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Op-Ed Defends Louisiana Academic Freedom Law

Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum recently published an op-ed in the Shreveport Times defending the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), passed in 2008. Titled "Law provides framework to handle controversial scientific issues," his article explains that criticisms of the LSEA made by an ACLU-affiliated lawyer are logically and legally baseless.

Charles Kincade's op-ed June 19 in The Times shamelessly belies that contempt, demanding censorship over academic freedom! Anyone who repeats Kincade's tired old line that the LSEA will "permit the teaching of religious creationism" needs to be administered either a literacy test or a lie detector test: the statute expressly prohibits, at Louisiana Family Forum's (LFF) insistence, "discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion."

Besides, who would oppose providing science teachers with a framework to address controversial scientific issues such as fossil fuel-induced global climate change, the origin of life or human cloning? Science is filled with controversy, which can excite and inspire young minds to listen, learn and engage.

Kincade claims Louisiana ranked "47th in the nation for education in 2008"; but he confuses cause with effect. Rules for implementing the LSEA were not even promulgated by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education until February. Louisiana's low education rankings are the problem the LSEA seeks to remedy, not the effect of this beneficial law.

Mills goes on to cite an article from Science that we recently highlighted here on Evolution News & Views:

And it's not hard to anticipate the kinds of benefits the LSEA will bring. A recent article in Science found that students study science best when they use "argument and debate" and "discriminate between evidence that supports "ยป or does not support" the scientific theory being studied.

This is the exact approach recommended by the LSEA -- an approach Kincade opposes in order to maintain the status quo of Darwinian dogma in our schools.

Read Mills' full op-ed here.