Post by Tyrannis.
In 2008, Bobby Jindal signed into law the Louisiana Academic Freedom Act, thereby allowing teachers to teach creationism in public school classes their own initiative. While I had graduated high school by then, this wasn’t anything new, my Bio AP teacher had been a Hindu creationist. She had stated that evolution was bunk and allowed the class to “debunk” it using day-age creationism. Now such incidents are granted protection by the state.
This isn’t the only pseudoscience bearing an official stamp of approval. In April 2012, the Louisiana State University, under the guise of “integrative medicine”, let acupuncturists, herbalists, and massage therapists into the School of Veterinary Medicine.
As bad as that is, the situation in the charter schools is worse. These are the schools with the infamous “Nessie” argument: That the existence of the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution. Yes, this is real. This is not a hoax. Other highlights of the texts include pro-KKK propaganda, the idea that the Great Depression was exaggerated by John Steinbeck to advance a socialist agenda, and that African Americans cannot read because Communism.
A bill trying to let these charter schools receive state dollars was passed and thankfully struck down in court. But it is only a matter of time, as the bill’s supporters have vowed to reintroduce it.
And this isn’t all of it, as we now enter anecdote territory. In classes I had in college, students and professors came into conflict. The first occurrence was in an anthropology class. The professor, a Brit, was talking about people clinging to debunked ideas. And he made a joke about how some people still believe that there had been a global flood. Several people quietly got up and left the classroom. Another class was about the evolution and extinction of dinosaurs. The professor on the first day stood in front of the class and announced that anyone using creationist references in their term paper would not get credit for them, and that anyone who claimed the earth was only 6000 years old or that the flood killed the dinosaurs on a quiz would get no credit. And he was not going to discuss it. And people walked out. The vice president of the physics club was broken up with, because his girlfriend refused to date someone who believed in black holes. I have had a microbiology professor who told the class that anyone who refused to get vaccinated was compromising herd immunity and that they could kill babies.
It’s a running battle down here. We do, after all, have a governor who claims to have exorcised a demon. And a legislator who asked if E. Coli would evolve into a human. But we try to fight them.