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National spotlight on creationist law promises ridicule for Louisiana

Unintelligent design? Photo doctored by coastal scientist Len Bahr makes fun of the Baton Rouge Community College chancellor's faith in creationism. credit: Len Bahr

Defenders of the Louisiana Science Education Act often pose as friends of free inquiry. They argue that high school science teachers should be permitted to teach their students “all sides” of controversial topics such as evolution.

The scientific community largely disagrees and says there is no productive debate to be had about basic evolutionary theory. Over a century’s worth of evidence supports the theory, and there’s no credible scientific alternative to it. There is no academic “controversy” about evolution, unless one invents it out of pseudo-science. To pretend otherwise – to claim that evolutionary theory is merely “one side of the story” – perverts the very idea of objective scientific inquiry. Not to mention its profound disservice to Louisiana’s young minds.

On occasion, some LSEA critics have upped the ante and asked, if “free inquiry” about evolution is good enough for high school students, why don’t creationists insist of mandating similar “debates” in state college classrooms, as well.  LSEA proponents have mostly kept mum on that score, perhaps for fear of drawing (more) negative national attention to Louisiana. But a recent post by coastal scientist Len Bahr makes me wonder if “debates” about evolution in college science classrooms are not far in our future.

Bahr informs us that Andrea Miller, the new chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College, has a Ph.D. in cellular biology – but says she doesn’t believe in evolution because she’s a “Christian.” (As if the two beliefs are mutually exclusive.) Miller teaches evolution in the classroom, but only because it’s “what is written in the textbook.” Otherwise, she doesn’t personally believe in the foundational theory of all life sciences.

Click here and read Bahr’s entire post. Bahr helpfully transcribed a fascinating exchange during an interview between Miller and talk radio host Jim Engster. He compares the pseudo-science undergirding creationism with the pseudo-history cited by Holocaust deniers, a rhetorical ploy that may be inflammatory but that can not be called inaccurate.

It’s worth noting that Gov. Bobby Jindal supports the LSEA, even though he was a biology major at an Ivy League school. Now, influential conservative pundits are urging Republican Mitt Romney, the likely GOP Presidential nominee, to consider Jindal for vice president. One can only imagine the national attention Jindal’s support for the LSEA would draw to the Bayou State, if Romney were to offer him the veep slot.

 

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  • http://edwardmd.wordpress.com Ed Ward, MD

    LA Law to Make Evolution a Theory and Jindle a VP. http://www.rense.com/ Glad I could help.

  • RioSam

    One really important question..Where is Jindal’s PROOF that he is a ‘natural born citizen’ that is to say ‘the offspring of a mother and father that were US citizens at the time of his birth???’ Answer: He cannot supply that PROOF because it doesn’t exist..his parents were NOT citizens at the time of his birth..So because they the ‘controllers’ sneaked by Obama and got him elected to POTUS…so it’s ok to go right on violating the constitution?? This is the low our country and government has sunk to? Just totally disgusting!

  • Dr. Motley

    LOL! What a joke.

  • http://thelensnola.org/ Mark Moseley

    Thanks for the comments.

    In case RioSam was being serious, I’ll remind everyone that Jindal is a U.S. citizen because he was born in Baton Rouge. The citizenship status of his parents at the time of his birth is constitutionally irrelevant.

  • erob

    What a pointless and biased article.

    How can there be no debate? We barely have a grasp on the magnitutde of our existence. The mainstream education system can’t even accurately depict the last 1,000 years, with any bit of honesty (perhaps out of pure ignorance?). What the hell makes you think they know what happened “billions” of years ago? Global warming was “proven” by “top scientists” (and subsequently proven to be absolutely fake with critical discerment). We’re all carrying around our cloth grocery bags and paying for fake green initiaves with our tax dollars through BS subsidies.. IT has to be real!

    There is no existence without creation, that is an undisputable fact. What was created, in our instance, was natural laws (many we still don’t truly understand or know about). You idiots would rather sit here and trumpet a percieved effect, using pre-programmed responses, ignorantly dismissing legitimate discussion, and never attempt to concieve the CAUSE. The “big bang”, if it occurred, was an effect.

