Gov. Bobby Voucher is making Louisiana the laughing stock of the nation. Wait, we were already the laughing stock of the nation. What’s after that?
The national press, thanks to extensive reporting notably by the daily News-Star in Monroe, is catching onto the travesty of the governor’s waylaying of mainstream science in order to pander to the religious right and propel himself to national prominence within the Grand Old Party.
In an article titled “Bobby Jindal’s Science Problem,” Slate’s Kenneth R. Miller is the latest to tick off Gov. Voucher’s transgressions against reason, from his support of and signing into law the Louisiana Science Education Act — a law that is, in the words of The Times-Picayune’s James Gill, “named for what it is designed to destroy” — to his enthusiastic support for the scholarships that will force taxpayers to underwrite children being taught that evolution is a lie and that the earth was created in six days about 6,000 years ago and that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. If one is willing to accept any semblance of the fossil record.
In Louisiana newspapers today the Associated Press’ Melinda Deslatte reports on just how many millions of taxpayer dollars will go to the Louisiana Scholarship Program:
For example, a handbook for Ascension Christian High School, posted online, declares among the goals of “Household of Faith Schools” that “the learner will be expected to defend creationism through evidence presented by the Bible versus traditional scientific theory.”
Miller observes that Gov. Voucher’s fidelity to hocus-pocus could well cost him: Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has said he accepts evolution, placing Voucher on the fringe of the party leadership — a well-populated fringe, but a fringe nonetheless:
When Jindal stepped into Republican politics in Louisiana, he had a choice to make. He could defend mainstream science, which sees evolution as the powerful, strongly supported, and widely tested theory that it is today. Or he could have joined the doubters and deniers that populate the electorate in his party. Campaigning for the governorship in 2007, Jindal touted his Christian faith, shied away from specific statements about evolution, and emphasized his commitment to local control of education. Louisianans didn’t have to wait long to find out what this meant for science.