New School Year: Louisiana Education Act

One of the worst nightmares in the world of hardcore academia was the passing of SB 733 in Louisiana this past June.  Major atheistic blogs were just littered with massive concerns about this bill. The hype faded for awhile, but with the new school year at hand, the topic has once again become a major concern with all sorts of speculation. The bill basically would allow critical thinking in an objective manner. The bill states…

C.  A teacher shall teach the material presented in the standard textbook supplied by the school system and thereafter may use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner, as permitted by the city, parish, or other local public school board unless otherwise prohibited by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

D.  This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination
for or against religion or non-religion.

There are many unknowns to how this bill will affect teaching science in the public schools, because it’s so new. None of the critics or supporters knows what is exactly is going to be supplied in terms of textbooks by the school.  And how teachers will approach “critical thinking” towards evolution. Skeptics claim in the realm of their favorite subject; speculation say, “One potential consequence of the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act could be the appearance – possibly later this year – of anti-evolution textbooks such as “Explore Evolution: The arguments for and against Neo-Darwinism” in schools around the state.”  Lisa Loring.

Lisa Loring has also claimed that modern creationists failed to get evolution banned so they are passing laws like critical thinking. She lacks evidence for her claim, most creationists in the modern era do not mind both evolution and creation or intelligent design being taught. Plus critical thinking is a neutral term, it doesn’t favor one theory over another theory. It’s funny about how evolutionists speculate so much trying to make it more than it seems. Perhaps they are worried about students who will have doubts about evolution when being critical of it, instead of being indoctrinated.

“What about the academic freedom argument? If someone wants to teach creationism in a science class, shouldn’t they have the right to do so? Certainly – if they want to get fired. Because if they do that they deserve to get fired. It has nothing to do with academic freedom; it’s about basic competence” Panda’s Thumb

Militant atheists generally want to treat the public sector as their own private school. Public schools are accountable to the taxpayer, unlike private schools which get more freedom on what is being taught. The governor however is in favor of teaching intelligent design. There is really nothing in the bill to suggest creationism will be taught.

However, there might be some aspects which creationism agrees with, let’s say for the sake of argument the young vs old age of the Universe. This falls in the realm of science because it can be observed and tested. Would both sides of the issue be taught and critically looked at?  Only time will tell on what will be actually taught. I’m very curious to find out and will be writing more about this in the coming year as facts come out. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be an interesting school year in the State of Louisiana.

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