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Education Science

Louisiana, Intelligent Design, and Science Classes 989

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oil-already-seeped-into-brain dept.
rollcall writes "The Livingston, Louisiana public school district is considering introducing intelligent design into its science curriculum. During the board's meeting Thursday, several board members expressed an interest in the teaching of creationism. 'Benton said that under provisions of the Science Education Act enacted last year by the Louisiana Legislature, schools can present what she termed "critical thinking and creationism" in science classes. Board Member David Tate quickly responded: "We let them teach evolution to our children, but I think all of us sitting up here on this School Board believe in creationism. Why can't we get someone with religious beliefs to teach creationism?" Fellow board member Clint Mitchell responded, "I agree...you don't have to be afraid to point out some of the fallacies with the theory of evolution. Teachers should have the freedom to look at creationism and find a way to get it into the classroom."'"
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Louisiana, Intelligent Design, and Science Classes

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:13AM (#33029378)
    Science classes in Louisiana? You seriously thought we'd buy that?
    • Creationism! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by butterflysrage (1066514) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:45AM (#33029880)

      Brought to you from the same state with two-digit addition on their GED test.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:48AM (#33029940)

      Once again we open up the good old Slashdot argument thread. Where we will get thousands of people posting and arguing and saying how smart they are and yet Do Nothing to fix the problem.

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:52AM (#33030014)

        We already paid good money to relocate a good chunk of their population to Houston. Now we're paying to scrub their damned pelicans.

        What more do you want?

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:15AM (#33029412)

    Creationism should not be taught in a SCIENCE class because it is not science. There is no way to falsify any of its claims.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:25AM (#33029554)

      It's also nonscience because it leads nowhere. It merely says at some point "there's no point looking for why here" and that ends science.

      Science is the eternal curious ape asking "why's that, then?". As soon as you put in "irreducible complexity" you've closed off science.

      Because this is actually an attempt to end science for all. Religion has been cut back further and further, from being the reason why lions eat people, lightning strikes and illness happens. Now we know that lions are independent creatures that eat meat, lightning strikes are caused by electrical buildup in the clouds and that illnesses are caused by little organisms.

      Every time science answers a question "why's that, then?" god gets a little slimmer.

      And this is an attempt to kill science once and for all.

      • by thrawn_aj (1073100) on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:10AM (#33030310)

        Every time science answers a question "why's that, then?" god gets a little slimmer.

        *sigh* If only that worked for me =(

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mea37 (1201159)

        'It merely says at some point "there's no point looking for why here" and that ends science.'

        I'd say that depends a bit on the particular brand of creationism in question, but generally I agree.

        However, be careful just how derisively you treat that attitude. The vast majority of "sceintifically-minded" people treat the big bang in exactly the same way. "Oh, that was the beginning; alright then."

        'Every time science answers a question "why's that, then?" god gets a little slimmer.'

        Only to people with very l

        • by domatic (1128127) on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:27AM (#33030620)

          However, be careful just how derisively you treat that attitude. The vast majority of "sceintifically-minded" people treat the big bang in exactly the same way. "Oh, that was the beginning; alright then."

          Yep but the scientifically-minded are just philosophizing like the rest of us when they talk spirituality rather than science. Isaac Newton spent more of his time and effort on questions of religion rather than physics and math. It is the physics and math that he is remembered for. Also, there is a quite of lot of "Why's that, then?" on the Big Bang, the Hubble Expansion, and any number of other Big Questions in cosmology right now. The Big Bang itself is not exempt from becoming just another explained phenomenon.

      • by gravis777 (123605) on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:20AM (#33030492)

        This may sound weird coming from someone who believes in Creationism, but I agree. Creationism is not a science but a belief, and should not be taught in Science Class.

        Teaching it in school, though, is a whole different issue, which is what I am for. My local district teaches religous courses as electives, and covers religions other than just Christianity. Its basically the best way that I know of to please everyone, Evolution is taught in science, Creationism is taught in religion, and offering the religion class says, "We understand that there are different viewpoints, and we are presenting them, in their proper light".

