Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education Science Politics

Repeal of Louisiana Science Education Act Rejected 318

Posted by samzenpus
from the teach-whatever-you-want dept.
egjertse writes "A Louisiana law that opponents say leaves the backdoor open to teaching 'creationism' in public schools will stay on the books after a Senate committee Wednesday effectively killed a bill that would repeal the statute. After hours of testimony for and against House Bill 26, which repeals the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act, the senators narrowly deferred the legislation, effectively killing it in committee. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Repeal of Louisiana Science Education Act Rejected

Comments Filter:
  • by Threni (635302) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @05:24PM (#43615231)

    Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, said he had reservations with repealing the act after a spiritual healer correctly diagnosed a specific medical ailment he had. He said he thought repealing the act could "lock the door on being able to view ideas from many places, concepts from many cultures."

    "Yet if I closed my mind when I saw this man -- in the dust, throwing some bones on the ground, semi-clothed -- if I had closed him off and just said, 'That's not science. I'm not going to see this doctor,' I would have shut off a very good experience for myself," Guillory said.

    • by kruach aum (1934852) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @05:31PM (#43615269)
      Oh my god. And you have to live in a country like that.
      • by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:50PM (#43616275)

        What countries are not like that? You will find those people everywhere, don't be smug and assume they're not where you live.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @05:56PM (#43615461)

      Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, said he had reservations with repealing the act after a spiritual healer correctly diagnosed a specific medical ailment he had.

      Like it was that hard to diagnose Cranial Colon Envelopment in a politician. He probably ran into her right outside the Asshat Haberdashery (a dead giveaway).

    • by steelfood (895457) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:25PM (#43615657)

      The spiritual healer obviously called upon the fairies, who conveyed the specific problem to the healer.

      Even the crackpots get lucky sometimes.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        The spiritual healer obviously called upon the fairies...

        Senator Lindsay Graham had nothing to do with this.

    • by Blindman (36862)
      I noticed that particular passage, too. One of the things that bothered me about his "decision making" is that spiritual healer is not the opposite of evolution or science. I can't remember a single science or math class where spiritual healers came up even once. I don't recall any lesson about how species evolve including, "therefore, spiritual healers suck". Moreover, "That's not science. I'm not going to see this doctor." Who does that? I would have been driven off by the "semi-clothed" aspect, bu
      • by tehcyder (746570) on Friday May 03, 2013 @06:02AM (#43618561) Journal

        I noticed that particular passage, too. One of the things that bothered me about his "decision making" is that spiritual healer is not the opposite of evolution or science. I can't remember a single science or math class where spiritual healers came up even once. I don't recall any lesson about how species evolve including, "therefore, spiritual healers suck". Moreover, "That's not science. I'm not going to see this doctor." Who does that? I would have been driven off by the "semi-clothed" aspect, but the its not science would have never crossed my mind.

        Moreover, if it worked, I would want to "use my science" to learn more about it and figure out how it works. If I just accept that it was magic, I would close my mind to learning.

        That's a pretty bold statement.

  • I hope they like losing in Federal court.

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @05:32PM (#43615281) Homepage

    Why are we allowing people who aren't smart enough to decide what's best for children do just that? Why aren't we re-thinking how our government operates to prevent this from happening again?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dyingtolive (1393037) <brad.arnett@NosPam.notforhire.org> on Thursday May 02, 2013 @05:42PM (#43615367)
      What metrics do you use for determining when people are smart enough and when they aren't? I'm afraid I'm not smart enough to come up with any that don't create massive abuses.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jfengel (409917) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @05:53PM (#43615453) Homepage Journal

      Democracy. Rule by the people, half of whom have IQs in the double-digit range.

      Or, as Mencken put it even better: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by femtobyte (710429) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:08PM (#43615533)

        Well, we have democracy whenever it suits the interests of a tiny power elite. If "the people" really ruled by democracy, we'd be entangled in a lot less foreign wars, have much lower disparity in wealth distribution, no big push for austerity, no too-big-to-fail bank bailouts, etc. As it is, we get stupid crowd-pleasers like nods toward eliminating separation of church and state, but not any democratically favored changes that oppose the oligarchy.

