Urgent: Call Louisiana, their science is getting away!

Barbara Forrest is sending this message out everywhere — they need concerted public action to forestall a dreadful legislative disaster that is looming large in the state of Louisiana. You can help!

We in the LA Coalition for Science have reached the point at which the only possible measure we have left is to raise an outcry from around the country that Gov. Jindal has to hear. What is happening in Louisiana has national implications, much to the delight of the Discovery Institute, which is blogging the daylights out of the Louisiana situation.

SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has passed both houses of the legislature, and the governor has indicated that he intends to sign it. But we don’t have to be quiet about this. There is something that you and everyone else you know who wants to help can do:

The LA Coalition for Science has posted a press release and an open letter to Jindal asking him to veto the bill. The contact information is at the LCFS website.

It is time for a groundswell of contacts to Jindal, and this must be done immediately since we don’t know when he will sign the bill. The vote in the legislature is veto-proof, so any request for Jindal to veto the bill must stress that the governor can make this veto stick if he wants it to stick. Please contact everyone you know and ask them to contact the governor’s office and ask him to veto the bill. Please blog this. If you have friendly contacts in your address book, please ask them to also contact the governor’s office.

We want people all over the country to do this, as many as possible, since Louisiana will be only the beginning. Their states could be next. Here are the talking points:

Point 1: The Louisiana law, SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has national implications. So far, this legislation has failed in every other state where it was proposed, except in Michigan, where it remains in committee. By passing SB 733, Louisiana has set a dangerous precedent that will benefit the Discovery Institute by helping them to advance their strategy to get intelligent design creationism into public schools. Louisiana is only the beginning. Other states will now be encouraged to pass such legislation, and the Discovery Institute has already said that they will continue their push to get such legislation passed.

Point 2: Since Gov. Jindal’s support for teaching ID clearly helped to get this bill passed in the first place, his decision to veto it will stick if he lets the legislature know that he wants it to stick.

Point 3: Simply allowing the bill to become law without his signature, which is one of the governor’s options, does not absolve him of the responsibility for protecting the public school science classes of Louisiana. He must veto the bill to show that he is serious about improving Louisiana by improving education. Anything less than a veto means that the governor is giving a green light to creationists to undermine the education of Louisiana children.

You can pull additional talking points from the LCFS press release and our online letter if you want them.

Now we have to get the message out to people. People can contact the governor and and also contact their friends, asking them to do the same. We need to create a huge network of e-mails asking people to do this. Where they live does not matter at this point. What is happening in Louisiana has implications for everyone in the nation. The Discovery Institute does not intend to stop with the Pelican State.

You can read the open letter to Jindal; you can call him at 225-342-7015 or 866-366-1121 (Toll Free); fax him at 225-342-7099. Anyone anywhere in the country should hammer the message home. If Jindal has any national political aspirations, this willful destruction of science education in his home state is going to follow him around like stink on a skunk.


  1. Faithful Reader says

    I did it! Be aware you have to “Select a parish” by scrolling down and choosing “out of state.”

  2. says

    One of his professors urged him to veto.

    I think it rather unlikely that he will veto, since he’s supported similar bills. Emphasizing the potential costs to his career might help, at least in future fights, especially if his signing it does cost Jindal.

    He really should be thinking hard about vetoing, at any rate. I don’t believe that McCain would gain by picking an anti-science vp, since he’s gotten in too much trouble already with cozying up to the ignorant and the prejudiced. An anti-science vp would simply make McCain less acceptable to the cross-party voters that he’ll need to win.

    Come on Jindal, you’re clearly on the hard right, unquestionably acceptable to the religious voters. Do the right thing for the country and the state, and veto this opening to dumbed-down science teaching. The likely overturn of this bill by the courts will just make you look bad in time.

    A veto would show that you’re not just a puppet for religious conservatives, while you remain firmly on their side. So if you’re not, you’ll veto.

    Glen D

  3. Phaedrus says

    So you’re asking a guy who held exorcisms at college, please, despite the will of the voters, veto the legislation? I think the law is horrible, but let’s spend our resources wisely and start gearing up for court battles when schools start to comply next year.

