[UPDATE] Legislation to repeal Louisiana Creationism Law
By ZACK KOPPLIN - PRESS RELEASE
Updated: Mon, 18 Apr 2011 21:53:33 UTC
UPDATE: Here is the list of 41 Nobel prizewinners who have signed a letter supporting the repeal of the Louisiana law.
Regulars will recall the admirable Zack Kopplin who, while still at High School, decided to take on the state branch of (what Isaac Asimov called) the cavemen of creationism. He has now filed repeal legislation. What follows is the Press Release, and his covering letter adds that he has gathered signatures from Nobel Laureates (38 so far) to a letter of support, which will be released very soon. He is also planning a rally for April 28th. Readers in the Louisiana area should look out for details, and we'll post them here as soon as we get them.
The press release includes the following Reasons to Repeal:
Teaching Creationism, which is a religious belief, is in clear violation of Supreme Court rulings on the subject (one of which, Edwards v. Aguillard, originated in Louisiana). (http://ncse.com/creationism/legal/intelligent-design-trial-kitzmiller-v-dover)
The young people of Louisiana deserve the best possible scientific education. Creationism is not science, and teaching it as science leaves our students at a disadvantage when competing for jobs in the global economy. (http://ncse.com/evolution/why-teach-evolution)
The teaching of Evolution is sound science and is also compatible with religious faith, a position that is supported by all mainline religious denominations. (http://ncse.com/media/voices/religion)
The Louisiana Science Education Act costs jobs. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology cancelled its 2011 convention in New Orleans to protest this law (http://www.sicb.org/resources/LouisianaLetterJindal.pdf). How many others will do the same? How many businesses will locate elsewhere because they want well trained scientists? How many researchers will take their talents elsewhere or never come to Louisiana because of this anti-science law?
The bill is already producing its intended result. The Livingston Parish School Board is taking steps to act on the legislation’s goals. According to an account in the July 24, 2010, Baton Rouge Advocate, board member David Tate said: “We let them teach evolution to our children, but I think all of us sitting up here on this School Board believe in Creationism. Why can’t we get someone with religious beliefs to teach Creationism?” Fellow board member Clint Mitchell responded, “I agree … Teachers should have the freedom to look at creationism and find a way to get it into the classroom.” (http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/99153999.html)
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A rare and welcome good news story - but please give your support if you can to ensure that Zach's splendid work is not undone in the next few weeks.