Friday, June 20, 2008

Teach the controversy

It looks like Louisiana will be the next great battlefield over teaching science in the public schools. A bill passed by the Legislature is expected to be signed by Governor Bobby Jindal, that is the latest attempt by the Discovery Institute to introduce their Intelligent Design creationism into the curriculum. The bill specifically identifies evolution, stem cell research, and climate change as questionable science that must be challenged, but opens all scientific knowledge to challenge for any reason, regardless of whether the criticisms have any scientific merit.

This may be the first test of the pure ID political strategy. Previous efforts in Kansas and Pennsylvania failed because local officials took heavy handed actions to impose their personal religious beliefs into the schools, that backfired. In this latest version, Intelligent Design creationism is never even mentioned in the legislation.

Critics of the Louisiana legislation wonder whether their school children will be exposed to other so-called controversies, such as whether fossils were put in the ground by Satan, if the pyramids were really built by aliens in UFOs, or whether all elements can be summarized as earth, wind, air, and water. [pictures credit,]

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