        In summery, offer religion based classes to students, but don't mistake beliefs as science. Shoot, you can go as far as to require religion based classes IF you cover different religions, and call it diversity sensitivity training (some people on Slashdot could probably benefit from diversity training). Then let kids make up their own minds. Teachers should not pressure a kid at any time by saying the other one is wrong, or by presenting their personal views.

        So keep creationism out of science, but do offer religious beliefs as a class outside of science.

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:39AM (#33029772)

      Actually, a lot of creationists' claims are falsifiable. They make arguments about geology, fossils, isotope dating etc. can that can be readily compared to reality. Trouble is they've all been thoroughly disproven, leading to a purely theological fallback position ("it's just made to look that way by God!") which is unfalsifiable.

    • by IICV (652597) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:54AM (#33030042)

      Creationism should not be taught in a SCIENCE class because it is not science. There is no way to falsify any of its claims.

      Not true! Intelligent Design creationism has made exactly one claim, as far as I know: certain biological structures are "irreducibly complex", and therefore cannot have evolved for some reason.

      This is false. For every structure thrown up as "irreducibly complex" (ranging from the eye to the immune system to flagella), scientists have shown a reasonable pathway through which evolution could have constructed the "irreducibly complex" structure, and frequently examples of the intermediate steps can be found in nature.

      Of course, all it takes is one truly novel and unprecedented structure to randomly show up in an organism to make scientists take another look at the basis of evolution - but such a thing has not been described, and honestly probably never will be. If ID creationists can't find one with all the money and funding they have, it probably doesn't exist.

      Therefore, I totally agree that ID should be taught in schools as an example of how scientific theories can fail, alongside the luminiferous aether and the "plum pudding" model of the atom.

      Hardline Creationism, on the other hand, has not made any actual claims besides "God created the world 6000 years ago", which isn't really a "claim" so much as "gibberish", just like the Flat Eathers (but at least the Flat Earthers mostly realize they're just trolling).

  • Let them?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mc1138 (718275) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:17AM (#33029434) Homepage
    I still can't get over that he said "We let them teach evolution to our children..." as though this is some sort of compromise with liberals or something...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by boneclinkz (1284458)

      I still can't get over that he said "We let them teach evolution to our children..." as though this is some sort of compromise with liberals or something...

      But all of us here believe in creationism. And since we are all preeminent scientists in our respective fields, I think our point of view has some merit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Don't be surprised. He suffered some serious head trauma disproving the liberal so-called "universal gravitation" before a quick-thinking doctor introduced him to the theory of intelligent falling just to get him to stop hurting himself....
    • Re:Let them?! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:25AM (#33029552) Journal

      I still can't get over that he said "We let them teach evolution to our children..." as though this is some sort of compromise with liberals or something...

      I think they're having problems with the textbooks when they say "them." And it's not really a compromise as they pushed it into an either/or scenario. The logic of the comments in the article seemed to follow this sort of path: 1. We believe (note, not their constituents, them) in creationism so there should be a way for teachers to also teach that in the classroom 2. When children learn one thing from one adult an opposing thing from another adult, the child interprets this as confusion and sometimes exploit it to undermine authority and we already have a problem with that so 4. Only creationism or evolution should be taught to our students but 5. We probably shouldn't be deciding that at this meeting so (thank the flying spaghetti monster) we should form a committee to investigate it.

      So it sounds like the resolution was to form a committee to decide if evolution or creationism should be taught in the classroom. Should be entertaining and maybe even tragic.

    • Re:Let them?! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:50AM (#33029966) Homepage

      This guy is clearly trying to set up a Supreme Court case. Of course, he just handed whoever litigates this on Establishment Clause grounds the key piece of evidence:
      "Teachers should have the freedom to look at creationism and find a way to get it into the classroom."

      That means that the express purpose of the measure is to allow teachers to force a particular religious viewpoint on their students. Not a nice little side-effect, or the unexpressed intent. He actually came out and said "this is so we can force kids to learn creationism". So what he's banking on, it sounds like, is that either many of the justices who hear the case will be willing to scrap the Establishment Clause in order to get Christianity in schools, or (more likely) that fighting the losing fight will improve his future political prospects.

