Improving science edumacation in Louisiana

Filed under: Media, Day Care & Education

Senator David Vitter of Louisiana wants to set aside $100,000 for a Louisiana Christian group to undertake a study of and to produce a report on ways to improve science education in Louisiana, as well as the development and distribution of educational materials. The money will also go towards an evaluation of the effectiveness of one school board's policy that allowed biblically-inspired teachings in science classes.

The group getting the money is the Louisiana Family Forum whose mission statement reads, in part, "to persuasively present biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication and networking." It seems likely that the "improvements" they suggest will be to teach the "controversy" surrounding evolution and to present alternatives -- meaning biblical creationism.

Never mind that Senator Vitter has close ties to the LFF, including hiring at least two senior staff members as "consultants" for his 2004 campaign. Forget about the fact that Vitter took advantage of a Washington D.C. escort service.

Just consider that this is a group with a well defined mission -- to replace the teaching of established, uncontested science with "foundational values derived from transcendent scriptural truth." According to a written statement from Vitter, "This program helps supplement and support educators and school systems that would like to offer all of the explanations in the study of controversial science topics such as global warming and the life sciences."

"The problem is, except for fringe people, evolution is an accepted fact of science," notes Charles Kincade, a civil rights lawyer and physicist. "It is not a hotly contested issue. The general concept of natural selection and evolution is settled and beyond dispute. To suggest otherwise is misleading. They are trying to backdoor creationism." Bear in mind that

So far, this is money has only been earmarked which, I gather, sets the money aside for a specific use without going through the regular budget system. Hopefully, it will never actually get allocated or spent and science can be left to the scientists and religion to the churches. If not, well, let's just say I'm glad my kids aren't going to school in Louisiana.

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