Thursday, June 11, 2009

And the focus shifts slightly east

Louisiana: "ACLU wants revision in LA science teaching rules". I see this as the start of things in Louisiana. Please remember that with Gov. Bobby Jindal's support the State of Louisiana passed a law which states, among other things:

C. A teacher shall teach the material presented in the standard textbook supplied by the school system and thereafter may use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner, as permitted by the city, parish, or other local public school board unless otherwise prohibited by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

D. This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.
However when the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education got around to publishing the rules about implementing this 2008 law, they sorta forgot the part about the 'shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine' part. The rules would allow a teacher to bring in pretty much anything in the way of supplemental material.

The ACLU would like the Board to re-visit those instructions and include specific prohibitions on the teaching of creationism and intelligent design.

I happen to agree with them! By leaving the door as wide open as the Board did, some school district will find themselves in the middle of a Dover-style lawsuit that they cannot afford! I believe they should state clearly and unequivocally that even though a teacher can use supplemental material that has not been specificall prohibited by the State or local officials, the use of non-secular material is prohibited! In my opinion that would include anything published by the Discovery institute :-). By the way, Casey Luskin is quoted in the article. In my opinion the State of Louisiana, where both of my children were born (Go LSU Tigers!), is being given bad advice!

As for my opinion on anything published by the Discovery Institute . . . while some of their publications doesn't appear religious, the organizations has, at it's core, a deliberate objective to replace current science and scientific methodology with a more 'Theistic" viewpoint. (Remember the Wedge Strategy) In my mind that taints anything they publish and anything they say, especially a mouthpiece like Casey Luskin. Their work and words do not have the education of any schoolchildren at heart, but the advancement of their own agenda.

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