      And the test is very easy to make too: Would Mr Mitchell be so interested in ensuring that every child in his district knew about Odin and his brothers slicing up a giant to create Midgard, and treated it as fact?

      • Re:Let them?! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jythie (914043) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:57AM (#33030096)

        fighting the losing fight will improve his future political prospects."

        Ding ding ding, we have a winner. 9 out of 10 times, this is what is behind politicians trying to pass illegal laws. These are not stupid people, they know that it will get struck down, but they get free publicity and get a huge boost to their political visibility via public funds. It is a great way around having to spend private money on political aspirations.

        • Re:Let them?! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:18AM (#33030450) Homepage

          The trouble is that I can't rule out the first case either. I think it's reasonable to think that the guy really does want Christianity established in the US, so if he got to SCOTUS and Justice Kennedy decided to go along with Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito to allow it, he wouldn't be disappointed.

          And yes, I'm reasonably certain that those 4 Supreme Court Justices would vote to allow creationism in public schools. Scalia and Thomas have voted that way consistently, and Roberts and Alito recently both voted that crosses on public land aren't a problem.

  • by IICV (652597) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:18AM (#33029442)

    Act enacted last year by the Louisiana Legislature, schools can present what she termed 'critical thinking and creationism' in science classes.

    One of these things is not like the other ones, one of these things is not the same.

  • by hey (83763) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:19AM (#33029466) Journal

    ... at Sunday School.

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:38AM (#33030820)
      It's funny, but my first realization that there was a serious conflict between science and the Biblical literalism came in Sunday School. I was listening to my Sunday School teacher talk about Adam and Eve and suddenly it hit me. I asked her "What about the dinosaurs?" and she nervously answered something like "Well, if it's not in the Bible, it didn't happen." That was the day I realized that religion was a crock. Even a little kid can smell bullshit when it's piled *that* high.
  • by cmdr_klarg (629569) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:20AM (#33029474)

    If you want to teach Creationism in school, then place the curriculum in a philosophy class, or Religion class if so desired. Keep it far, far away from Biology class.

  • Oblig ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by krou (1027572) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:20AM (#33029484)

    Leela: It's amazing. It's like a textbook on evolution.
    Fry: Except in Louisiana.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:20AM (#33029490) Homepage

    Teachers should have the freedom to look at creationism and find a way to get it into the classroom.

    Would secession really be such a bad option? Just because we started out united doesn't mean we have to stay that way, does it?

  • by SQLz (564901) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:21AM (#33029506) Homepage Journal
    Technically, evolution and creationism are separated by about 14 billion years. If your going to teach creationism, shouldn't that be in astronomy class? What does the fact that organisms have DNA which allows them to pass on traits to their offspring have to do with the creation of the universe?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hedwards (940851)
      I think you mean Astrology class, and yes, yes it should be.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Chrisq (894406)

        I think you mean Astrology class, and yes, yes it should be.

        I'll fit it in between potions and herbology.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by casings (257363)

      You're making an assumption that creationists believe that the world is 14 billion years old and that god only created the universe, which they don't.

      Creationists believe the world is only about 6000 years old and that it was ALL created, animals, the world, at that time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Rogerborg (306625)
        Now, now, let's not resort to reductio ad absurdum here. There's a whole spectrum of crazy out there.

        There are the Young Earth And Nothing Changed Since (Yes God Buried Dinosaur Skeletons) creationists which you note. Then there are the wishy washy liberal Young Earth With Subsequent Minor Evolution (Just Not For People (Unless You Want To Argue Africans Are Less Evolved in Which Case I Ain't Going to Argue)) branch. After that, you've got the Old Earth But Time Began With Its Creationists, and I think

  • Yes, please. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by batquux (323697) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:22AM (#33029512)

    "you don't have to be afraid to point out some of the fallacies with the theory of evolution."