  4. Epinephrine says

    I think it’s rather unlikely that Jindal, who is a cdesign proponentsist, is going to veto a bill like this.

  5. says

    Like others here, I’d be highly surprised if he veto’d it. He has no real incentive, even with national aspirations factored in. The bill is too vague to be easily used against him politically.

    For the other side, this is basically just rolling the dice. They lost Dover, but maybe if they keep trying they’ll get lucky somewhere. And they only need one victory to score a huge PR win.

  6. James F says

    Things do look bleak, but silence on the matter is worse. It just takes a bit of time that you might otherwise spend gutting the arguments of online trolls to send a message.

  7. Kseniya says

    It’s not a petition. It’s a grassroots movement, it’s a call to communicate, as individuals, with the governor.

    So you’re asking a guy who held exorcisms at college, please, despite the will of the voters, veto the legislation?

    Yes! Your comment smells like a concern-troll. Please explain how asking is less useful than not asking. Please explain how asking “spends resources” that could be better used elsewhere.

  8. Sigmund says

    Although I feel sorry for the students of Louisiana I tend to think it might be more advantageous, rather than playing another round of whack-a-creationist-mole, to make an example of the State.
    Make people there know that destroying science education will have real consequences.
    Get the top universities to announce that Louisiana students will not be eligible for entry unless they attend and pass remedial courses in science. Organize a boycott of Louisiana based technology industries. Announce a boycott the state as a venue for science associated conferences. How about a thank you letter printed in Louisiana papers from the a group of liberal lawyers thanking the politicians for sorting out their future retirement finances due to the politicians unconstitutional actions.
    I suspect the main problem with creationism getting such an easy ride in the mind of the average American is that they simply think biology is unimportant – more akin to knitting than a serious topic. Its only by showing them the consequences of their own complacency that we can hope to wake them up on this matter.
    If it does get passed – which, given the recent comments of their exorcist governor, is fairly likely, perhaps we should arrange a grassroots movement within schools. There is essentially nothing wrong with teaching ‘weaknesses’ of any theory but the sort of lies that the DI hacks tend to use as examples of weaknesses (no transitional fossils, no evidence of common descent in the genetic record etc) is simply an example of bad and dishonest teaching. Make sure that schools know that pro-evolution students WILL report creationist lies and that lawsuits will result every time this occurs and that the bill for this will fall squarely at the feet of Louisiana taxpayers.

  9. says

    When I sent him an email, I avoided smart-ass comments, and included these points:

    As a biology major, you understand the significance of evolution. Notwithstanding the short-term political popularity of opposing “Darwinism,” I urge you to veto the Louisiana Science Education Act.

    Please consider the example set by Oklahoma’s Governor Brad Henry a few weeks ago, when he vetoed a similar bill which his legislature had passed.

    Please stand up for good education and veto the bill. It’s the right thing to do. Science is the future, and you surely know it.

    As pointed out in an earlier comment, although you must select a parish, the option “out of state” is at the end of the list.

  10. says

    I don’t see Jindal vetoing the bill, either. A flood of emails from scientists might help future plaintiffs establish that the bill was protested by those who actually, you know, do science. IANAL, TTAWAGOS.

    If Jindal has any national political aspirations, this willful destruction of science education in his home state is going to follow him around like stink on a skunk.

    Yup. Remember the three presidential candidates who denied evolution during a debate? They’re now former candidates.

  11. Alex says

    Well, I think a motivation for Mr. Jindal to veto would be the law suit that his state will be visited with. With the Dover trial as precedent, the outcome of a law suit is almost certain, and Mr. Jindal will look even more foolish.

  12. says

    Maybe the more effective technique would be to write/FAX McCain that Jindal is unacceptable as a national candidate because he is a flake who opposes science and participates in exorcisms … and cc Jindal.

  13. Dr. Pablito says

    Done! Another physicist offers support. It’s only a matter of time before they come after physics and astronomy in schools. Scientists to the barricades!

