Archive for March, 2011

Published by admin on 26 Mar 2011

Thank you, Don Aguillard.

Donald Aguillard with Susan Epperson (photo by Eugenie Scott)


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By Barbara Forrest

One of the hallmarks of good citizenship is stepping up to correct a wrong against children. Louisiana has such a citizen in the person of Dr. Donald W. Aguillard, who was the lead plaintiff in Aguillard v. Louisiana, the case that eventually produced the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987). In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the teaching of creationism in public school science classes is unconstitutional. Louisiana parents, students, and science teachers owe him a debt of gratitude. Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 19 Mar 2011

National Association of Biology Teachers Supports Repeal Effort

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By Barbara Forrest

The Louisiana Coalition for Science is very pleased that the National Association of Biology Teachers has endorsed Zack Kopplin’s campaign to repeal the creationist Louisiana Science Education Act of 2008. We wish to thank them publicly for their letter of support [pdf].

The National Association of Biology Teachers fully endorses the campaign to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act. The National Association of Biology Teachers joined other individuals and organizations to oppose the passage of this legislation on the grounds that it intentionally utilized language that clearly allows non-scientific explanations for topics such as evolution, the origins of life, and climate change, to be introduced into the classroom as science. The National Association of Biology Teachers affirms that teaching biology must be in a standards-based instructional framework, upholding scientific integrity and the right to teach accurate and current science without penalty of political or religious influences on content. The Louisiana Science Education Act can and does confuse students about the true nature of science by allowing classroom materials to bypass approval from the state’s science education standards committees for use in the classroom. Students are best served when scientific integrity is maintained in the science classroom. As an organization dedicated to biology education, we are honored to join the effort to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.
 

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Copyright © 2010. Louisiana Coalition for Science. All rights reserved.

Published by admin on 11 Mar 2011

Kentucky “Science Education and Intellectual Freedom” Bill Is Caput

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By Barbara Forrest

Well, yet another 2011 creationist bill has died in committee: Kentucky House Bill 169 is caput. That makes four dead bills counting the one in New Mexico and the two in Oklahoma. Note, readers, that Kentucky is the state in which the young-earth creationist organization, Answers in Genesis, has misinformed upwards of one million people through its notorious “Creation Museum” and will soon expand its misinformation campaign, courtesy of public tax incentives, through its “Ark Encounter” theme park. Here is the HB 169′s obituary at the National Center for Science Education, and notice who got a mention here (our emphasis added) with respect to a bill that was introduced and died in Kentucky last year: Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 08 Mar 2011

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Supports LSEA Repeal Effort

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By Barbara Forrest

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology has become the first national organization to announce its support for Zack Kopplin’s effort to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act. We present the SVP’s policy statement below, with our sincere thanks. And we ask all Louisiana science organizations to publicly support the repeal effort as well.

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Policy Statements

SVP Statement about Louisiana’s new “Science Education Act”

Today the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), the world’s leading organization of vertebrate paleontologists, urges Louisiana citizens and legislators to repeal the “Louisiana Science Education Act” and to prohibit the injection of religious content in America’s public school classrooms. The SVP added its voice to those of other leading scientific societies, scientists and citizens concerned about Louisiana’s new “Science Education Act (the Act).

The Act was drafted under the guise of “academic freedom” and appeals to cherished values of fairness and free speech. However, SVP says the Act intends to garner support and legal protection for the introduction of religious, creationist concepts, including intelligent design, in public school science curricula. By permitting instructional materials that are not reviewed by the state’s science standards committees, the Louisiana Act and those like it encourage teachers and administrators to work outside these standards. This makes it possible for local school boards to define science and science education to suit their own agendas, thereby compromising the quality of science education for students, and allowing religious discrimination in America’s public school science classrooms.

 

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Copyright © 2010. Louisiana Coalition for Science. All rights reserved.