    Please do. I'd like to hear them. We're waiting... all ears... go ahead... hello?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jaysyn (203771)

      ...crickets...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Allright mister science man, if we all evolved from monkeys, then why come there still monkeys?
  • by drumcat (1659893) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:24AM (#33029538)
    ...then it's God's Plan to kill everything in the Gulf, not BP.
  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:24AM (#33029546)
    If I don't believe in math, why should my kids learn that two plus two equals four? That's just science brainwashing them against my belief!
  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:25AM (#33029562)
    I went to a catholic school many years ago. They taught evolution with "enhancements". One was the de'Chardin theory that evolution was teleological, that is, goal-directed toward perfection. Is was their attempt to reconcile evolution and religion. This is not the precise very of evolution, which is non-teleogical, i.e. goal-less. Otherwise they pretty accepted most of regular tenants like long-time and natural selection.
    • by smurfsurf (892933) on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:03AM (#33030198)

      I went to a high school in Germany that was funded and run by the catholic church. But for a school (and their diploma) to be officially recognised, the curriculum has to be accepted by a expert board in the ministry of education.

      So there was no teaching or mentioning of Creationism and the likes in biology. And even in religion classes, this was not a topic at all. No teacher and no parent would even entertain that notion. I was born in Poland and my parents are deeply religious and they would not think about that. The push to creationism in the US leaves me astonished and in disbelieve. It is mental.

      Aside: Although the catholic religion classes were mostly just that, you were not grated on your faith or being able to cite the bible at all. It was about interpretation, comparison of the books of the new testament etc. We even had a fairly objective study about other religions (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism), their history, their believes and customs. And even as it is a catholic school, we had about 40% evangelical christians, who had their own religion classes, and a few muslims, whose parents choose the school for its education quality and good standing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thsths (31372)

      > I went to a catholic school many years ago. They taught evolution with "enhancements". One was the de'Chardin theory that evolution was teleological, that is, goal-directed toward perfection. Is was their attempt to reconcile evolution and religion.

      Yes, but that is the catholic church. They may represent a pretty extreme view, but they are trying very hard to be consistent. The news article however is about evangelical churches, which typically care a lot more about impact than about consistency.

      Otherw

  • I'm okay with it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by copponex (13876) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:26AM (#33029570) Homepage

    As long as they also include every other creation story. There should be text from scientology, islam, hinduism, buddhism, and thousands of other creation myths from all over the world, in a separate book called "Creationism". Leave evolution in the science textbook with the theories on gravity, germ theory, and all of the other accepted, testable hypotheses.

    Similarly I'm okay with religion classes, as long as the world's eight major religions are all given equal time. For some reason I think equal access to alternative theories isn't what they are really after...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nimey (114278)

      You know they won't, just like you know the school board's going to waste tons of taxpayer money defending against litigation, which they will ultimately lose.

    • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:00AM (#33030142)

      As long as they also include every other creation story. There should be text from scientology, islam, hinduism, buddhism, and thousands of other creation myths from all over the world, in a separate book called "Creationism". Leave evolution in the science textbook with the theories on gravity, germ theory, and all of the other accepted, testable hypotheses.

      Similarly I'm okay with religion classes, as long as the world's eight major religions are all given equal time. For some reason I think equal access to alternative theories isn't what they are really after...

      This is always what I find so amusing.

      They claim that evolution is flawed, and that it's "just a theory." They claim they want to "teach the controversy."

      But they don't. They aren't actually concerned about giving equal time to all the viewpoints out there. If they were, they'd be teaching all the creation stories.

      They don't want to teach any controversies, they just want to make sure their kids get properly indoctrinated.

  • This is a bad idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Etrigan_696 (192479) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:29AM (#33029620)

    This is a very bad idea - and that's coming from a self-described Christian. I don't want some goof-ball teacher going over something like this with my kid. They can barely get math right. You focus on math/science/history/reading, I'll handle teaching my kid religion and philosophy at home.

    And as always, evolution and creation are not at odds. Evolution answers "How?" and creation answers"Why?"