  14. Professorchaos says

    > Yup. Remember the three presidential candidates who denied evolution > during a debate? They’re now former candidates.

    Correlation is not always causation.
    Since he would be running on a Republican ticket, this kind of a thing would probably help him.

  15. Justin says

    Email sent and call placed. I hope this man knows the meaning of “political suicide”.

  16. says

    I make no apologies for this bill, which appears to be doing nothing but aiming to reduce Louisiana’s education ranking from 47th to 50th.

    Nevertheless, it isn’t as bad as some of the bills were. It does tell teachers to teach what is in the textbooks, and only to bring in criticisms as supplementary material. Which means that it could be worse, although it would be much better if it had been decidedly and finally killed by knowledgeable legislators (ha ha).

    On the one hand, then, it isn’t the gutting of science teaching that many of the bills could have effected. On the other hand, it’s just the kind of muddling of what science is that could be disastrous in many cases, and it might be more difficult to get the courts to overturn it than some of the more blatantly anti-science bills were.

    I just thought I should point out some of what is at stake with this bill. From Jindal’s perspective, it’s likely that he’d think it’s already at least a fair compromise, with the mainline science being kept in the schools by the bill. For him to be able to think through the implications of treating pseudoscience on a par with science is very unlikely.

    The good thing is that no matter that it may be better than some of the bills, this bill retains the kind of selectivity that ought to make it reasonably easy to show that it serves a sectarian purpose and no convincingly secular purpose. That’s because it’s supposedly solicitous of academic freedom, but only in the subject of biology.

    How really stupid are these people? Gravity has fundamental theoretical problems, and yet the weaknesses of the theories of gravity aren’t being targeted by this bill. Evolution has many questions, but no apparent fundamental theoretical problems. Yet its “weaknesses” are specifically allowed into the classroom. As a matter of science this is just batspit crazy. As religious manipulation, it makes a great deal of sense.

    Well, Jindal, this is your one chance to show that you’re something more than a religious dupe. I have the feeling that you, like Louisiana’s educational status, will achieve a failing grade.

    Glen D

  17. Slaughter says

    “If Jindal has any national political aspirations, this willful destruction of science education in his home state is going to follow him around like stink on a skunk.”

    All the more reason to let him sign it. Nothing like making an example out of somebody. It’ll be a redo of Dover, Pa.

  18. CalGeorge says


    Governor Jindal,

    SB733 will result in the teaching of creationism in science classrooms.

    If the United States is to prosper in future and continue to be a leader in research and technology, every state in this nation must do its part to sustain and foster an outstanding system of science education.

    I strongly oppose legislative efforts to introduce, in the name of fairness, curricular guidelines for Louisiana that make it possible to teach creationism in the science classroom.

    I urge you to veto SB733.

    Do not sabotage the science curriculum of Louisiana’s schools.

  19. BobC says

    I predict the creationist governor will sign the creationism bill, especially since the votes for it were 94-3 and 36-0. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The trial will cost taxpayers at least one million dollars, and hopefully other hick infested states will notice how expensive and pointless it is to insert the Sky Fairy into science education.

    Those votes, 94-3 and 36-0, are amazing. I can’t imagine a more backward state than Louisiana.

  20. Gary says

    I sent the governor an email, for what it’s worth. I hope he vetoes this bill, though I have my doubts.

  21. Lycosid says

    The Louisiana state government represents the people of Louisiana. If the people of Louisiana don’t value science education, maybe scientists and educators should boycott the state. Let them become America’s Pakistan.

    Just hope their churches float.

  22. Tom says

    The 19th was the century of the industrial revolution and engineering.

    The 20th was the century of electricity, electronics, automation, computing and IT.

    The 21st will be the century of stem-cell research, genetic screening, genetic modification, and bio-engineering in general. That’s where all the action is going to be.

    We here in Europe would like to say a very big thank you to Jindal and his like for putting our U.S. competitors in a strait-jacket. See ya later!

