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 22 This post was written the day after the second line shooting in NOLA, by Brentin Mock. Mock is a friend of Deb "Big Red" Cotton, a blogger who was shot in the back and was seriously injured. It is a raw, emotional piece of writing, something the writer obviously felt he needed to get off his chest. But it raises questions that can't be easily dismissed, and might give some insight into where the source of these events truly is.
MAY 22 In this Baton Rouge Business Report post, Rolfe McCollister considers the privatization of bus service in Baton Rouge. After decades of under-funding, it is a mess, and although a tax (partially) passed last year, improvement hasn't happened yet. McCollister apparently feels it is time to let private business get in on the transit business.
MAY 22 This post on Bayou Buzz by Jeff Crouere urges the defeat of a bill that would grant modest pay increases over the next several years to the state's judges and clerks of court. The state is in no position to fund pay hikes, Crouere argues, with the pay increases costing a total of $9 million over several years. It sends the wrong message to the (proverbial) hard-working people of Louisiana, he says.
MAY 22 The Advocate reports here that State Treasurer John Kennedy is complaining about a meeting of the corporation that oversees the state's tobacco settlement. The Governor wanted it restructured, and he has some support, but not a lot. The corporation agreed with his plan, but Kennedy didn't, and it appears that the meeting was noticed in a manner completely different than that of all previous meetings. Kennedy's given to hyperbole, but in this case the fish don't smell too fresh.
MAY 22 In this Advocate story, Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout says the recent federal indictment of a strip club owner is all wrong. The indictment alleges that drugs and prostitution went on with impunity because club staff made arrangements with "local" police. Stout says it never happened, and while his cops do work security in the parking lot, they're not allowed inside.
MAY 22 This amusing post in DIG Baton Rouge recounts an ad that ran on Craig's List recently; the advertiser was seeking tenants for a Beauregard Town house. He knew his market, and wrote an ad that the most ironical hipster couldn't resist. Apparently, he really did know his market, because the ad worked like a charm.
MAY 22 In this post in The Lens, Mark Moseley comments on the rhetoric Gov. Jindal employed in trying to save his tax "reform" package. One interesting point concerns Jindal's use of his brother, Nikesh, in a little story. Nikesh left Louisiana because of his inability to get a decent job, the story goes, but the story won't hold water: Nikesh lives in DC, which has an income tax level comparable to Louisiana, Moseley says. If income taxes caused the dismal situation, it should exist in DC too. Right?
MAY 22 This post by columnist John Maginnis traces the trajectory of the bill that would fund construction at community and technical colleges -- and bypass the Board of Regents and traditional higher ed funding mechanisms. Sure, it will bust the legislature's self-imposed debt limit, but some leges feel that there's more need (because there is more growth) in the community and technical college area than in the university area, he says.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
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.