At least one school district in the state of Louisiana is using the Bible as a textbook in science classes. Yes, you read that right.
According to Slate, dozens of emails confirm that teachers within the Bossier Parish school district are teaching (or should I say preaching?) creationism to students. One science teacher wrote, “We will read in Genesis and [some] supplemental material debunking various aspects of evolution from which the students will present.”
The emails show a concentrated effort to bring creationism into Louisiana schools as the sole factual understanding of how the universe works; evolution is apparently only welcome on the syllabus if it’s being attacked. This behavior, while in blatant violation of federal law, is fully sanctioned by the “Louisiana Science Education Act”.
The 2008 legislation was allegedly enacted to allow science teachers to use supplemental materials that allow religious theories to be compared in equal measure to scientific theories. But in reality, the act allows for open advocacy of a singular, Christian fundamentalist viewpoint of how the universe was created and presently operates.
This move is extremely disconcerting for a few reasons. First, fundamentalist creationism promotes the idea that the Earth cannot be more than several thousand years old. Some creationists think that dinosaurs were literally alive until hundreds of years ago but died out or evolved into dragons. Such absurd theories may be taught to children as outright fact in Louisiana, and every attempt to repeal the law that made it possible has failed.
These Louisiana schools blatantly violate the Constitution, which demands a separation of church and state (public schools in America are government-funded institutions). As things stand, there’s a good chance that a concerned parent may eventually file a lawsuit that brings the matter to court. LSEA advocates will likely lose; similar legislation was previously struck down as unconstitutional in a Pennsylvania court.
Louisiana lawmakers and school officials claim that the LSEA and use of Bible in classrooms is for comparison purposes. But the truth is that it replaces education for indoctrinate – which hurts the students ad well as the rest of society.
[Image Credit: Steve Snodgrass]