Not long ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal received praise for a speech after the Republican defeat warning fellow Republicans that, if they want to win again, “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party.” He seems to have forgotten that particular reform in comments this week supporting the teaching of both creationism and intelligent design in public schools as part of teaching “the best science.”
Jindal has joined other GOP leaders in treating creationism as a science. He insisted: “Bottom line, at the end of the day, we want our kids to be exposed to the best facts. Let’s teach them about the big bang theory, let’s teach them about evolution – I’ve got no problem if a school board, a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about creationism, that people, some people, have these beliefs as well, let’s teach them about ‘intelligent design.’”
He asked “What are we scared of?” Well, Governor, we are afraid that in the midst of widespread failing schools and dropping science scores, we will be now teaching religion as science.
73 thoughts on “Gov. Bobby Jindal Supports Teaching Creationism As “Science” In Public Schools”
Bobby Jindal’s Science Problem
Romney’s education surrogate promotes creationist nonsense in schools.
By Kenneth R. Miller
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012
It’s an election year, and plenty of things seem to matter to voters, including health care, the budget, unemployment, and women’s rights. But this year, as always, one of the things that doesn’t seem to matter is science. That’s particularly troubling because just about every challenge that America faces today has a scientific component, from revitalizing the economy to dealing with climate change to managing health care.
Science took a beating in the primary season this year. Leading candidates made it clear that they rejected climate science (Herman Cain and Rick Perry), thought that vaccines caused mental retardation (Michele Bachmann), and didn’t “believe” in evolution (a bunch of them, most prominently Rick Santorum). One candidate, John Huntsman, bravely tweeted, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” To scientists, Huntsman’s candor was “right on!” To Republican primary voters, apparently he was crazy.
At least, for the second presidential election in a row, both major party candidates are on record as accepting the science of evolution, the cornerstone of the biological sciences. But let’s not celebrate just yet. One of those candidates still has to make a vice presidential pick, and one of the leading contenders for that job has a public record on science that’s crystal clear—and deeply troubling. It’s Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana.
Jindal has an elite résumé. He was a biology major at my school, Brown University, and a Rhodes scholar. He knows the science, or at least he ought to. But in his rise to prominence in Louisiana, he made a bargain with the religious right and compromised science and science education for the children of his state. In fact, Jindal’s actions at one point persuaded leading scientific organizations, including the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, to cross New Orleans off their list of future meeting sites (PDF).
What did Jindal do to produce a hornet’s nest of “mad scientists,” as Times-Picayune writer James Gill described them? He signed into law, in Gill’s words, the “Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which is named for what it is designed to destroy.” The act allows “supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials” to be brought into classrooms to support the “open and objective discussion” of certain “scientific theories,” including, of course, evolution. As educators who have heard such coded language before quickly realized, the act was intended to promote creationism as science. In April, Kevin Carman, dean of the College of Science at Louisiana State University, testified before the Louisiana Senate’s Education Committee that two top scientists had rejected offers to come to LSU because of the LSEA, and the school may lose more scientists in the future.
And now Jindal is poised to spend millions of dollars of state money to support the teaching of creationism in private schools.
The state of Louisiana has had a problem with evolution for a long, long time. In 1981, it passed a “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act,” which required the teaching of creation science alongside “evolution-science” in public schools. The Supreme Court struck it down in 1987 (in Edwards v. Aguillard), finding that creationism is inherently religious, and that the law’s “preeminent religious purpose” placed it in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Case closed? Not really.
When Jindal stepped into Republican politics in Louisiana, he had a choice to make. He could defend mainstream science, which sees evolution as the powerful, strongly supported, and widely tested theory that it is today. Or he could have joined the doubters and deniers that populate the electorate in his party. Campaigning for the governorship in 2007, Jindal touted his Christian faith, shied away from specific statements about evolution, and emphasized his commitment to local control of education. Louisianans didn’t have to wait long to find out what this meant for science.
Jindal signed the LSEA into law in 2008, endorsing the thinly veiled attempt to allow creationism into the science classrooms of his state. The backers of the law made it clear that material on intelligent design would be high on the list of supplemental materials that local boards and teachers could present to their students. Intelligent design is the re-labeled form of creationism that a federal court in Pennsylvania threw out of classrooms in the 2005 Dover v. Kitzmiller decision. The National Academy of Sciences has identified intelligent design as “not science” because it is “not testable by the methods of science.” The National Academy of Science’s opinion carried little weight with the Ivy League bio major.
Piyush “Bobby” Jindal (born June 10, 1971)
OOOPS! I hit the post button too soon.
Louisiana governor: I’ve got no problem with creationism in public schools
By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, April 15, 2013
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Friday said he had no problem with creationism being taught in public schools.
During an interview with NBC host Hoda Kotb, Jindal said students should be taught “the best science” in public schools, but implied that teaching creationism would not interfere with that.
