The American Red Cross

Senate Hearing to Repeal the Louisiana's Creationism Law

  • When: Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 9:00 am
  • Louisiana State Capitol, 900 N 3rd St, Baton Rouge, LA view map

SB 175 to repeal Louisiana’s creationism law will be heard in Senate Education Committee meeting in the Hainkel room of the Louisiana State Capitol on Thursday April 24th. We need your support!

Please join our campaign to repeal the misnamed and misguided Louisiana Science Education Act, R.S. 17:285.1, which was passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2008.

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Please come support science. Even if you can't make it or are from out of state, you can follow these steps to help:

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Step 1: Tell your friends to take part in our day of action and share this event with them. Email them, talk to them in person, and share it on social media.

Step 2: Contact the Louisiana Senate Education Committee and your legislators ask them to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.

http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/Bios.aspx?cid=H

Senate Education Committee Contacts:

Senator Conrad Appel (Chairman)
(866) 946-3133
appelc@legis.la.gov

Senator Eric LaFleur (Vice-Chairman)
(337) 363-5019
lafleure@legis.la.gov 

Senator Dan Claitor (Tell Senator Claitor "Thank You!" for voting to repeal creationism last year)
(225) 765-0206
claitord@legis.la.gov

Senator Jack Donahue
(985) 727-7949
donahuej@legis.la.gov

Senator Elbert L. Guillory
(337) 943-2457
guillorye@legis.la.gov

Senator Mike Walsworth (Remind Senator Walsworth how evolution works
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQObhb3veQA

(318) 340-6453
walsworthm@legis.la.gov

Senator Mack "Bodi" White
(225) 272-1324
whitem@legis.la.gov

Senator Page Cortez
(337) 993-7430
cortezp@legis.la.gov


Step 3: Sign our petitions and share it with 50 friends. 

http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-louisiana-to-teach-real-science-in-public-schools-not-creationism-and-climate-change-denial

Step 4: Share our website, www.repealcreationism.com with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter and other social media like Reddit. 

Step 5: Set up a meeting with your legislator and ask them to repeal this law. 

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Background:

According to the Baton Rouge Business Report, the Louisiana Science Education Act is “widely viewed as Louisiana's creationism law.” Simply put, the intent of this law is to create loopholes that allow the teaching of creationism, including intelligent design creationism, into public school science classes in Louisiana. Senator Karen Carter Peterson has filed SB 175 to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.

Governor Bobby Jindal recently advocated teaching creationism using the Louisiana Science Education Act, saying, “what are we afraid of?”

The repeal effort has the unprecedented support of 78 Nobel laureate scientists--nearly 40% of all living Nobel laureate scientists in physics, chemistry, or physiology or medicine. This incredible number surpasses the historic 72 Nobel laureate scientists who filed an amicus brief in opposition to Louisiana’s first creationism law during the Edwards v. Aguillard Supreme Court case.

Other prominent scientists including Ken Miller, the author of the popular Miller-Levine biology textbook are also strong supporters of the repeal. 

Nobel laureate chemist and supporter of the repeal effort, Sir Harry Kroto, says,

"One can only be amazed that [the repeal] has managed to assemble such massive support (75 Nobel laureates) for the effort to ensure that only educational material which is supported by reliable evidence is presented in the science lessons of Louisiana's schools."

The conservative Thomas Fordham Institute released a report that said Louisiana's science standards suffer from a "devastating flaw" because of the Louisiana Science Education Act. The report said:

“The Louisiana science standards are reasonably challenging and comprehensive, but they suffer from a devastating flaw: Thanks to the state’s 2008 Science Education Act, which promotes creationism instead of science, the standards (especially for biology and life science) are haunted by anti-science influences that threaten biology education in the state.”

The repeal is supported by local and national educator organizations. The Louisiana Science Teachers Association, the Louisiana Association of Biology Teachers, and the National Association of Biology Teachers all have called for a repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act. 

The Louisiana Science Teachers Association said “with a great sense of urgency” because the “[Louisiana Science Education Act] is an attack on scientific evidence to allow the teaching of a religious belief in science class, a direct violation of the United States Constitution.” 

The Louisiana Science Teachers Association explained, “at a moment in time when Louisiana is in search of economic development we can least afford such a dramatic step backward... We risk losing highly educated adults and their children to other states.”

The Advocate, Baton Rouge’s newspaper also has called for repeal. Its editorial page wrote, "we hope the Louisiana Legislature takes the opportunity it has this year to repeal entirely the misnamed 'Louisiana Science Education Act.”

Major science organizations are backing the repeal effort. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest science organization in the world with over ten million members has endorsed the repeal. Other organizations have which have called for the repeal are the American Institute for the Biological Sciences, the American Society for Cell Biology, The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Society for the Study of Evolution with the Society of Systematic Biologists and the American Society of Naturalists.

The teaching of evolution is sound science and is also compatible with religious faith, a position that is supported by mainline religious denominations. This is why the Clergy Letter Project, an organization with over 15,000 clergy members who support teaching evolution in public schools have endorsed the repeal effort. 

This law is costing our state; tourism is the largest industry in New Orleans and the third largest industry in Louisiana. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology pulled a prescheduled convention from New Orleans in response to the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act. Their 2011 convention was in Salt Lake City rather than Louisiana. Our tourism industry is less competitive because science organizations don’t want to come to our state. It costs us jobs.

The New Orleans City Council voted unanimously to endorse the repeal because they’re tired of hemorrhaging jobs and threatening the future of our students. Council Member Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, 

"The Louisiana Science Education Act inhibits science focused students of all ages and inadequately prepares them for jobs in the science field. With the New Orleans Medical Corridor poised for tremendous growth, this law also profoundly impacts our ability to fill jobs in the cutting-edge science fields with students educated in our state's public schools."

Joining these other calls for repeal are over 70,000 people who signed a Change.org petition calling for the repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act. 

The Louisiana Science Education Act 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, discussing the Louisiana Science Education Act, 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.” 

Please take action to help us repeal this bad law!

Other information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Science_Education_Act

http://www.repealcreationism.com/endorsements/

http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/04/science_education_act_provides.html

 

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