With proper kudos to Al Franken and his best-selling book, “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has stolen the crown of ignorance from Kansas (or is it South Carolina?) and placed it atop the Superdome, so all of Louisiana can celebrate its new height of ignorance.
Yes, the man responsible for begging the GOP to “stop being the party of stupid,” has once again helped to prevent the repeal of the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act that in a nutshell, allowed public schools to “teach the controversy” of creationism in science classes.
I’m so glad we live in Colorado.
This is like Wayne LaPierre begging NRA members to “stop being lobbyists for the gun industry.”
First and foremost, there is no controversy. Creationism has absolutely nothing to do with science, as it simply denies science, evidence and reason with nothing more than a fable.
Most of the nation was able to move on from this nonsense once George Bush left office, yet a few stragglers are still clinging to a delusional desire to force their particular brand of supernatural beliefs on the rest of us.
Creationism (code name: “intelligent design”) is a philosophical belief system claiming that the universe was created by an intelligence of some sort. This deity (or god, if you prefer) varies greatly from one religion to the next, but in the case of the state known for the drinking and debauchery of Bourbon Street, it is very specifically connected to Christianity, one of the Abrahamic spinoffs.
One can only imagine the uproar if Judaism or Islam were being taught.
The First Amendment guarantees freedom of — and thus, from — religion of any sort, meaning our government cannot promote or endorse such activity. To do so would sanction one particular brand (or cult, if you prefer), thus ignoring all those who think or believe otherwise.
Please understand this: I fully support the right to all supernatural beliefs, from the monotheistic traditions of Babism to polytheistic Hindus back to Zoroastrianism. As such, I will argue and fight for any American’s right to believe any of it, no matter how silly I personally might think it is.
But that is not the point.
Public schools are funded with public money, meaning that all of us in one form or another pay for it. Thus it is blatantly unfair to use a public format to attempt to indoctrinate young minds with anti-science in a science class.
However, it is ideal for discussion in a philosophy class for its impact on today’s society, in a history class for obvious reasons and of course can be taught however one wishes in a private school environment or at home. But science (the Latin word for knowledge) attempts to define, not necessarily explain, what we know and how we know it based upon testing, observing, concluding and the ability to repeat each.
Yet sadly, the home of Jimmy Swaggart (remember him?) is fighting tooth and nail to create another generation of scientific illiterates, as if Louisiana being the third worst in the nation for math and science isn’t bad enough already.
Gov. Jindal should know better and his continued obstinance only serves to solidify his position as a leader in his continually self-defining “party of stupid.”
Love him or hate him, at least Gov. Hickenlooper respects the First Amendment.
Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.