For awhile, it looked like Florida would be the likely contender. Missouri, Michigan and Alabama all vied for the honor. But now, it looks like the title of Most-Likely-To-Violate-The-First-Amendment-In-The-Interest-Of-Forcing-Creationism-
Into-Science-Class will go to …
May I see the envelope, please…
Barbara Forrest, the expert witness in the 2005 trial of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School Board whose testimony exposed intelligent design’s creationist roots, is now battling the anti-evolutionists again. This time on her own turf.
Proving that evolution does occur, the creationists, in the face of each defeat, have once again changed their tactics. The latest ruse goes by the name of “academic freedom,” which Forrest says is a code for allowing educators to teach kids that evolution is a lie.
The state House just passed a bill this week that purports to “promote critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”
The National Center for Science Education has the details.
The Discovery Institute, which has been pushing the legislation and has long been trying to push creationism into science class under the guise of intelligent design, is shocked (Shocked, I tell you!) that anyone would accuse them of pushing a religious agenda. But state Rep. Ben Nevers, told the Hammond Daily Star that the Louisiana Family Forum, which is also lobbying behind the scenes, “believes the scientific data related to creationism should be discussed when dealing with Darwin’s theory.”
The Louisiana Science Coalition has put out a news release urging state senators to vote against a version of the House Bill that was passed 94-3. The plea will likely fall on deaf ears. The state Senate unanimously passed a similar bill. The site provides plenty of background on exactly what is going on in Louisiana and what we might expect in other states if this bill becomes law.
But as has been said about Forrest, she is Kryptonite to creationists. And even as she has been fighting the bill, she has also no doubt been documenting the evidence should this become a lawsuit.
Already the ACLU and the Americans United for Separation of Church and State have warned that, as the AU’s Barry Lynn said, there will be legal action if the measure is used “to promote religion in Louisiana public schools.”
Lauri in York