  23. Mark from Canada says

    Where is the National Academy of Sciences? Where is every head of every reputable university and college biology deptartment? Why isn’t there a larger unified voice of proper scientists who have a massive influence in the US who can stand up and publicly voice against situations like this? Even Francis Collins, with his religious beliefs, should be standing loud and publicly to voice against this. They should all be standing up and publicly voicing against this.

  24. Tater says

    Not gonna happen. Jindal will sign this with great relish. He’s beyond reason. My SO was with him at Oxford where he was a fervent ideologue even then.

    So sad.

  25. says

    Dear Governor Jindal:

    Please sign SB 733. My home state of California is having a budget crisis and it would help if we could attract more high-tech industry to the Golden State. If Louisiana would be good enough to trash its science standards by making it permissible to teach creationism under the guise of “intelligent design,” it would make you much less competitive with us. So please sign SB 733 right away with as much fanfare as you can manage.

    Please contact me for other great ideas on making Louisiana stand out from other states. No one has tried secession in a while. It could be due for a comeback.

  26. Patricia says

    I called and in my nicest ‘church lady voice’ asked him not to sign the bill, but rather to keep science in school and religion in the church. He probably won’t listen since I’m in Oregon.

  27. bunnycatch3r says

    Yeah, sure you guys in Europe will leave us behind in science and technology but we’ll leave you behind on judgment day! FTW!

  28. JackC says

    My post (was it jsut me, or was that “message” block incredibly small and horridly difficult to read??)

    Governor Jindal

    I fully expect this to fall on deaf ears, however, I URGE you to VETO SB 733, the LA Science Education Act.

    Having been, in the past, a resident of Louisiana, I recognise the attraction such a bill must have to many residents. I cannot, however, but fully recognize the illusion presented as “critical thinking” is nothing of the sort.

    It is sad to see legislation in a state already quite poorly-ranked in the Sciences step so boldly backward.

    Given your predilection toward the actions premitted by this bill, I cannot see how you would find the emotional, rational and just strength to VETO, however the chance only just remains that perhaps your sensitivity to future political endeavors may swing you to the RIGHT course.


  29. MizBean says

    Here’s mine:
    Dear Governor Jindal,
    I write to beg you to veto Louisiana SB 733. This soft-brained legislation would seriously harm the education of Louisiana’s children. In addition, it would probably serve to place Louisiana’s educational standing below that of Alabama & Mississippi at dead last in the nation. Is this the legacy you want to leave should you ascend to the White House? In the event you have not yet read it, I plead with you to read the LA Coalition for Science’s open letter, here:
    Please, please help Louisiana stride into the 21st Century confidently, instead of crumbling into the 14th.
    Thank you for your service,

  30. drew says

    isn’t this the same Gov Jindal that took part in the exorcism onf one of his friends in college? Good luck.

  31. JackC says

    Zeno@29: Geebus, man – according to this ranking (ok – I admit, it is a FEW years old), CA is #2 and LA is #42 in “National State Techonology and Science”: http://www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/nstech_index04.pdf

    What more do you WANT??

    I am just SO happy to see that my home state of KY is ranked 49th. Must be why I live in NY (#15!)


  32. hje says

    Jindal signs bill. Creationist hijinks ensue. We’re off the to courts. Dembski blusters, Behe pitches his book on the stand, …

    Keep in mind the Jindal is the VP prospect for McCain. Hope so, because the media is going to have a field day with his exorcism experience he wrote up and actually published ((albeit boring by movie standards–no one is going to option it for a screenplay). A must read concerning this guy: http://www.newoxfordreview.org/article.jsp?did=1294-jindal

  33. sarkozy says

    If you guys don’t want Louisiana anymore, you can always sell it back to us.
    We’ll gladly declare it a Territoire D’outre Mer, impose the same laws on Laicité as in the mainland, and make sure Bobby puts SB733 dans le cul…

