Media coverage of the failure to repeal the ACT

Posted on April 30, 2015 by

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Should religion overrule science? Is religion against science? How do people think about religion?

Religion is a significant factor that we practice, learn about, and live out with in our lives.  However, the teachings of religion and science can be against each other, bringing a question such as should schools teach creationism in science classes?  The case that is discussed in the article, Louisiana Democrats to try to repeal law that allows creationism to be taught in public school science classes, is a crucial example associated with this topic.  On Wednesday, April, 22, 2015, the lawmakers of Louisiana repealed the law that would allow creationism to be taught in school.  Democrats seemed to have a bias on the fact that teaching creationism in school was not assisting the discussion on evolutionary theology but to import creationism in through the guise of, as Scott Kaufman mentions, “academic freedom” and “intellectual integrity.” It seemed that the people of Louisiana were genuinely concerned about this law; Kaufman mentions the Democrats of Louisiana have “tried four times to repeal the law.”

The Science Education Act had been repealed by the democrats of Louisiana legislature quite a few times;  in this article, Senators, again, refuse to repeal La. Science Education Act, Science Education Act is being described as “a seven-year-old law that allows public school science teachers to use supplemental materials in their classrooms.”  Democrats, as opponents to the law, defined this act as “a backdoor way to introduce creationism and religious teachings into science classes and keep students from learning about evolution,” criticizing the use of the law.  According to Zack Kopplin, who sued the law to be repealed, Louisiana Senate Education Committee was not pleased with him testifying that Louisiana public teachers were bringing  religion into science classrooms because of the lack of evidence.  He testified that at a high school, a Buddhist student in his sixth-grade science class was insulted by his teacher.  Also, she involved a question that said, “ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE __ HAS MADE,” and the answer would be LORD.  In this case, the teacher was a creationist and she was supporting her opinion not employing what the purpose of the law was.  The intention of law was to “bring critical thinking and discussions on various theories” and let the kids decide the what to believe.  Zack pointed out that the teacher had misunderstood the law and she was evangelizing her students, which the correct way of teaching that was to present both evolution and creationism or neither to eliminate that problem.  However, christian advocates such as Gov. Bobby Jindal and Christian conservatives maintained to claim that it did advocate critical thinking on evolutionary theory.  Zack Kopplin said, “when confronted with those episodes, Sen. Appel said he didn’t believe that they had happened because Louisiana’s creationism law allowed them.”  The politicians seemed to find a pretext in the law to avoid it from getting revealed.  They were alleging that teaching creationism had been permitted by the law, thus it was legal to make up their own thoughts related to the teaching of human biology theories.  However, in reality, the teacher had misconstrued them and exploited them to bring creationism to science class beyond the purpose.

Darrell White, who was the main reason that allowed creationism to be taught in school, and is now a retired military judge, was an anti-evolutionist.  He sent an email to promote a meeting and develop a timetable to inform scientific academic freedom resolution in Livingston Parish, which intended to allow creationism in the guise of “academic freedom.”  Conforming to Zack Kopplin, White added, “Satan is pleased with the status quo!”  State representative Valarie Hodges responded the email by saying, “unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders’ religion.”  However, the people who agreed to the policy still recognized that it was about creationism.  As you may see, White used the word “Satan” to represent that he was a Christian.  It’s a major problem in the United States because creationism, which is a theory based off of the book of Genesis, is part of Christianity.  Christianity isn’t a minor or popular religion; it’s believed by 83% of Americans! it can engage the attention of Christians over the whole nation or even the world!  The supporters have a substantial power to keep the law, which is promoting to ignore the essence of the law.  Strong figures in the government have impact on it, too.

Zack Kopplin continued to claim that when Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the law, “it was stuck in his head for several years as a blatant wrong that needed to be fixed.”  He brought more instances where creation was taught beyond the law, in which the law was to “analyze and critique the scientific theories that may generate controversy.”  He stated, “Danny Pennington, a creationist principal at Good Hope Middle School in Ouachita, created a set of creationist curricula and DVDs intended to attack evolution.  Charles Voss, who publishes his own creationist supplemental materials, emailed Pennington: “The DVD you made in the classroom is needed to show what a teacher can do in a single period.”  He said “You literally destroyed evolution in one 40 minute period.””  As you may have noticed, some school faculty members are creationists and they tend to have a prejudice on the education and an attempt to challenge evolution.  Furthermore, Pennington mentions that “past conclusions based on fossil evidence were simply wrong,” and “one biology textbook was incorrect in teaching that whales had a common ancestor.”  These proclaims cause misinterpretations and biases on students rather than driving them to think critically.  The Louisiana’s education has been spoiled and developed in the way of teaching creationism to the extent where creation is taught to be the absolute explanation to human biology.

