Archive for April, 2010

Published by admin on 25 Apr 2010

Nothin’ in Louisiana but “Academic Freedom” (Right)

By Barbara Forrest

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Quote #1:

I think a real careful reading of the statute itself would show that religion is prohibited from being taught in any classroom in the state of Louisiana under the auspices of this law. . . . I think it enhances academic freedom and expands a student’s right to know . . . .

Quote #2:

This is strictly about teaching science in the classroom. . . . It has nothing to do with religion. . . . I have been criticized, but I had no meaning other than what the bill says. . . . I think this is certainly needed in Louisiana, and I think it will be a model across the nation.

Would anyone like to guess who made these statements? Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 18 Apr 2010

Three Courageous Italian Scientists — An Example for Louisiana

By Barbara Forrest

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This website is normally devoted to providing information about the teaching of evolution and the fight against creationism in Louisiana and related topics. However, important science-related issues sometimes arise that our readers should know about. The following is one of those issues, and there is a lesson in it for Louisiana:  three Italian scientists — Elena Cattaneo of the University of Milan, Elisabetta Cerbai of the University of Florence, and Silvia Garagna of the University of Pavia — are fighting a legal battle in the Italian courts to win the right to apply for government funding of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, which is legal in Italy. These scientists have taken on this fight at their own expense, and they could use some help.  Their bravery in defending science is a lesson for the people of Louisiana, a state in which standing up to defend science is a actually a liability in the eyes of public officials (see also here). Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 17 Apr 2010

Common Sense Rules in Kentucky

By Barbara Forrest

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Kentucky House Bill 397, a clone of the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act, is dead.

HB 397 (BR 1517) – T. Moore, J. Carney

AN ACT relating to science education and intellectual freedom.
Create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to encourage local district teachers and administrators to foster an environment promoting objective discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories; allow teachers to use, as permitted by the local board of education, materials in addition to state-approved texts and instructional materials for discussion of scientific theories including evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning; clarify that provisions do not promote religious doctrine or discrimination; provide that the section may be cited as the Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act.

Common sense has carried the day in the Bluegrass State! Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 11 Apr 2010

Louisiana Creationist Textbook Addendum Rejected in Tennessee

By Barbara Forrest

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In Knox County, Tennessee, a parent named Kurt Zimmermann has complained to the school board about the use of the word “myth” in his son’s honors biology textbook, Asking About Life (Tobin and Dusheck, 2nd ed., 2001), which is being used at Farragut High School. Zimmermann’s complaint is nothing new. It sounds much like many other complaints made to school boards by creationist parents. But this one has a Louisiana connection. Continue Reading »