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Americans United Misrepresents the Facts about Louisiana Science Education Bill

The Chicken Littles at Americans United for Separation of Church and State are now running around warning that

The Louisiana House of Representatives [has]… approved a measure that opens the door to teaching creationism in public schools…

Well, no, it didn’t. The proposed Louisiana law expressly states in Section 1C that it “shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.” Americans United conveniently neglects to mention that section of the bill. If any school districts or teachers try to use the bill to promote creationism or other religious views, they will be violating the law itself. Any supplemental textbooks adopted under the law would have to abide by this prohibition in Section 1C. In addition, any inappropriate supplemental textbooks or instructional materials could be vetoed under the law by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

What would be permitted under the bill is the presentation of scientific analysis and critiques of existing scientific theories. Thus, school districts could allow teachers to cover debates among scientists about whether random mutations are actually a major engine for evolutionary change as modern Darwinism claims. They could also allow discussions of experimental evidence showing the limits of natural selection. And they certainly could allow the presentation of more information and analysis about theories of the chemical origins of life from non-life.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.



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