    Talk about religious fanaticism through blind faith, you people cling to the concept of evolution as if you need more reasons to convince yourself that there’s no point to your life. Perhaps thats what they want, a bunch of ignoramuses parroting false information to convince themselves they should indeed forget about morality and accept total enslavement of thought. Makes for a good chattel, that’s for sure.

    This article’s author should prune himself from the tree of life.

  • Rob

    Erob:

    So then, who or what ‘created’ your ‘creator’? That is, given that what you claim is true that – “There is no existence without creation” ??? And just which law of physics is it that we don’t understand?
    Have you considered that perhaps it is you who does not understand because you are uneducated and/or suffering a psychosis?
    Science isn’t about ‘proving’ anything – science is the observation of nature. The simple reason there is no academic debate is because we have not observed anything of nature which would indicate the existence of a ‘creator’.
    If you desire to live in the dark ages be my guest but do not cite your dreams as ‘undisputable (sic) fact.’ as you identify yourself to be schizophrenic.

  • Ronald Salah

    The story contains several errors. The line that there is no “academic controversy about evolution” is false. Dr. John Sanford, a renowned geneticist, has rejected Darwin and natural selection as the mechanism of evolution. A lengthy commentary by Dr. Sanford may be found at:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/respected-cornell-geneticist-rejects-darwinism-in-his-recent-book/

    Also, the line that, “there is no credible alternative to it,” is false as well. Darwin is not the father of evolutionary theory. He proposed it as an alternate mechanism to catastrophism, the existing belief, and a theory that is much better supported by the fossil and paleontological record. I’ll mention only one more: Catastrophism is a more viable theory as the mechanism of evolution, so clearly the line that a pseudo-science would be needed to replace natural selection is also false.

  • Rob

    Erob

    I returned to check for replies when your statement about ‘the magnitutde of our existence’ caught my eye.
    Your main problem is one of perspective – you attempt to view nature using an ‘earthly’ or shall I say human scale, this is a strictly limited perspective. Try to use nature’s scale which is cosmic (cosmic means whatever nature does – she does a bunch) then you’ll realize that the magnitude of this entire planet is less than a mere spec of dust, an infinitesimal little nothing, lost in an infinitesimal little corner of an infinite cosmos.
    Here are a few facts learned from our observations of nature for you (& the folks in LA) to ponder:
    All of the same elements that exist here (& in the same proportions) exist throughout the known universe, along with the same energies, therefor all the same chemistry. For example – the most common element is hydrogen. The second most common element is oxygen. Two atoms of hydrogen plus one of oxygen = the most common substance throughout the cosmos – water. All the same chemistry = life everywhere.
    Science is a continuous learning curve. Only several years ago astronomers were hoping to locate one earth-like planet out of many thousands. Today we know the ratio is one out of every one-hundred. Imagine five-hundred million earths in the Milky Way galaxy alone! Then times virtually uncountable thousands of billions of galaxies – now tell me: What’s so special about this one planet? What’s so special about us that we are to be lorded over?
    We are special only to ourselves. Should this planet cease to exist tomorrow, nature wouldn’t even notice – or care.
    You have your cart in front of your horse – we created god in our image, god is our special image of our ‘special’ selves.

  • Mark Moseley

    Still clinging to the tree of life, here. Thank you for the comments and discussion!

  • http://annoyingfatherisannoying.tumblr.com/ Tim

    How do you make a name for yourself as a scientist? By discovering something new, something that disproves a current idea or explanation. If you think football is tough, you’d better stay off the field where science is played.

    Evolution has weathered relentless, merciless attack from scientists all over the world. For more than a century. And it’s still the dominant explanation for the natural world.

    Alternative theories? This wouldn’t be science if there weren’t any alternative theories. But none, ABSOLUTELY NONE, come even close to being credible enough to challenge evolution by natural selection. If ever there is a better theory, scientists will be happy to jump on board and ride that train to glory. Who wouldn’t want to be more famous than Charles Darwin?

    But until then, teach the best science.

    Peace,

    Tim

  • mick

    can we please have a US president that not only believes in this creationism nonsense but actively tries to put his ‘knowledge’ into action by say removing all funding from genomics and genetics research, forcing nonsense into schools and the like…

    That way within at least one generation the rest of the world can be rid of a nation that does nothing but make war once and for all.

    And no, I will not be suggesting to my grandchildren that they send money to the starving babies in the USA.