Surprisingly, the articles such as Rejected again: Bill to repeal Louisiana law critics say allows teaching creationism fails in committee., Repeal effort revived again in LouisianaCreationism in Louisiana schools: Activist’s article says it’s being taught and Repeal effort fails again in Louisiana indicates that Democrats have hopes.  The panel voted 4-3 to the Senate Bill 74 in the trial.  The trial was on Wednesday, April 22, and the Senate Education Committee were having a roadblock each year because the Democrats were constantly suing the effectiveness the law despite they fail and become scrutiny.  The attempt to repeal the law also had a support of 78 Nobel prize-winning scientists.  The court’s stance when asked about the law by NBC’s Education Nation, was that Bobby Jindal signed off the law saying, “I’ve got no problem if a school board, a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about creationism.”  Technically, the main purpose was to tout a means of “promoting wide-open discussions in public science classes, especially on evolution.” The critics had complained since then that “the measure actually allowed for the teaching of creationism.”  After reading those articles,  it comes to the conclusion that those Democrats’ hopes to ban the law are increasing.  They keep improving their thoughts and expanding their affiliates.  It’s likely that the more demands they acquire, more reforms are likely to occur.

The State of Louisiana is having lots of dispute over the Science Education Act.  They seem to analyze what’s going on as the debates go intense.  However, so far it never has been repealed.  As long as if there are religious leaders remaining in the society, the law isn’t likely be to be repealed.  The act itself seems very valuable since it’s the only state who that allows to teach creationism besides Texas.  This topic and debate over teaching creation has been a big issue in Louisiana because I have found a several articles that only talk about one event.  Someday it’s believable that the law would be repealed or revised.  If the law has been used correctly, it would be a very effective law to the state.

 

 

Bibliography:

KAUFMAN, SCOTT ERIC. “Louisiana Democrats to Try to Repeal Law That Allows Creationism to Be Taught in Public School Science Classes.”Saloncom RSS. Salon Media Group, Inc., 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015.    http://www.salon.com/2015/04/22/louisiana_democrats_to_try_to_repeal_law_that_allows_creationism_to_be_taught_in_public_school_science_classes/

The Associated Press. “Senators, Again, Refuse to Repeal La. Science Education Act.” New Orleans CityBusiness. New Orleans Publishing Group, 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://neworleanscitybusiness.com/blog/2015/04/23/senators-again-refuse-to-repeal-la-science-education-act/

SENTELL, WILL. “Rejected Again: Bill to Repeal Louisiana Law Critics Say Allows Teaching Creationism Fails in Committee.” Rejected Again: Bill to Repeal Louisiana Law Critics Say Allows Teaching Creationism Fails in Committee. Capital City Press LLC, 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://theadvocate.com/news/12176293-123/bill-to-repeal-disputed-science

Lane, Emily. “Creationism in Louisiana Schools: Activist’s Article Says It’s Being Taught.” Creationism in Louisiana Schools: Activist’s Article Says It’s Being Taught. NOLA Media Group, 24 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/creationism_louisiana_educatio.html

Kopplin, Zack. “Louisiana’s Creationism Law Lets Creationist Teachers Teach Creationism.” Dismissing Darwin. Slate, 21 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/04/creationism_in_louisiana_public_school_science_classes_school_boards_and.html

NCSE. “Repeal Effort Fails Again in Louisiana | NCSE.” Repeal Effort Fails Again in Louisiana | NCSE. NCSE, 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://ncse.com/news/2015/04/repeal-effort-fails-again-louisiana-0016317

Klinghoffer, David. “Finally, from Darwin Activist Zack Kopplin, a Journalistic Scoop?” Evolution News & Views. Evolution News and Views, 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/04/finally_from_lo095441.html

Kopplin, Zack. “Texas Public Charter Schools Are Teaching Creationism.”Slate. Slate, 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 01 May 2015. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/creationism_in_texas_public_schools_undermining_the_charter_movement.html

Karerat, Raif. “Bobby Jindal’s Creationism Law Comes up for Scrutiny Again – The American Bazaar.” The American Bazaar. The American Bazaar, 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://www.americanbazaaronline.com/2015/04/22/bobby-jindals-creationism-law-again-comes-up-for-scrutiny-again/

GETTYS, TRAVIS. “Louisiana Teachers Brag about Pushing Creationism on Kids — but the Bill to Stop Them Is Doomed.” Raw Story. RAW Story, 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://www.rawstory.com/2015/04/louisiana-teachers-brag-about-pushing-creationism-on-kids-but-the-bill-to-stop-them-is-doomed/

NCSE. “Repeal Effort Revived Again in Louisiana | NCSE.” Repeal Effort Revived Again in Louisiana | NCSE. NCSE, July-Aug. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://ncse.com/news/2015/04/repeal-effort-revived-again-louisiana-0016298

SENTELL, WILL. “Louisiana Law That Critics Say Allows Teaching of Creationism Targeted for Repeal Again in Legislature.” The Advocate. Capital City Press LLC, 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. http://theadvocate.com/news/12169054-123/bid-to-repeal-science-education

Langer, Analysisby Gary. “Poll: Most Americans Say They’re Christian.”ABC News. ABC News Network, 18 July 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90356

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