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Journal Daniel Dvorkin's Journal: Science vs. superstition in Louisiana, again 2

You have to read carefully to understand what's really being debated here. Short version: in 2008, Louisiana passed a law which more or less mandated the teaching of creationism, Luddism, and denialism, and now they're trying to repeal it. I don't know enough about the current state of LA politics to know if the repeal effort has a prayer (hah!) of succeeding, but I wish the best of luck to Sen. Peterson, Mr. Kopplin, and their supporters.

What makes this particularly irritating is that the language of the 2008 law is designed to make it hard to challenge; its supporters can ask with wide-eyed innocence, "Who could POSSIBLY object to 'critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion'?"

The answer, of course, is "nobody but a bunch of creationists, which is why we want to repeal the law." But the wording is an ugly trick, on par with the title of the USA-PATRIOT Act. See also, "But Hussein is his middle name! Why do you have a problem with his name?" and other acts of right-wing disingenuousness.

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Science vs. superstition in Louisiana, again

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  • I wonder how long it will take for the decisions by these red states to purposely degrade their science education to have the effect of making it harder for their children to be accepted and/or succeed in real university science programs?

    Part of me wants to just say, "If they want their kids to be ignorant in order to preserve their own religious extremism, let them go ahead." But I really feel for parents in this part of the country who would really like their kids to be able to compete with kids from the

    • I really don't want to think too much about how this ends up, you know?

      No, I don't, but as a science grad student, hoping for an academic career, I don't really have a whole lot of choice in the matter.

      My optimistic side says, "We've been through this before, and come out the other side reasonably intact." But that doesn't mean the process will be pleasant. We're about a month away from the 150th anniversary of Shiloh.

Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, and a dark side, and it holds the universe together ... -- Carl Zwanzig