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.