        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:10PM (#43615995)
          Democracy looks like Proposition 8. Majority gets what it wants, even if it means a minority is oppressed. You're suggesting the very thing in your own little fantasy. The wealthy are a minority, so we'll just vote to take their money make everybody poor. That won't destroy the economy or anything.

          Not only that, but you're extremely naive if you think that most people want what you want. You'd get a very rude awakening if a real democracy were put in place, North Africa is learning that the hard way right now. The urban liberals in Egypt thought that democracy would make things better, but they're learning that what the majority wants is in fact a society based on oppressive religious conservatism. Large groups of people are ruled brutally by the bell curve. They are of average intellect and average wisdom, and in a place where averages are lower, so goes the entire effect. And as Polybius and contemporaries documented long ago, such simplistic political forms fall inevitably into ochlochcracy. Study history.
          • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by femtobyte (710429) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @08:09PM (#43616405)

            Democracy looks like Proposition 8. Majority gets what it wants, even if it means a minority is oppressed.

            Yep. And it also looks like the democratic movements to create marriage equality in many other states (despite gays being just as much a minority). You win some, you lose some. I haven't particularly seen our antidemocratic overlords stepping up for marriage equality against popular opinion, either.

            The wealthy are a minority, so we'll just vote to take their money make everybody poor.

            Yeah, it's so important to protect that minority, that we'd better put them in control of who gets rich and who gets poor. What's that? The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer? What a shocker!

            And as Polybius and contemporaries documented long ago, such simplistic political forms fall inevitably into ochlochcracy.

            Right, because democracy can only take the most simplistic strawman forms, and the ancient Greeks were the final word on all political science. Better to stay safe with oligarchy.

          • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

            by tehcyder (746570) on Friday May 03, 2013 @06:43AM (#43618729) Journal

            Majority gets what it wants, even if it means a minority is oppressed.

            That's the reason why in a civilised society you try to get everyone educated to as high a level as possible, so that there is more chance of people being able to think critically and objectively.

            Whereas with an oligarchy, the poorer and dumber the hoi polloi are the better.

            ochlochcracy

            For those who, like myself, hadn't heard this word before, it's just a knob-end's way of saying "mob rule". Whereas it is simple common sense that having the majority of people on the side of just law and order is the only way to prevent the oppression of minorities.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by steelfood (895457)

          No, that's not democracy. Democracy is mob rule. Democracy is, if 51% of the people wanted religious education, persecution of other religions, and modern crusades into the Middle East, the other 49% are stuck doing exactly those same things. That is democracy.

          Democracy still tyranny--tyranny of the majority over the minority.

          What we have is a republic.

          • by femtobyte (710429)

            Where in my post did I say that democracy was guaranteed ponies and rainbows? I was just pointing out that we get to enjoy many of the sucky oppressive parts of democracy, without many of the potential upsides. However, unlike dyed-in-the-wool authoritarians, I have a more optimistic outlook on humankind's capacity for democracy (I don't think we need a tiny oligarchical ruling elite to decide what's best for everyone else). For example, at least in this country, I'm pretty certain that you can gather an ov

          • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

            by meglon (1001833) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @09:57PM (#43617041)
            This stupid argument.... again. Why is it people can't pass a simple civics class?

            We are a democracy and a republic. We are not a direct democracy, we're a representative democracy, so no.... it's not mob rules, tyranny of the majority (you may be confusing us with Switzerland, or simply be confused for no reason). It can also be called a representative republic, as our president is elected and not a monarch (like in England).

            Whenever this stupid argument comes up, i'm often humored by the split in terminology. Conservatives want to claim loudly we're a republic, not a democracy... somehow i'm guessing that this makes them think republicans are better than democrats... yet when push comes to shove, what conservatives really want is a direct democracy so they can continue the tyranny of the majority against gays getting married, women having the right (or not) to self determine their own medical situations, and pretty much every social issue; after all, "the people should be able to vote on that..." as they tend to say right after a judge throws out their discriminatory laws. THE only reason they think that is because they believe they're in the majority.

            So, back to the stupid argument...yes, we're a republic...and YES, we're a democracy.
        • by Pfhorrest (545131)

          I'd argue that on a very fundamental level we always have had democracy everywhere, because no form of government will remain in place unless enough people support it and few enough people oppose it: a state with more people actively (keyword: actively) fighting it than actively supporting it will inevitably fail.

