UL linguistics professor John Oller attended a conference at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, which includes depictions of dinosaurs and humans coexisting. Oller has also served as an invited speaker at a conference of the Society for the Advancement of Creation Science at Mississippi State University, and is a regular article contributor for the Institute for Creation Research.
Professor John Oller, a champion of creationism and its lab coat-clad cousin, Intelligent Design, who also trumpets discredited theories about the link between autism and childhood vaccines, has filed suit against UL alleging that fellow members of the Communicative Disorders Department have marginalized him.
As first reported in The Advocate, Oller claims in the federal civil-rights suit that his daffy positions on evolution and autism have led to reductions in his class sizes, the banning of his self-authored textbooks, a lack of lecture opportunities and a general ostracizing by his fellow professors, some of whom Oller claims have urged him to leave the university.
Oller writes a blog in which he pushes his theory about autism. A 2010 book authored by Oller, The Autism Epidemic and Related Issues, was graced with a forward written by Andrew Wakefield, the British (former) physician who first began disseminating the idea that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism. It was later discovered and reported early this year in the British Medical Journal that Wakefield was being paid by a law firm that was suing the maker of the MMR vaccine and at the same time Wakefield hoped to introduce his own measles vaccine. The British medical journal Lancet later retracted Wakefield’s original article after Wakefield was found guilty of professional misconduct and had his medical license revoked.
A linguist by education, Oller has no expertise in immunology or biological sciences, yet he continues to press his various causes.
He has also become a regular “expert” speaker before the state Legislature on the behalf of the Louisiana Family Forum in its attempts to insert Intelligent Design inTO the high school biology curriculum — again, with no expertise in biology.
For more on his discredited theories on subjects about which he has no academic or scientific expertise, read this take down from January by Change.org.
You may also enjoy reading our Dec. 8, 2010 cover story, “Devolve,” detailing creationists’ attempts to infect science curricula with pseudo-scientific claptrap.
“No credible academic institution should support a theory that is so widely discredited, especially one that has already resulted in the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases and deaths.” — Brie Cadman, health editor, Change.org
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.