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Education Science Politics

Repeal of Louisiana Science Education Act Rejected 318

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."
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Repeal of Louisiana Science Education Act Rejected

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:32PM (#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?

  • by Reverand Dave ( 1959652 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:40PM (#43615351)
    Not "other ideas" just utter bullshit.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dyingtolive ( 1393037 ) <brad DOT arnett AT notforhire DOT org> on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:42PM (#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.
  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:43PM (#43615371) Journal

    Close minded towards precisely the kind of fuzzy thinking based on anecdotal evidence that science was designed to avoid? Yes, I think sensible should be.

  • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Longjmp ( 632577 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:47PM (#43615401)

    History is a breeze on these schools... they only go back 6,001 years (to include 2013).

    What puzzles me, or rather amuses me is how many of the people believing in this nonsense are happy to operate their DVD players and/or GPS (among other things) without hesitation;
    - And accept they will work, completely ignoring that those items are based on the same physical laws we determine the age of earth with.

  • by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:50PM (#43615433)

    Politicians are perfectly rational. They do and say exactly what it takes to get themselves re-elected. Whether or not this man believes a word of what he said, he knows full well which side his bread is buttered on.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:53PM (#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:So sue them. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by femtobyte ( 710429 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @06:55PM (#43615455)

    Why? It's their own kids that will suffer.

    Is this the same logic you'd use if you noticed that your neighbor came home stinking drunk and beat his kids every night? And, in case caring for the well-being of other peoples' kids is too much of a stretch for you, how about a little self-interest: you own kids are going to grow up to share the world with these guys.

  • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:02PM (#43615497)

    Because such people do not think about why their GPS works, they expect that it just does as an article of faith. In short, it's magic.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by femtobyte ( 710429 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:08PM (#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:So sue them. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:13PM (#43615557)
    No, I wouldn't use the same logic there. If I were to report the drunk for child abuse, everyone but his family would praise that act. If I were to try to save kids from religion, I would get death threats from morons. See the difference now?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:13PM (#43615567)

    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 intelligent people who actually give a damn about educating the next generation. Anything that will give my kids a leg up over the children of the semiliterate, Bible-beating mouth breathers in the Bible Belt is a good thing, in my book.

  • Re:So sue them. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by femtobyte ( 710429 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:21PM (#43615627)

    No, I wouldn't use the same logic there. ... See the difference now?

    Yes, I can see that if you are a coward, standing on principle to help others is not part of your logic.

  • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:25PM (#43615657)

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

    Even the crackpots get lucky sometimes.

  • by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:43PM (#43615777)

    That's more the career beaurocrat track, but whatever, my point is that there was never a stupid and successful politican. Don't kid yourselves, these guys are slick fish, and it suits them just fine to let people believe they are stupid. Even the most celebrated of the ignorant politicians, GW Bush, famed for his consistent foreign policy gaffes, knew full well that his constituency didn't give one fuck about offended foreigners or their customs. The problem doesn't lie with the politicians, they're just working the system and the electorate.

  • Re: Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:52PM (#43615855)

    The correct response to, "Evolution is just a theory" is, "So is gravity." It's a good way to illustrate what the word theory means in a scientific context.

  • Re:So sue them. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @08:03PM (#43615943)

    Minding you own business isn't part of yours?

    There is a difference between someone beating their brats and that same person teaching the same brats something stupid.

    If you want to teach your kids Christianity, Islam, Marxism or anything else go to it. The smart kids will be better for it, the dumb ones will never matter anyhow.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @08:40PM (#43616209)

    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.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by femtobyte ( 710429 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @08:46PM (#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).

  • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @08:50PM (#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 PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @08:55PM (#43616309) 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.

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

    From there it's turtles all the way down.

  • Re: Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by femtobyte ( 710429 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @09:39PM (#43616595)

    Whereas evolution has not been revised since it was proposed by Darwin.

    This is blatantly wrong. Our understanding of evolution, like our understanding of gravity, has been immensely refined and elaborated since Darwin's time. Perhaps the most radical addition was the discovery of genetics --- a physical mechanism for inheritance of traits and production of variability unknown in Darwin's time. We've now got a huge array of tools to produce a far more detailed and comprehensive evolutionary model, quantitatively answering a huge number of questions left open by Darwin, while posing new ones.

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @09:49PM (#43616635)

    Yeah, it's pretty fucked up. America today is truly ruled by the ultimate example of timid, spineless humanity: the soccer mom. soccer moms (and their lapdog husbands) on the right (with religion) and left (with identity politics/cultural marxism) have managed to strip the spine from this country's culture, and it is really sad. Pushing religion, whitewashing media, gun/self defense rights, oppressive family courts, schools that teach permanent adolescence, are all examples where soccer moms vote to trade liberty for security, even when the latter is imaginary at best.

    However, most countries have fucked up legal affairs.. In some places, you can lose your head if you say something about mohammed (or draw his picture), or have sex out of wedlock.. In other, more 'liberal' countries, you can go to jail just for saying certain things about certain cultures in public, never mind actually defend yourself from them when they bomb your subways. In such countries, 'liberal' politicians roll over backwards to allow immigrant thugs from these protected cultures to build ghettos, gain political mass, then vote to strip their own country of the civil rights used to justify bringing them there in the first place. How 'progressive'!