  34. Helioprogenus says

    This is the ultimate problem with giving states increased respective power. States like Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, etc, can work hard to keep their populations ignorant and functionally illiterate. What we then have is half the country stuck in the stone age, with no recource from the federal government. Libertarianism is a great idea, but cannot work because of fuckups like these bastards in LA. Unfortunately, as we have seen with this Administration, Central governments cannot function effectively either, when their checks and balances are completely out of line. We are basically stuck between two awful methods of governance, with no relief. Either you have an increased federal presence, and thus, larger, unresponsive government, or you have greater state power, with some states choosing to revert to 19th century beliefs. Ultimately, it all comes down to the unfortunate state of education, and the role that religion plays. For a supposedly secular country, we have so much religious influence that a theocracy cannot be overstated. These fucks with beliefs in imaginary fantasies are busy legislating, ruling, and in general, dispersing justice through ignorant 19th century glasses. The only possible silver lining is that they’ll take it too far, and a revolution will result. Sometimes, what a country needs is a bloody revolution to oust incompetent rule.

  35. frog says

    Lycosid: Let them become America’s Pakistan.

    I understand the desire to vent — but really, does the world need another Pakistan, one actually contiguous and threatening to the US? If we don’t fight them over there, we will have to fight them over here!

    It’s pretty disheartening — I remember watching a sales video from Louisana selling magic soap (“Inspired by the Lord!”), which could cure cancer, wash your car, and make you sexier.

    And I knew Floridians who bought it…

  36. frog says

    It’s on the web now:

    Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have mastered uploading videos of their testimonials, since the video tape was truly inspiring — but the written ones are entertaining themselves.

    Louisiana, Texas, Florida… Land of the con-man, huckster and grifter.

  37. Andrew D says


    Dear Governor Jindal,
    I am deeply disturbed to discover that you plan to approve SB 733, the LA Science Education Act. Allowing creationism and intelligent design into Louisiana schools does a great injustice to those who have dedicated their lives to science, and the proper education of our children.
    There is literally no debate at all within the serious scientific community as to the validity of evolution. Intelligent design has been proven in court to be a flawed theory put forth to further a religious agenda. State sponsorship of these classes is in clear violation of the separation of church and state, and an affront to reason and good sense.
    Please veto SB733, the LA Science Education Act, and give Louisiana students a chance at a legitimate science education.

  38. raven says

    Got to wonder about a state that cheerfully declares they are full of morons and proud of it.

    It isn’t like they don’t have a huge number of serious problems. New Orleans still hasn’t recovered fully, their coastline is eroding away, the southern half of the state is subsiding while the oceans rise, plus the usual social problems of an ignorant fundie population.

    So they walk around on their knuckles and hoot a lot. At least Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

  39. says

    Am I the only one who sees an opportunity for honest teachers to use this law as an umbrella to cover using “Judgement Day” and Ken Miller videos to teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolution? Doesn’t the law protect teachers who use science materials to teach the controversy?

    I see this as an opportunity to increase the teaching of evidence based science. I’m sure some back woods teachers will teach creationism, but polls indicate they are doing it anyway. What would frost the supporters of the bill would be using the cover of the law to annihilate creationism.

  40. Carlie says

    I was too angry to be anything other than blunt – I wrote that Louisiana was becoming a laughingstock of the country, that as a college professor in New York I would not support the acceptance into my school of any students who graduate in Louisiana if this bill passes, and that they are already getting enough negative publicity just from the possibility of this law that people in states as far away as mine are already writing them off as irredeemable. Basically.

  41. Tater says

    And get this: the buffoon graduated Brown with degrees in Biology *and* Public Policy. He’s been waiting for this moment all his life……

  42. says

    @midwifetoad:Am I the only one who sees an opportunity for honest teachers to use this law as an umbrella to cover using “Judgment Day” and Ken Miller videos to teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolution? Doesn’t the law protect teachers who use science materials to teach the controversy?

    Or Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene.” Shubin’s “Your Inner Fish.” The most excellent videos from the Defense of Reason series. Ed Humes’ “Monkey Girl.” Sagan’s “The Demon-Haunted World.”

    Maybe LCFS could put together a list of these resources for the Louisiana Science Teachers Association, on the record for opposing this legislation.

  43. Wicked Lad says

    Zeno FTW yet again! My note was serious, turned out a lot like CalGeorge’s, but it’s useful to land a variety of material in his inbox, the better to increase the (slim) chance Jindal may pay attention.

