The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that efforts to repeal the 2008 Science Education Act have failed despite efforts by Louisiana Senator Karen Carter and affidavits from “43 Nobel laureates, faculty members and administrators from Louisiana State University and LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and a host of state and national organizations of scientists and educators:”
The Senate Education Committee on Thursday spiked an effort to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act that critics assail as a back door to allow intelligent design and the biblical creation story to enter the science curriculum. The 5-1 vote buries Senate Bill 70 by Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans.
Peterson pushed the repeal, she said, to defend the integrity of Louisiana public education and end “an embarrassment” for the state. A Roman Catholic, Peterson quoted from the Nicene Creed, which calls God the “creator of all things, seen and unseen.” She called it a statement of faith, not a conclusion of scientific discovery.
Defenders of the 2008 science education law call it a matter of academic freedom that is intended only to help science teachers encourage critical thinking and allow them to use instructional materials that supplement what textbooks say about topics such as evolution and global warming. The law originally was adopted at the urging of the Louisiana Family Forum, a conservative Christian group with considerable influence over legislative affairs.
A year after its passage, the law prompted the The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology to boycott New Orleans for its massive conventions with an open letter to Governor Bobby Jindal that states, “It is the firm opinion of the SICB leadership that this law undermines the integrity of science and science education in Louisiana.”