    Yet, the majority in all of these countries (yes, including the USA) claim to be pro liberty/democracy/human rights/peace/tolerance! Hell, these countries are all members of various international human rights councils! Yes, it's truly a fucked up world we live in.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:04PM (#43616715)

    Oh, the OP is hoping for abuses. They have no problem with abusing the system, as long as they get to do the abusing.

  • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:38PM (#43616925)
    In the late 70's it was Cranial/Rectal Inversion Syndrome.
  • by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @11:34PM (#43617209)

    As long as they vote the way their consituents want them to, I think they are effectively doing their job correctly. It's only when they take corporate money, and don't listen to the people that they are doing it wrong.

    The problem is, their constituents are corporations, not meat citizens.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @11:53PM (#43617293) Journal

    True, those people are widespread in many countries, but they usually don't run them.

  • Re:So sue them. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cusco ( 717999 ) <> on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:13AM (#43617359)
    If you don't want your kids exposed to it, put them in private school or move out of state.

    Must be nice to grow up with enough wealth that it doesn't even occur to you that not every fucking person can afford private school or to pull up stakes and move to another state across country (because none of Louisiana's neighbors are any better). My niece is stuck in Louisiana for the foreseeable future, through no fault of her own. Her kids are in public schools because the private schools in her area that are affordable are all Baptist shitholes that are even worse.

    Education should be a local issue.

    Why? So that the children who grow up in Grosse Pointe Shores can get great educations to ensure that they continue to rule unopposed over the children who grow up in Benton Harbor? This was always the whole point of funding schools through local property taxes, so that the rich can forever dominate the poor no matter how intelligent and talented the poor kids might actually be.
  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:53AM (#43617661) Journal

    I didn't realize that I needed to add the qualifier "developed" to countries. I mean, if people want to match US against Iran, by all means, go ahead - it'll be brilliant on all counts. But that's not a particularly useful basis for comparison.

  • Re:History (Score:4, Insightful)

    by squizzar ( 1031726 ) on Friday May 03, 2013 @04:18AM (#43618087)

    Predicting it accurately would be very hard... but I think that the several orders-of-magnitude difference between 6000 years and 4.5 billion years means that it 6000 years is unlikely. Here's another way of looking at it: 6000 years/4.5 billion years is 1.33x10^-6 or 0.0001333%.

    Secondly I doubt the age of the earth is calculated by fossil record because the earth predates the fossils by some quite significant margin. Only in fairy tales (you know the ones) was the earth and everything on it created in a short space of time. It spent quite a bit of time as a glowing hot ball of molten material, I doubt there were many fossil-leaving creatures around then. The movement of tectonic plates forcing things into the still molten core of the earth puts a bit of an upper bound on the maximum age of fossils as well. If you've found some source dating the earth itself by fossil record then they're either idiots or they have some interest in pushing inaccurate and terrible science

    Thirdly in things that are dated by fossil record: I'd wager (even if you wouldn't) that the likely age of the fossil is known through radiocarbon dating or another technique, giving a range of ages where that fossil is likely to be found (extinction not being a modern phenomena). That way when you find rocks with those fossils in you can make a reasonable guess at when the rock formed. In other cases the formation of the rock happens at a known, or discernible rate (e.g. sedimentary rocks where a layer of sediment is formed each year), and so it is practical to date the fossils based on their position in the rock.

    The error is pretty large, but then so is the timescale involved, and the accuracy doesn't need to be huge - being accurate to within 6000 years as illustrated above is actually ridiculously tiny, 100's of millions of years is probably a safer error range. The reasoning isn't circular where one of the data sets is calibrated against some other measurable fact.

    BTW. I'm no geologist/physicist or other expert on these matters... someone who knows a bit more can chime in if I've made any wild assumptions. What I will say though is that I think it is more than likely we can make a pretty good guess at the age of the earth, with a significant margin for error.

  • Re:So sue them. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sociocapitalist ( 2471722 ) on Friday May 03, 2013 @06:02AM (#43618363)

    Minding you own business isn't part of yours?

    There is a difference between someone beating their brats and that same person teaching the same brats something stupid.

    If you want to teach your kids Christianity, Islam, Marxism or anything else go to it. The smart kids will be better for it, the dumb ones will never matter anyhow.

    Even 'dumb' or more accurately 'ignorant and misled' people generally get to vote. When you have a large enough number of ignorant and misled people voting, you have a problem.

  • by coinreturn ( 617535 ) on Friday May 03, 2013 @07:53AM (#43618781)

    If it's bullshit, there would be proof it's bullshit. Since it's a possibility, but not a probability, it still remains as worth teaching. S

    So, according to you, everything that is a possibility is worth teaching. There isn't enough time in eternity to teach everything that is a possibility. There are an infinite number of possible gods, for example. Since they might be out there, teach them. I think not.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday May 03, 2013 @10:44AM (#43619971) Journal

    How strange, seeing as I never mentioned religion or atheism. But I can see you fear science, and I rather pity you for that, to be that terrified of knowledge.

    Good luck to you sir.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson