Science Group Boycotts Louisiana Over Law

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New York Times: “Boycott by Science Group Over Louisiana Law Seen as Door to Teaching Creationism” Some evolutionists are taking the culture war over origins to the next step: boycotting an entire U.S. state in protest of the state’s education laws.

The state is Louisiana, where last summer Governor Bobby Jindal signed a law allowing teachers to “use supplemental textbooks . . . to help students critique and review scientific theories,” though the bill clarified that it should not be used to “promote any religious doctrine.” Of course, any language suggesting critical thinking or open discussion of any science sounds alarms among evolutionists, who want to keep all questions out of evolutionary indoctrination.

Any language suggesting critical thinking or open discussion of any science sounds alarms among evolutionists.

Now, in response to the law, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology announced that it will move its 2011 conference from New Orleans to Salt Lake City, Utah. (This year’s conference brought nearly 2,000 academics to Boston.)

The president of the SICB executive committee, University of North Carolina–Wilmington’s Richard Satterlie, sent a letter telling Gov. Jindal:

It is the firm opinion of SICB’s leadership that this law undermines the integrity of science and science education in Louisiana. . . . The S.I.C.B. leadership could not support New Orleans as our meeting venue because of the official position of the state in weakening science education and specifically attacking evolution in science curricula.

(You can read the full text of the letter on SICB’s website [PDF].)

The New York Times reports that Gov. Jindal’s office has been nonchalant, with spokesman Kyle Plotkin commenting, “That’s too bad. New Orleans is a first-class city for a convention.”

Answers in Genesis is also aware of at least one other organization that has received pressure from members to follow suit and abandon New Orleans as a conference city.

Usually when a perceived “anti-evolution” bill passes in a state or community, evolutionists complain that the locale’s children will end up underprepared academically; the common threat is that the locale will not be able to attract scientific jobs in the future. However, the SICB’s boycott shows how such a situation could arise solely out of the perception of poor education: even if Louisiana’s students are now twice as scientifically literate thanks to the new law, evolutionary institutions will refuse to associate with Louisiana, a priori. This corresponds with the general evolutionary insinuation that no matter what scientific degrees you have, you can’t be a “real scientist” unless you accept evolution.

A second point of interest is that the SICB boycott has come even before there’s any evidence that the new law is being used to undermine the teaching of evolution. Again, this reinforces evolutionists’ unwillingness to allow any questioning or critical thinking of their pet theory. But then again, evolutionists haven’t always waited on “evidence” anyway!


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