  44. keith says

    Louisiana …the first of many children of Expelled.

    I love it..the turdheads of NCSE are are floundering.

  45. semi says

    As a former Louisianaian who fled that state long ago (to get a graduate degree), I can only quote a line from one of my favorite movies:

    “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

    The problem in Louisiana is a vicious recursive loop:

    1. The homestead exemption tax means that the state doesn’t have enough money to properly fund the public school system. Because much of the population is poor, the tax exemption is popular.

    2. The poorly funded educational system results in a populace that is generally undereducated.

    3. Those in Louisiana who can afford to go to private schools eventually leave the state, as there is a dearth of high paying jobs. The “brain drain” is quite severe.

    4. Big companies avoid the state because of the undereducated workforce (and the political corruption, but that’s a different story)

    5. A good portion of the population stays poor, uneducated, and racist tendencies persist.

    6. Said undereducated population elect bonehead politicians who pander to the worse instincts in people.

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    If there is to be change, it has to come from within Louisiana.

  46. keith says

    MA Jeff, I leave animalism , necrophilia and other sordid perversions to the bottom dwelling sewer people like you and P Z Myers (does he have cancer of the balls yet…just asking).

  47. melior says

    I’ll call Jindal’s office… but I’m highly dubious. This is the same batshit crazy dude who believes in exorcising demons. In the friggin’ twenty first century. Demons.

    Does he also believe in bleeding?

    I’m not holding my breath it’ll help.

  48. Molly, NYC says

    You’d think that with these free-market-unto-death types, pointing out that blowing off science education will make their kids less competitive, pretty much for life, would have some effect.

    But it just makes them more defensive.
    Screw ’em.

  49. freelunch says

    Well, you know, it could be a conspiracy of an Indian-American to undermine solid education in the United States so India will get ahead of us in science education, or it could just be religion and politics conspiring to destroy Louisiana for personal gain.

  50. Chris says

    Native louisianian here. I’m a PhD student in Evolutionary Biology at LSU. Please don’t pro-actively refuse us yet! At least let the smart ones escape! Here’s my letter:
    Dear Gov. Jindal,
    Veto SB 733. As a PhD Candidate in Biology at our flagship university, LSU, I urge you to veto the “academic freedom” bill. Not only will this bill hurt my professional career as a scientist hailing from this state, but it will also demolish any attempts to attract scientists from other areas to come here and enhance our research and prestige.
    Beyond the state image, I speak as an educator too. Teaching introductory biology to incoming students is hard enough without having to waste time debating non-science instilled in them from high school. This bill is intended to teach creationism, a topic settled by the Supreme Court in a case from this state over 20 years ago. Do not repeat the mistakes of the past. Louisiana cannot afford your support of this bill.
    With deep concern,
    Ph.D. Candidate in Evolutionary Biology
    Louisiana State University

  51. clinteas says

    keith seems like a nice example of a loving caring christian.

    As to the thread topic : I agree with what was said before,in that the only thing that would probably get their attention would be an outcry from media and science and big money,just refusing to admit any students from Louisiana because of an assumed lack of basic science education.A governor who does exorcisms and who runs a state with a chronically undereducated populace that probably likes this bill(or doesnt know or care about it) is not likely to veto this bill.

    I find however very interesting the thought to use this bill against the creos,and to actually use all sorts of educational material from videos and books to strenghten science education ! Maybe the teachers in here could comment on that a little.

  52. says

    Here’s mine:

    Dear Governor Jindal:

    SB 733, which is based on sample legislation drafted by the infamous Discovery Institute, is a terrible bill that will do immense harm to Louisiana. I urge you to veto this bill.

    Every other state that has considered this legislation has rejected it (with the sole exception of Michigan, where this bill currently sits in committee, with no action pending). If you allow this bill to become law, then Louisiana will be the only state in the country to have passed this Discovery Institute-modeled law. You have seen the criticism and ridicule that was directed at Kansas while it considered adding Intelligent Design Creationism to its public school curriculum; I am sure that you would not want to see Louisiana reap the same ridicule. By vetoing this bill, you will help insure that Louisiana schools do not become the objects of nationwide scorn.

