John G. West Political Scientist and Cultural Critic

Associated Press Story Accurately Presents Debate over Louisiana Science Education Act

Published at Evolution News

The first Associated Press story is out about the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act by Louisiana’s House of Representatives, and I’m pleased to say that it supplies an accurate description of the arguments both for and against the bill. That may not seem like a big deal, but when it comes to major media coverage of the evolution issue, it is. The beginning of the story states:

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A proposal that would let science teachers change how they teach topics like evolution, cloning and global warming in public schools was overwhelmingly approved Wednesday by the Louisiana House.

The bill by Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, would let teachers supplement school science textbooks with other materials. The House voted 94-3 for the measure.

The Senate already has agreed to the bill, but it heads back to that chamber for approval of a provision that would allow the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to prohibit supplemental materials it deems inappropriate. Nevers said he will ask the Senate to approve the amendment. He stressed that the amendment does not require BESE to review all the materials. The state board would only step in if someone raised a question about whether the material was appropriate.

Supporters say the bill — titled the “Louisiana Science Education Act” — is designed to promote critical thinking, strengthen education and help teachers who are confused about what’s acceptable for science classes.

“It basically protects teachers to be able to teach controversial subjects in science without looking over their shoulders,” said Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe, who handled the bill in the House. He also said the bill was not aimed at promoting any religious doctrine.

Earlier we had criticized the AP in Louisiana for its reporting about this issue. It’s nice to see some improvement.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.
Discovery Institute