Cancer Research, Prayer, and St. Jude

P.Z. Myers recently posted at Pharyngula a plea for more funding for cancer research. His sister-in-law (mother of three kids) died tragically from melanoma several years ago, and Myers asked Pharyngula readers to support cancer research more vigorously. It’s a sentiment with which we all agree. Yet Myers used this tragedy to denigrate religious faith. Noting his subsequent conversation with a pediatric oncologist in which he learned about the progress that has been made in the treatment of childhood cancer, Myers claimed: How does she [the oncologist] do that [successfully treat some children’s cancers]? With science. She sent me a whole stack of references on the amazing progress that has been made over the last several decades, thanks to clinical Read More ›

“This is strictly about teaching science in the classroom,” Says LSEA Sponsoring Senator

As everyone waits for Governor Jindal to sign the first law to protect the academic freedom rights of teachers who present evidence both for and against Darwinian evolution, it is worth noting that the sponsoring senator has again clearly spoken about the intent of the Louisisiana Science Education Act. Darwinists keep falsely claiming this bill would open the science classroom door to creationism or religion. Louisiana Senator Ben Nevers (D) says that is not the case. “This is strictly about teaching science in the classroom,” he said. “It has nothing to do with religion. Most textbooks are seven years old or older. Science can be very changeable in some areas. It is important to bring current science into the classroom.” Read More ›

It’s Anno Darwini in Philadelphia

Get ready for the year of evolution. The New York Times has an article today (“Philadelphia Set to Honor Darwin and Evolution“) describing an entire “Year of Evolution,” featuring “a series of exhibitions, seminars and lectures to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin next February, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his seminal work, ‘The Origin of Species.’” And what local celebrity would better grace a celebration of Darwin than the man who forbade schoolteachers and children from “disparaging” Darwin and his theory? Events will include a talk by John E. Jones III, a federal judge who ruled in 2005 that teaching intelligent design — the belief that some aspects of nature are so Read More ›

Testing Your Knowledge of the Louisiana Science Education Act

Q: Who wrote this? The new bill doesn’t mention either creationism or its close cousin, intelligent design. It explicitly disavows any intent to promote a religious doctrine. It doesn’t try to ban Darwin from the classroom or order schools to do anything. It simply requires the state board of education, if asked by local school districts, to help create an environment that promotes “critical thinking” and “objective discussion” about not only evolution and the origins of life but also about global warming and human cloning, two other bêtes noires of the right. Teachers would be required to teach the standard textbook but could use supplementary materials to critique it.

More Dirt from Derb

NRO‘s John Derbyshire has another bombastic blog post (“Governor Jindal, Veto This Bill!“), this time decrying the Louisiana Science Education Act. According to Derb, “The act opens the door to the teaching of creationism in Louisiana public schools.” Of course, this is patently absurd. The bill says that students should be able to critically analyze scientific evidence regarding evolution, global warming, and human cloning; and secondly the bill says it should not be construed to promote religion (bear in mind that SCOTUS deemed creationism “religious” in 1987). This bill is about scientific evidence, whatever there may be, pro and con. No more no less. Attempting to scare the promoters of this bill (which, BTW, just passed the LA House 94-3, Read More ›