On a new episode of ID the Future, Sarah Chaffee interviews Dr. Wade Warren, zoologist and holder of the C.J. Cavanaugh Endowed Chair in Biology at Louisiana College, on the ten year anniversary of the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act.
The LSEA gave teachers freedom to teach about both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory — not including intelligent design or religion — without fear of reprisals. Dr. Warren explains why he advocated for its passage.
He also discusses pluses and minuses with the more recent Louisiana state science standards — including certain scientists’ strange “discomfort” with some scientific facts, even though they don’t deny them. Warren comments:
I worked diligently in trying to provide the writers of the standards information from the scientific literature that would help them in their rewrite. The standard for the fossil record suggested that students were to analyze all kinds of different aspects of the fossil record in support of the evolutionary model. My suggestion was that we add to all those characteristics the abrupt appearance of fossils during the Cambrian. It was remarkable to me the resistance to that, even though there was no scientific debate over whether or not these fossils all show up basically at one time in the geological record.
For more on the Louisiana Science Education Act, and similar legislation elsewhere, see our resources at the Free Science website.
Photo: Louisiana State Capitol, by joevare, via Flickr.