    I don't expect my views to be accepted by devout atheists, OR devout Catholics, so let's leave the creationism at home and not have a big fucking fight for no reason.

    • Actually... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fyngyrz (762201) on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:02AM (#33030178) Homepage Journal

      creation answers"Why?"

      Creation answers "tell me a made-up story, daddy."

      There is no answer for "Why?" in the context of all reality, nor is there any practical need for such an answer.

      The misconception that there needs to be such an answer is the foundation of a great deal of stupidity.

  • Bill Hicks (Score:5, Funny)

    by hack slash (1064002) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:33AM (#33029674)
    'You ever noticed how people who believe in Creationism look really unevolved? You ever noticed that? Eyes real close together, eyebrow ridges, big furry hands and feet. "I believe God created me in one day" Yeah, looks like He rushed it.'

    Damn shame he's not around today, the material he would have come up with regarding significant events in the past 16 years would have been most welcome.
  • it is what human beings do when they engage in the genetic engineering of the dna of other creatures (or of homo sapiens)

    the way creationists propose that god designed us is something that will be in the realm of the ability of human beings within a century. and if us lowly imperfect human beings have the powers of god, that says one of two things:

    1. we have become gods

    2. your understanding of what god is and how god works is wrong

  • by TrumpetPower! (190615) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:38AM (#33029752) Homepage

    (Never mind, of course, that the courts will shoot this Louisianan idiocy down in a heartbeat.)

    On the one hand, we have the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, a scientific theory backed by a volume of evidence more diverse and massive than that assembled in support of any other theory.

    On the other hand...we have a faery tale.

    No, really.

    Cdesign proponentsists would have us instead accept a “theory” drawn solely on the proposition that the Bible is substantially true.

    And the Bible opens with a story — the very one they’d replace science with — about a magic garden with talking animals and an angry giant.

    Worse, it continues in exactly that same vein. It prominently features a talking shrubbery (on fire, no less!) that instructs the reluctant hero how to wield his magic wand. It has more talking animals, sea monsters, lots more giants, and an endless string of magic spells. There’s even a dragon in there, and I think there might be a unicorn, too. At the end we have an utterly bizarre zombie fantasy, complete with one of the thralls groping the zombie king’s intestines. And the grand finale? Global zombie apocalypse.

    All y’all who dismiss science in favor of fantasy? This is why we laugh at you.

    Cheers,

    b&

  • The premise of intelligent design is that God wasn't able to create a universe in which everything happened automatically. instead, it argues that He created the universe, and then had to constantly meddle because He couldn't get the animals He wanted by following the physical laws that He, Himself, made. This is utterly against my religion's conception of God, in which He does not make such mistakes.

    My religion is, I think, a fairly popular one called 'Christianity', and I fail to see why whatever minority religious group is pushing 'intelligent design' should be able to teach Christian children that God is fallible and makes mistakes that He then has to correct.

    Surely a better compromise between our two religions would be to simply not talk about what God did or didn't do at all in public schools.

  • by steve buttgereit (644315) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:45AM (#33029860) Homepage

    I bet most of the people here that are all up in arms at the whole Intelligent Design in public schools thing, at least here in the US, are also many of the same people responsible that make this possible. These people are clamoring for ways to make democracy easier through increased ways to register to vote ('motor-voter',welfare office provided voter registration,etc) as well as increase the reach and scope of government sponsored school systems. Indeed, these people aren't upset that the schools are used to indoctrinate kids at all. What they're really upset about is that the kids in this case just aren't being indoctrinated with the correct social agenda.

    If you want majority rule to broadly define governments and their policies and you want those same governments to oversee the delivery of education, you shouldn't be surprised that your tax dollars may be spent on someone's agenda for society; be that Intelligent Design, GLBT acceptance, or some other agenda.

    For the record I do not accept Intelligent Design as scientifically valid and I wouldn't want my kids wasting their time with it; it's religious dogma. But more to the point I don't believe in an educational system which allows majority groups to control education such that they aren't schools, but centers of of mass indoctrination. I believe in private education systems that allow me to know what they teach the kids and make sure that my kids are being taught according to those principles I believe they need to think, survive and to become the intellectual superiors of their peers. I firmly believe that if you want your kids in a religious schools, Marxist schools, whatever, that's your prerogative; but that right ends with your own children and stops well short of mine.

