Our Views: A new effort for science

With admirable persistence, state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson is pushing again for repeal of what most experts consider Louisiana’s “stealth creationism” law.

Peterson, D-New Orleans, would repeal the misnamed Louisiana Science Education Act, passed in 2008 in the first flush of victory by Gov. Bobby Jindal and backers among religious fundamentalists. Previous efforts for repeal have been blocked in the Senate Education Committee.

Ostensibly, the law is to allow divergent opinions to be taught in public school classrooms about evolution and global warming, among other topics. But in reality, it is cover for introducing religious views into science classrooms.

Louisiana’s is a groundbreaker for other proposals in states to question the theory of evolution, basic to the biological sciences. Peterson’s battle for repeal of the law is an important national concern.

As we noted last year, the conservative Fordham Institute has criticized this measure as promoting “anti-evolution pressures” that undermine state science standards.

A leader of the anti-creationism forces is Rice University student Zack Kopplin, a Baton Rouge native who noted that the questioning of evolution provokes widespread criticism and ridicule of the state. Zopplin organized an open letter of 78 Nobel laureates calling for repeal.

“We believe that this spring we can muster the votes we need to pass” a repeal bill, Kopplin said.

We hope so and commend the efforts to repeal this creationist stalking horse.