Saturday, June 28, 2008
Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal signed a controversial bill hailed by intelligent design supporters, such as the Discovery Institute, and Louisiana Family Forum, a creationist group. Critics of the bill, including several major science organizations, say it allows for the teaching of “creationism” in public schools.
The law, Louisiana Science Education Act, allows teachers to use “supplemental materials” when discussing evolution, but it does not state what the materials would be.
Citing the 1987 Supreme Court ruling in Edwards v. Aguillard, “Louisiana has a long and unfortunate history of trying to substitute dogma for science in classrooms,” said Reverend Barry W. Lynn, an executive director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. In addition, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Center for Science Education, and the Louisiana Coalition for Science opposed the bill arguing it would cause detriment to students’ education by letting in unapproved curriculum.
According to Reuters, Jindal’s office declined to comment on Friday.
Similar Academic Freedom bills have been promoted by the Discovery Institute in other states, but so far they have failed.