John G. West Political Scientist and Cultural Critic

Louisiana House Adopts Academic Freedom Bill on Evolution and Other Science Issues

Published at Evolution News

The Louisiana House of Representatives just approved the Louisiana Science Education Act by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 94-3. The bill previously passed the Louisiana Senate by a vote of 35-0. Because there was a minor amendment to the bill in the House, the bill now goes back to the Senate for its concurrence, but the original author of the bill (Senator Nevers) has indicated his support for the slightly amended version, and so Senate concurrence is likely.

The Louisiana Science Education Act is designed to safeguard the right of Louisiana teachers “to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” The bill emphatically states that it “shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.” Thus, any claims that this bill is about “creationism” are completely bogus.

Prior to the House vote, Rep. Frank Hoffmann gave an excellent statement of the reasons for the bill, emphasizing that its focus is on science and that it cannot be used to promote religion. I’m sure the other side will now go into overdrive trying to misrepresent the bill. Let’s hope people actually read the legislation for themselves so they will see that the hysterical rhetoric of the other side is just that—rhetoric.

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