          The question is simply to whom do the masses delegate their power, whether by active support or passive acceptance. A king or dictator? An oligarchy or aristocracy? Some more directly accountable,

      • by MrEricSir (398214)

        Sure, but what do you do when the people getting elected are so stupid they actively work to make everyone as dumb as then? We're racing towards the bottom here, clearly something is very wrong.

      • Democracy is three frat boys and a sorority girl deciding how to spend their evening.
        • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by femtobyte (710429) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:46PM (#43616247)

          And the alternative solution, adopted by the US, is to make sure that when it's one frat boy and three girls, the frat boy is still in charge of deciding how to spend the evening (lest he be abused by tyranny of the majority).

    • Because the government is firmly stuck as democratic, it would not be easy to change that now.

    • You don't just "allow" it, you encourage it by voting them in. By "you" I mean the people of Louisiana.

      The only way to stop this would be a general education test for voters which would infringe peoples rights more than this stupid law.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Isn't this law basically about giving that decision to the teachers instead of politicians?

  • this is great (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It means less competition for kids that are studying science and want to get a decent job. Plus, we always need more people doing manual labor with poor critical thinking and analytical skills. The only people these religious activists are hurting is their own kids. When their kids can't find a decent job, they can blame their parents.
    • I'm not so sure more people with poor critical thinking and analytical skills is good for society as a whole. Just because not all work that needs to be done requires these skills doesn't mean these skills aren't good for the world.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Look, it's going to be hard enough for my kids to get into college. Right now it's so competitive for high schoolers that they have to cram their lives full of extracurricular activities and forgo many of the valuable experiences of childhood and adolescence just so that they can keep up with the other young go-getters around them and have a chance of getting into anything better than a state school. I, for one, welcome any measure that will reduce the amount of competition for the intelligent offspring of

  • Does it really matter what the law is?

    I really do not see fanatical creationalist teachers not slipping in some creatonalism, and I would say the same thing about the evolutionists but for evolution.

    If you are a teacher who teaches biology, you would pretty much necessaries either know that evolution was true, or know that it was false and the bible true.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:55PM (#43616309) Homepage Journal

    The "Discovery Institute", the leading purveyors of pseudo-science hokum to the Far Right, who have somehow become a "think tank" involved in creating science curriculum in more than 25 states, has started a nationwide campaign on right-wing radio programs, pushing their notion that it's the Christian Conservatives who are the "real protectors of science" not those awful secular scientists (who are probably kenyan muslims too).

    I heard their "director of research", a "Dr Stephen Meyer" who wrote a book called Darwinâ(TM)s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design on the radio earlier this week, talking about how the fact that our genes have "digital code" in them is proof of an "intelligent designer" because you can't have things like "circuits and digital code" without someone intelligent to design them.

    I'm not joking, they are spending millions on a PR campaign talking about how the Christian Right are the true lovers of science. And exhibit A is how "the science establishment" still teaches evolution.

    We are so fucked.

    • by meta-monkey (321000) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @08:17PM (#43616453) Journal

      you can't have things like "circuits and digital code" without someone intelligent to design them.

      I present Windows 8 ("digital code") and the Zune ("circuits") as counter examples.

    • Yes. And you can't have an intelligent designer without an intelligent designer designer.

      From there it's turtles all the way down.

  • by edibobb (113989) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:57PM (#43616327) Homepage
    Louisiana is one place I will not consider moving to.

    And, for you grammar Nazis, Louisiana is one place to which I will not consider moving.

    And, for you Cajuns, I ain't gonna go to loosiana no more.
  • by Covalent (1001277) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:30PM (#43617179)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zack_Kopplin [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.repealcreationism.com/ [repealcreationism.com]


    FYI: Zack is a college student who, while a high school student in Louisiana, decided that no one was going to repeal this law while he was in school. He started an organization to try and ensure that Louisiana students could get a proper education.

    Maybe he should run for state senator!
  • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavidgerard.co.uk> on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:33AM (#43617781) Homepage

    Pseudoscience is everywhere in Louisiana [rationalblogs.org] - a report from the ground.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27

Working...