Archive for July, 2008

Published by admin on 21 Jul 2008

The “Dover Trial” — This should have been required viewing in Louisiana.

Anyone who missed Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, which aired on PBS’s NOVA in November 2007, can view the entire program on Google video (112 minutes). This Peabody Award-winning documentary of the first legal case involving intelligent design (ID) creationism, Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District (2005) is the story of the “Dover trial,” which ended in a decisive victory for the plaintiffs when federal Judge John E. Jones III, Middle District of Pennsylvania, declared teaching ID to be unconstitutional. Viewers will learn (1) how two school board members who claimed to be Christian lied in order to advance their creationist agenda, a fact that Judge Jones noted in the trial; (2) how eleven Dover parents who wanted their children properly educated and who value the separation of church and state stood up for what is right; (3) how good science and careful scholarship served the cause of justice and the Constitution in this case; and (4) how the Dover School Board’s attempt to promote ID wasted one million taxpayer dollars and ripped the small town of Dover in half, turning friends and neighbors against each other. Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 13 Jul 2008

Out of the Mouths of Creationists: “The LA Science Education Act Promotes Critical Thinking” (Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge)

SB 733, the “LA Science Education Act,” is now law in Louisiana. Prior to being passed in its current form, this bill was first introduced as SB 561, the “LA Academic Freedom Act.” It was one of six such bills, the introduction of which the Discovery Institute (DI), a creationist think tank in Seattle, coordinated in legislatures around the country. (Louisiana is the only state in which any of these bills has passed thus far.) During the LA Family Forum’s promotion of the bill, which was introduced on their behalf by Sen. Ben Nevers, the LFF’s partnership with the Discovery Institute became increasingly evident. This alliance emerged fully into public view with Casey Luskin’s presence at the May 21, 2008, meeting of the Louisiana House Education Committee. Luskin is DI’s program officer for public policy and legal affairs.

During the advancement of the bill in the legislature, DI, the LFF, and Sen. Nevers strenuously objected to any suggestion that the bill would allow the teaching of intelligent design (ID) creationism. In numerous publications and in federal court, ID has been shown, using Discovery Institute ID proponents’s own words (pdf), to be creationism, thus making it a religious belief. DI, the LFF, and Nevers repeatedly denied that the bill has anything to do with promoting religion; it will, they insisted, enhance the “critical thinking” skills of Louisiana students. No one was ever fooled by such denials, however, and no one is fooled now. Everyone knew then, as everyone knows now, that SB 733 has one and only one purpose: to give Louisiana school boards and teachers cover for teaching ID creationism. Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 04 Jul 2008

National Center for Science Education Chronicles Jindal’s Signing of Creationism Bill

In its weekly e-newsletter, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has chronicled Gov. Bobby Jindal’s signing of SB 733, the stealth creationism bill known as the “LA Science Education Act.”

NCSE is a national clearinghouse that provides assistance to citizens who seek to protect the teaching of science in their public schools:

  • “The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit, membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents and concerned citizens working to keep evolution in public school science education. We educate the press and public about the scientific, educational, and legal aspects of the creation and evolution controversy, and supply needed information and advice to defend good science education at local, state, and national levels.”

To subscribe free of charge to NCSE’s weekly e-newsletter, go here. The newsletter currently goes out to approximately 1,400 subscribers. Citizens who wish to support NCSE’s work through an annual membership can join online.

Below is an excerpt from the July 4, 2008, NCSE e-newsletter concerning Jindal’s signing of SB 733. Thanks to NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch and Public Information Project Director Josh Rosenau for this piece.
Continue Reading »