using curriculum that repudiates modern science.

As a classroom teacher, I find this morally repugnant. Teaching is about empowering students with knowledge, not presenting them with a bunch of lies.

Buzzfeed recently printed some pages from an unnamed fifth grade textbook in an article entitled “Here Is What Louisiana Schoolchildren Learn About Evolution.”

Here’s just a sample:

Evolutionists believe that dinosaurs and man never lived on the earth at the same time. But the Bible says that God created all the land and sea animals during the fifth and sixth days of Creation. And He created man on the sixth day of Creation. So dinosaurs and man would have lived at the same time. God’s word is always accurate. We can trust it to be true even in areas of science.

This might be laughable, except for the fact that it is downright dangerous to present the Bible as fact to fifth graders.

Here’s another example from Discover:

One textbook used by many private schools makes the creationist claim that no transitional fossils showing evolutionary changes have ever been found, which is simply not true. ”This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis,” the book reads. “For the change, to have taken place many transitional forms would have been developed. However, no transitional fossils have been or will ever be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsman fashioned them all” [poor reasoning and use of commas theirs; emphasis ours].

This excerpt comes from a high-school science book used in the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum, an educational tool in many Louisiana schools.

Another popular textbook publisher in Louisiana is bju press, “Christ-centered resources for education, edification, & evangelism.” The opening of the description for the fifth grade book reads “Science 5 focuses on man’s use of God’s creation and design as well as a study of minerals and rock, fossils, matter and heat..”

Why do people have to hold on to these simplistic ideas that deny reality and make them the laughing stock of the world? Can they really not see the Bible as metaphor?

I have plenty of ideas on this, but can’t do better than Bill Nye in this video: after pointing out that the denial of evolution is pretty much unique to the US, he explains that evolution is the fundamental idea behind all of life science, so it gets really hard to explain the world if you don’t believe in evolution. He finishes with a plea to grown-ups, that if they want to hold this completely inconstant view of the world, at least don’t force this on the kids.

And all this is happening in schools funded by taxpayer money? Outrageous.

What do you think?

 

Care2 Related Coverage

Creationism Back On The Curriculum In Tennessee Public Schools

Louisiana Approves Taxpayer Money For Schools Operating On “Faith”

Bill Nye Tells It Like It Is, Calls Creationism “Crazy” (Video)

 

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9:39PM PDT on May 4, 2013

Please note that 93% of those who voted in the poll (above) believe that teaching creationism in public schools is wrong!

Imagine that 93% of us pay taxes to support public schools.

93% of us think YOUR RELIGION has no place in PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Clearly, WE are the ones paying the ''lion's share'' of taxes to support public schools.

Do you honestly think that WE have any obligation to teach YOUR religious views on creation, evolution, adaptation of species=--especially when they fly in the face of internationally acepted results of research on origin of species?

I don't bloody THINK so!

9:31PM PDT on May 4, 2013

And that's just FINE as your personal belief, ER!

However, since it's based on a RELIGIOUS point of view/belief in supernatural dogma.....it must NOT be taught in public schools! It's certainly not SCIENCE nor is it SOCIAL STUDIES.

Do you understand why not? Because tax money from EVERYONE is funding those schools.

I'm not Christian....but I pay taxes. And my taxes must NOT be used to fund lesson plans on your personal religious beliefs.

4:18PM PDT on May 4, 2013

God DID create all creatures and Man and the heavens & earth. AMEN. :-)

1:17PM PDT on May 4, 2013

Creationism is a story invented a long time ago to try and explain things in a time when people did not know much. It has long been relegated to the waste basket as a valid tway of explaining how things are. Why do some nutcases in the USA still ttreat it as some form of 'truth' ?

Religious belief is the anithesis of education. The rubbish in Genesis is sheer fantasy very poorly written by a few ignorant missle eastern tribes.

7:35AM PDT on May 4, 2013

Evolution vs creationism in private schools using public money.

I give up. Almost. Otherwise I wouldn't waste any more of my time and energy in retirement commenting on this subject.

Faced with all the evidence around me, including the intolerance of fervently religious people of all faiths, I'm forced to conclude that all rationale is lost. I'm continually amazed at the appalling ignorance of people (and unfortunately voters) who still believe evolution is patently untrue because it's called a "theory." These people apparently do not have the slightest ability to think for themselves or to ask questions about what goes on around them. They have absolutely no concept of the SCIENTIFIC METHOD, which involves testing hypotheses. Actually, it involves testing null hypotheses to discover whether your assumptions are actually WRONG, not to prove you're right, is at the heart of the scientific method. Surprised? Swallow that one, if you can, or does it stick in the gill pouches and slits you had when you were an embryo going through what's known as "phylogeny recapitulates .......

I'm dyin' here, folks. Please, oh pretty please,won't you give me a "creationistic method" replete with testable hypotheses that force you to try to prove you're wrong, or that end up proving that you're statistically correct at least at the 95% confidence level. If you can do that, I'll entertain the idea that these two theories are at all comparable and should be taught in the same classroom --

7:18AM PDT on May 4, 2013

They had religious events when I was in school. Sometimes we attended church services during school hours. Sometimes we were required to attend churches and sing for them etc. All it did for me was to turn me off of religion altogether. I heard all their messages and rejected them. I have a brain and know how to use it, therefore I am not religious.

8:09AM PDT on Apr 12, 2013

record in no way proves evolution and people that think it does have not studied. They have eaten the BS fed by government re-education centers. Teachers should grade on the evidence provided and the presentation, not fail a child because they do not adhere to your religious beliefs. My children studied both evolution and creation science and years later when I met their science teacher he informed me the questions my three kids hit him with while he was "teaching" evolution "lead him to doubt his faith in evolution". Do some real research and you discover how little the PHD's actually know.

Remember "Raising the Mammoth"? Where the PHD said the "mammoth fell through frozen over water and froze nearly instantly... so fast it did not finish chewing the Buttercup blossom in it's mouth". Buttercups are warm weather annuals there is no way one would be alive if the water froze deep enough to hold the weight of an elephant (forget a larger mammoth) to get out deep enough to cover the animal to freeze it so fast. There was no water in the lungs it suffocated. So it was standing on a warm summer day eating Buttercups when suddenly the temperature dropped to -325. Too cold for the lungs to operate causing the animal to get an erection. Freezing Camels, Bison fruit trees bearing fruit in ice. This event trapped 6 million animals and covered over 3,000 miles. So the frozen pond theory is BS. Some others are pole shift, the crust of the Earth shifted suddenly sliding an area that w

8:14AM PST on Feb 24, 2013

thanks

12:31PM PST on Jan 4, 2013

I know those that believe everything in the Bible is the whole truth. Sure it explains somethings, but today and many years back it proves there is evolution. I prefer facts-and we have them. Let your children decide for themselves when they are old enough to go by their beliefs. Times have changed and we need to use our brains and see the facts. You don't need to be religious to be a good and kind person. Live in the now. Religion has caused so many problems and and wars and family battles.

9:08AM PST on Dec 27, 2012

Anyone who says "evolution cannot be tested" is obviously committed to remaining blind.

There are thousands of examples but one must be willing to see them.

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Judy Molland An award-winning writer and teacher, Judy Molland is also an avid hiker, backpacker, and nature... more
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