    Since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have devastated so much of the Louisiana economy, it has become desperately important for Louisiana to attract new investment and new businesses. Economic development has been a key effort for your administration. It would be a tragedy if your efforts in this area came to naught. But if businesses perceive that Louisiana’s schools are becoming deficient in science education, they will have every reason to build new facilities elsewhere. I’m confident that you do not want that to happen.

    You have done a great deal of good for Louisiana during your term as governor. It would be a shame if your legacy came to be seen as an enemy of science education. I’m sure you’ll do the right thing, and veto this bill.

    Very respectfully,

  53. Charlie Foxtrot says

    I’m hoping to send an email to the exorcist, but the ‘contact the governor’ page seems to be having finger-in-the-ears-I’m-not-listening-la-la-la-la issues at the moment.
    I’m hoping to point out to him that on the front page of Melbourne’s newspaper, ‘The Age‘, website there is a great photo of our Victorian Premier, John Brumby, and the Governator Swartznegger smiling and shaking hands. They’re both at an international biotechnology conference in San Diego. I would like to indicate by this that the rest of the world is embracing the 21st century, and it would behoove him and his state to do the same.

  54. A. Friend says

    The veto petition is futile. Louisiana has always had a reputation for being backward and corrupt, and this latest move makes it clear they like it that way.

    How anyone with half a brain or more can stand to live there escapes me. My father-in-law got his chem engr degree from LSU way back in the ’40s and says the smartest thing he ever did was to get the hell out of Louisiana as soon as he graduated.

  55. Dagger says

    Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the entire state from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    Hudson: Fuckin’ A…

  56. DavidR says

    I live in Ireland where DI reps have met with mainstream political kooks who want them in here too. I bear no grudge against the innocent of Louisiana but if you could nuke the place from orbit that would probably be best.

  57. says

    Out of State lobbying by non-residents of that particular state is not very effective. I do however, will display my support for the bill…

  58. Charlie Foxtrot says

    What about Out-of-State and Out-of-Country pointing of the finger and laughing? Is that effective?
    I think I’ll give it a go, anyway…

  59. Phaedrus says

    Not a concern troll – but if you want to see action that gets political attention look at Greenwald’s (et al) fundraising to fight FISA immunity. This effort, especially from predominantly out of stat-ers, smacks of the “feel good” kind of politics that leaves everyone felling they’ve struck a blow for good but nothing really gets accomplished (see Pelosi & Ried’s opposition to Iraq war). Perhaps we can start a fund to pay for the inevitable litigation?

  60. CosmicTeapot says

    do while answer != yes
    … ask can we teach ID in science class
    … get answer

    while x years pass
    … watch science go down drain
    end while

    if brian gets cancer
    … if medical help sought
    …… bring out the leeches
    … else
    …… pray
    … end if
    … brian dies a slow and painful death
    end if

  61. says

    If Bobby Jindal doesn’t veto the bill, won’t that rather well establish that he’s trying to sabotage U.S. interests for India?

    Who wins if the bill becomes law? These days, the answer always must include the science establishments of China and India. It’s clear Jindal doesn’t side with China.

    Just sayin’.

  62. Sigmund says

    Ed, I wouldn’t take that route. Its almost certainly not true, Jindal is simply being populist and responding to what the majority of his population believe in. The fact that its bad biology makes no difference, biological education is a very low priority for most people, its not like its something that will result in a career for more than a tiny fraction of the population.

  63. jeff says

    Perhaps this is a brilliant strategy on the part of LA law makers. The Law, technically, wouldn’t allow the teaching of ID(that would be unconstitutional). But it allows teachers to say things like, “Evolution? It’s just a theory.”, without being fired.

    Let me explain, no that will take to long, let me sum up…As someone already pointed out earlier, economics is key. no money = poor education. When you are already at the bottom of the educational ranking, anything stooopid you do won’t hurt(not really true, but I said it anyway). Now, if that something stupid brings in some organizations with money, like the discovery institution, them you get investors in the education system. Hopefully you then raise the overall level of education in Math, Physics, Chemistry, Arts, etc. With an unfortunate, hopefully temporary, lowering the level of biology related education (which is already at its lowest point).

