Sunday, September 16, 2012

TEACHING SCIENCE IN LOUISIANA

See A Doonesbury Retrospective.
The successful defense last week of a three-year-old Louisiana law is casting a spotlight on how conservative groups are seeking to circumvent a federal ban on the teaching of creationism in public schools.

The Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows teaching contrary to science on the grounds it promotes critical thinking, is increasingly serving as an inspiration to religious conservatives in other states. Its defenders decry the “censorship” of nonscientific ideas and advocate allowing teachers to teach “both sides” on certain scientific theories.
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With the law intact, Louisiana is the state that has gone the furthest in approving legislation that opens the door to allowing alternatives to science taught in its schools
 The text of the Louisiana Science Education Act

At least, Louisiana teachers are not forced to teach non-science.  

6 comments:

  1. Sigh! Perhaps some legislators in Louisiana need to return to school and hone their own critical thinking skills.

    My dad spent a truckload of money in tuition to send my sisters and me to Catholic school so that our tiny, young, uncritical minds would not be polluted by the public education system. Fortunately he didn't succeed. The final score is: two for God and evolution and one permanently for evolution. And she is the one that I would have bet would go to mass daily and never leave the house without a rosary and a scapular around her neck!

    There was alway grumbling about having to pay taxes to support public schools and pay tuition for Catholic school. But in the end the consensus was you should be willing to pay for what you believe in. So, maybe those folks who want creationism to be taught in public schools need to start their own schools. (Snark--their pockets, like their minds are probably too shallow for that.)

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    1. So, maybe those folks who want creationism to be taught in public schools need to start their own schools.

      They have, Bonnie, Christian private schools which will siphon millions of dollars from public schools. Students from families below a certain income will receive vouchers for tuition to the private schools.

      Under Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s sweeping new school voucher program, tens of millions of Louisiana taxpayer dollars will be used to offer vouchers to more than half of the state’s poor and middle-class public school students. These students can in turn use these vouchers to attend more than 120 private schools, including a number of small, Bible-based learning institutions that boast extreme anti-science and anti-history curriculums while championing creationism.

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  2. In a sense the State of Louisiana is actually right: there really is a reasonable critique of scientific methodology as it has been applied down the years.

    The trouble is that it doesn't come from the Bible: I regret that I cannot see people being taught through Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in Baton Rouge...

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    1. James, the teachers who choose to use the alternative materials will be teaching Bible science.

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  3. The Doonesbury strip is priceless.

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    1. Yes, it is. For some reason, the retro strip was in the Sunday edition of the Baton Rouge Advocate yesterday.

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