The Louisiana Science Education Act, signed into law in 2008 by biology major Gov. Bobby Jindal and derided by supports of mainstream biology education as a Trojan Horse for creationists, is being targeted by a bill that, if approved and signed by Jindal — let’s not hold our breath — would repeal the controversial act.
On Friday, Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, prefiled Senate Bill 70. “Louisiana’s top priority must be to educate our children so they can compete for the high-paying jobs that we want to create in Louisiana,” says Peterson. “Louisiana’s job killing creationism law undermines our education system and drives science and technology based companies away from Louisiana.”
The LSEA, heavily lobbied for by Louisiana Family Forum, allows biology teachers to “supplement” classroom materials. The intent of the law is to allow for the introduction of supplemental materials that question the validity of evolution and introduce students to Intelligent Design, a pseudo-science that cloaks itself in scientific terminology while positing that because life on earth is so complex its genesis must be due to a creator, or intelligent designer. ID is designed to skirt clear and unequivocal federal rulings against teaching creationism in public school.
Indeed, the LSEA is already influencing conservative school boards in the state. According to the minutes of its March 15, 2011 meeting, the Livingston Parish School Board is maneuvering to insert Intelligent Design into its biology curriculum.
Repeal of the LSEA has been endorsed by both the National Association of Biology Teachers and the Louisiana Association of Biology Educators.