    Hopefully that ignorance can be reversed within the first semester of university. The overall education of LA will rise. New teachers with no intention of teaching ID join the public school system. New generations of children learn great science, and everyone lives happily ever after.

    We can dream, can’t we?

  64. says

    It’s ironic, but this morning I turned to the June 19th, 2008 sheet of my “Stupidest Things Ever Said” calendar and read this: “We certainly cannot consider Einstein as one who shines as a discoverer in the domain of Physics, but rather as one who in a fuddled sort of way is trying to find some meaning for mathematical formulas which he himself does not believe too strongly, but which he is hoping against hope to somehow establish.” -Fr. J.J. Calhoun, President of Duquesne University (1931-1939)
    It’s not noted when exactly he said this, but, clearly, we must remain ever-vigilant against stupidity.

  65. CortxVortx says

    This is probably a good place to ask, since the claim appears in a “guest column” in a Louisiana paper. It quotes a Phillip Johnson piece in The Wall Street Journal (“The Church of Darwin”) that “A Chinese paleontologist lectures around the world saying that recent fossil finds in his country are inconsistent with the Darwinian theory of evolution. … When this conclusion upsets American scientists, he wryly comments: ‘In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you can criticize the government but not Darwin.'” A casual browse of the intertubes turns up the name J-Y Chen. However, while a J-Y Chen is mentioned in science reports, it’s always about his science. The only place the “criticize” tale turns up is (no surprise) cretinist and fundie and winger sites.

    Does anyone know of a reliable source for this quote, or that Johnson was lying through his teeth?

    The guest-ed in question is here

  66. raven says

    Does anyone know of a reliable source for this quote, or that Johnson was lying through his teeth?

    It is probably a creationist lie. Philip Johnson isn’t a reliable source for anything.

    People have looked for a corroborating source and no one has never found one.

  67. IrishMauddib says

    Well I have written to him as well. I am Irish living in Germany but I have let him know that this is a decision the world stage is watching and not just his local constit.

  68. says

    re: Mark’s comment in #26

    Mark – be assured that a large number of people in Louisiana, led by Barbara Forest and including myself, many other faculty at LSU, as well as members of several Louisiana science teaching associations, have been opposing these bills since before they were debated in committee. We made a concerted effort to keep the opposition in-state, until we felt that we had no further options. Clearly we are now at that point.

    Everyone – thank you for taking the time to do this. Louisiana has many residents who are pro-science and who are desperately swimming against the current on this issue. We appreciate all your help.

  69. James F says

    Prof. Carstens,

    Thank you so much for your hard work – I can’t imagine the frustration of dealing with such an anti-science legislature. I sent along my letter to Gov. Jindal.

  70. Kseniya says

    Not a concern troll

    I know, Phaedreus, and never seriously thought it was. I just meant to say that even if the effort here had little impact, I could see no reason not to engage in it, because the time investment was minimal and there was very little, if anything, to lose by trying. I agree with your larger point, though – that it’s a relatively passive, low-impact action, and that there are other, more active and effective approaches.

  71. Hap says

    #54: Is there a goat who would actually consent to boinking Keith? Other than the potential disease issues, goats have standards, too, and I’m sure that Keith can easily manage to dig under them.

    I think that forcing a goat to boink Keith would apply under “animal cruelty” statutes…for the goat, not Keith.

  72. says

    “Am I the only one who sees an opportunity for honest teachers to use this law as an umbrella to cover using “Judgement Day” and Ken Miller videos to teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolution? Doesn’t the law protect teachers who use science materials to teach the controversy?

    I see this as an opportunity to increase the teaching of evidence based science. I’m sure some back woods teachers will teach creationism, but polls indicate they are doing it anyway. What would frost the supporters of the bill would be using the cover of the law to annihilate creationism.”

    And if something similar happens in Texas, I know that’s exactly what I will do.