  • by VMaN (164134) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:47AM (#33029914) Homepage

    I demand that alchemy be taught side by side with chemistry, so the students can make up their own mind.

    Oh and astrology too.

  • transparency (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Monday July 26, 2010 @09:57AM (#33030078) Homepage Journal

    As we seemingly can't stop the spread of idiocity, can we at least get transparency? Please mark clearly on the record sheet whether this student learned evolution or creationism, uh, sorry, they rebranded it to "intelligent design".

    Please mark it, so I know, so I can hire only the people who learnt actual science.

    If you teach both, please give seperate marks. So I know to hire specifically the people who scored A or B in evolution and F-- in creationism because they ridiculed it all year. That's the kind of people I want to have working for me. If you scored any acceptable score in creationism at all, then find a burger-flipping job somewhere. It means you at least pretended to take it seriously, or you did take it seriously, in which case you're either a liar or an idiot.

  • Fine, do it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:12AM (#33030338) Homepage Journal

    You know what? If someone wants to talk about Creationism in science class, I think that's just fine. All you need to do, is teach what science is first, and define what a theory is. You don't need to get into the whole "is this how life came about?" question with the kids, or ever explicitly say "this is bunk." Just talk about all the evidence that suggested each hypothesis and all the ideas for experiments (and which ones have been performed and which ones haven't) that people have come up with to confirm or falsify each one.

    When you get to creationism, treat it just like evolution, and without getting distracted by irrelevant issues like "do we believe this is what happened?" just talk about the how evidence and how each hypothesis can be falsified. Never even mention belief; stay in the realm of evidence.

    If you come at creationism from a science perspective, it will be so embarrassing that the religious nuts will be begging to ban the subject from science class.

    Because, you see, creationism isn't the real problem here. I bet there are all sorts of non-science things being taught in science classes, because science is usually taught as a "what's happening?" class rather than a "how do we know what's happening?" class. It's the teaching of science itself in America that is weak, not all the various "sciency-sounding" topics within it.

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday July 26, 2010 @10:29AM (#33030678) Homepage

    It is very nice of them to have gone to the step of saying explicitly "creationism" not even "creation science" or "intelligent design." The history here is interesting. First the Supreme Court said no creationism in science classes, so then the creationists made up "creation science" which was claimed to be scientific. The whole "Earth created 6000 years ago, and a global flood 5000 years or so ago" made the courts not look kindly on that. See Epperson v. Arkansas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epperson_v._Arkansas [wikipedia.org] and then later Edwards v. Aguilard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_v._Aguillard [wikipedia.org]. By sheer coincidence, right after the Edwards decision, intelligence design showed up on the scene as a totally new, totally scientific idea. They claimed that this had nothing to do with creationism or creation science, even though the first textbook on the subject, Pandas and People, had a search and replace of "creation science" for "intelligent design" from an earlier draft. Some of these, didn't go so well, like the infamous "cdesign proponentsists" in one draft. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandas_And_People [wikipedia.org] Not too surprisingly, a federal court didn't buy into this claim and ruled that intelligent design was creation science which was creationism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District [wikipedia.org]. These Louisiana creationists seem to have the standard problem of being not quite bright enough to pull off the attempted deception and so just use all the terms as synonyms for creationism. That means that if this just gets to a low level court, they will get hammered quickly.

    Unfortunately, given the current right-wing makeup of the Supreme Court, it isn't implausible that an appeal to the Supreme Court will get everything overturned and will end up with creationism in public schools again. The original Edwards case was a 7-2 decision (Scalia's dissent is deeply wrong but worth reading). The current court might very well rule differently. And Obama's appointments don't help matters much. Sotomayor doesn't have much of a good record on First Amendment issues with almost no record at all on Establishment issues, and we've got close to nothing on Kagan.

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