“We have what’s called the Science Education Act that says that if a teacher wants to supplement those materials, if the school board is okay with that, if the state school board is okay with that, they can supplement those materials,” he explained.
“Bottom line, at the end of the day, we want our kids to be exposed to the best facts. Let’s teach them about the big bang theory, let’s teach them about evolution, let’s teach them — I’ve got no problem if a school board, a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about creationism, that people, some people, have these beliefs as well, let’s teach them about ‘intelligent design.’”
Jindal said students should be free to question “controversial issues” like climate change and other scientific theories, adding, “What are we scared of?”
Karen in New Jersey 1, April 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm
For all we know, Jindal could be talking about Social Studies class, that the students should know that “some people have these beliefs.” “Some people have these beliefs” — doesn’t sound like he’s talking about a science class.
Did you listen to what Jindal said in the video that I posted yesterday at 12:05 pm? He was talking about science class.
Louisiana governor: I’ve got no problem with creationism in public schools
“a pineapple is NOT related to a porcupine.”
Actually they are related. All life on earth started the same way and took different roads. unless you can prove that whatever cells which first developed were differentiated plant and animal. My guess is they were not.
The differentiation occurred as they evolved.
When you see an “adult” praying, think of an infant wailing for someone — anyone — to come and change its soiled diapers. There you have the origin and essence of “religion,” what Joseph Campbell called “The Spontaneous Animism of Childhood”:
Apparently, Governor Jindal wants “science” classes in Louisiana schools to teach wailing for the invisible mommy-daddy gods to come and make everything all better. He may consider such infantile animism a mark of “intelligence” or “design,” but it qualifies as neither.
Was he born a Bobby or was he born a Robert? Inquring minds want to know.
Hey there Jindal: On The Eighth Day God Created Dog. Preach that to your students. Remember this one: Those who can, Do. Those who Cant, Teach. Those who cant teach, teach Preachers.
I gotta agree with Gene H. in the comment just above.
But on the issue of Louisiana being dumber than dirt, I want to comment on some guy who was being interviewed tongith on the Charlie Rose Show. He was some Boston geek who was literally ranting because those of us in the rest of the country (outside Boston and New York) were oblivious to the Twin Towers and 9/11 thing. In his mind we were backward for not seeing the full blunt of the Twin Towers crash like the locals did.
That this guy is self centered is obvious. That New Yorkers and Bostonians have this view of themselves as exceptional is a bit much for me to take. These are the people who belittle Southerners for talking funny when they themselves talk in this turdy turd and a turd rap. The rest of us DO comprehend the scope of the 9/11 attacks. We are wary of the world. But we also know that there are places in the world other than NYC and that the end of the Universe is not Buffalo. These New Yorkies are NOT the brightest people on the planet. If they were they would not tax themselves out of hearth and home and move South when they hit 65. When I turn on my TV and see Jay Leno I hit the channel button. Letterman is bad enough and he does not speak the lingo. When some schmuck like Bloomberg rants on about soda pop or gun laws I want to be able to sit him down and tell him that his shit does indeed stink, that he is not exceptional, and that the rest of us do not need a NYC preacher. Which brings me back to Jindal and creationsim being taught as a science. He is not so far away from Bloomberg ranting about outlawing soda pop. Birds of a feather, flock together. Hate to tell ya this NYC but you are right there in the swamp with Jindal.
There is a place for the Bible in public schools. It’s called “Comparative Religion” or “Religion as Literature”, not religion is not science in any other way than “social science” that studies it. Religion and science, while not necessarily antithetical and incompatible, are at their cores fundamentally in opposition as one relies upon empirical data and the other upon unprovable beliefs. Jindal is an idiot and he’s pandering to idiots who think their particular dogma is the only right one despite not having a lick of proof. Sound familiar? It should because that’s what madrassas do: teach religion as fact without proof. Louisiana should be proud of themselves. They replaced the manifestly incompetent Blanco with the manifestly ignorant Jindal.
I overheard a conversation the other night at a bar. A manager from an out of state manufacturing interest was bemoaning how they could get plenty of workers but most of them were so stupid they couldn’t do even the most basic tasks without constant supervision and that they had had to bring in supervisors and management from out of state because of a lack of local talent. He said that if he had his way, they (the company in question) would take the hit of a loss and relocate now instead of later. The company in question has only been here a year.
Louisiana can expect to lag behind the nation in jobs creation as long as people like Jindal are in charge. Telling your kids a fairy tale is science is not doing them or the state a service. It is a disservice of the highest order. This kind of state action not only is bad for children, it’s bad for adults and it’s bad for business.
Only the debonaire can be doctrinaire. This Bobby Jindahl guy, or however ya spull it, has gotta go the way of Edwards, their last funky governor down there in Louisiana who got the world’s attention.
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