In a fortunate turn of event, the latest decision from a Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee supports teaching industry-standard biology texts in the state's schools. The decision cripples creationists' latest attempt of pushing their agenda on the nation's school system.
Following this decision, high school biology textbooks won't be required to include disclaimers or other announcement stating the stupid idea that creation is somehow on par with evolution, and also a theory.
This was, and never will be the case. Creationism is an idea, and not a theory. It has no evidence to support its claims, and cannot be defeated by any argument. Evolution is a theory precisely because it can be dismembered if evidence to suggest it's not true are found.
But creationists somehow got it into their heads that distorting education about evolution is the way to go, and that all children – regardless of religion – need to hear about the so-called controversy between evolution and creationism.
Let us be clear on this: there is absolutely no such controversy. It does not exist. The discussion was started by creationists in a bid to find a justification for teaching children to ignore sound science and believe in the Bible.
Back to the topic at hand, the Louisiana vote took place on Tuesday, December 7, and the decision was adopted by a 6-to-1 vote, which gave sane people hope that creation will not be portrayed as a theory.
“Since they can’t attack the science, they don’t have the expertise, they’re trying to attack the process” of textbook approval, explains Southeastern Louisiana University philosophy professor Barbara Forrest, speaking about creaionists.
The scientist is also the co-author of the interesting book Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, which is a must-read for people who want to understand how Christians choose to fight against the theory of evolution.
Textbook approval is not targeted by these fundamentalists because teaching religious ideas in schools is unconstitutional. Contrary to the widespread belief among creationists, the US is not founded on Christian values, and its Founding Fathers were not by far devoted followers of Jesus.
The 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act states clearly that its goal is to promote “critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories,” with the key element here being scientific theories, not make-belief.
“Accurate textbooks are going to be in the classrooms. A six to one vote is a repudiation of the attempt by the Louisana Family Forum to politicize science in Louisiana,” explains the US National Center for Science Education programs and policy director Joshua Rosenau.
The LFF is a conservative Christian advocacy group, which translates as the religious right. It is characteristic of the type of organizations that promote the creationist agenda, for political gains, Wired
Analysts hope that the new decision will extend to neighboring states such as Texas. The state does not readily print its own manuals, but rather purchases nearly all textbooks. It is the largest importer of such articles in the US.
“If Louisiana’s board had said, ‘You have to teach the controversy, to put in both sides,’ then publishers would have said, ‘Maybe this is a trend.' With strong support given to textbooks as written by experts, it’s another reason for publishers to stand strong,” Rosenau explains.
Texas is considerable more backwards than Louisiana in this regard, considering that last year it bowed to creationist pressures and manipulation, and passed laws requesting “all sides” of theories like evolution be conveyed to the children.
That would have been fine, since evolution can't contradict itself, but someone understood this (poorly) as an acceptance of teaching intelligent design in classrooms. ID is not a theory, and has no evidence to support it.