Talk:Louisiana Science Education Act

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Repeal effort[edit]

There is far to much discussion of the repeal effort. Especially a repeal effort that as made such little progress.

Little progress? More Nobel laureates have signed onto this repeal than any other piece of legislation in Louisiana history. The repeal effort has garnered significant national and international media attention. It's an enormously important part of the story of this law.

WHO DO YOU WORK FOR? You are vandalizing Wikipedia with your edits. (talk) 07:51, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

That is a bit harsh. I am 'vandalizing' Wiki? Good grief. And who am I talking to Mrs. Pikachudad (talk) 17:07, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Problems with Recent Edits[edit]

There are recent edits that really are not neutral and do not portray the reality of the law. They have made the first section "Misinformation about the bill" which is biased in the title, and then filled the section with misinformation which disguises the evidence and way the law is actually being used. It's just going to be a mess to fix all the small changes they have made over the course of one day. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

-- You deleted the statements by the Senator who proposed the bill claiming they were opinion... 'Removed definitive, controversial statements about the purpose and intent of this law. Statements were opinion not based in fact.) '.

The bill proponents statement of purpose is hardly 'opinion' Pikachudad (talk) 06:13, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Except that he made those statements in an attempt to obfuscate after he had already stated the purpose of this law was for creationism. That doesn't make them reality, that makes them misleading. Also, it's very clear that the only supporters of this law are creationists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

You can't be serious. Senator Nevers's statements were opinion, not fact. Nevers openly admitted that he introduced the LSEA at the urging of the Louisiana Family Forum, and the Louisiana Family Forum acknowledged that this legislation was based off of a model statute crafted and promoted by the Discovery Institute. Nevers's "statement of purpose" is not a matter of fact. It's completely appropriate to quote Nevers, but it's absurd to suggest that his reasoning for the bill is somehow factual. If you want to present Nevers's opinions, then present them as his opinions, in the full context.

-- excuse me, but the authors statements regarding his bill are not 'opinion'. Why are you so biased Pikachudad (talk) 17:22, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

It's also equally absurd to scrub the most notable thing about this law: the FACT that it's been highly controversial and the subject of two (and now three) internationally publicized repeal efforts. It's stunning that you'd have the audacity to attempt to eliminate this from the summary. (talk) 08:33, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

-- Sorry, but the bill does not appear to be 'highly controversial'. I did not even know of it until last week. There appears to be only a few highly vocal people making specious claims about what the bill does. Pikachudad (talk) 17:22, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

I do not understand the reasoning behind the undoing of my edition. I did not edit the content of the previous version of the page, I merely added additional content showing the other side of the issue. 2 reasons stated for the removal of my edition were A) irrelevancy and B) unrelated to sourcing. However, most all of the points made in my section were pulled from the LSEA testimony (of 2014). I sourced the video, in addition to two other sources for the 2 points that were not from the video, thus making the section correlational with my sources. Furthermore, it does not make sense to label the section as irrelevant, seeing as its only purpose is to supply the other side of the argument. I realize it is not relevant to what is previously written in the wiki page. In fact, that is the reason I wrote it. It is fully relevant to the topic at hand, and not addressed to any extent elsewhere in the Wiki page. However, I do not want to simply repost my segment if there is a valid critique. Therefore, I am posting here before rewriting my segment, so that if there are any changes that I can make (especially to avoid future conflict in this issue), please let me know. P.s: It might help in analyzing my editions of this Wiki page to know that I am not the only user on this IP that has edited the page, however my editions can be distinguished by the fact that I always add a reason, or "edit summary," whereas the other editor from this IP does not. (talk) 07:33, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

I have condensed what is actually said in the source video and is relevant for the article. For instance, the second argument is not in the source and the Darwin quote didn't provide anything that is relevant for the controversy. There is no one claiming that science shouldn't be objective. That the bill is allegedly supposed to teach student more objectivity is already made more than clear in the article. Wikipedia is not the place to present your own arguments and opinions. Any opinion should be found explicitly in the source and should be formulated as terse as possible. The presented opinions should also give a representative cross section. Your text seemed to give way to much weight to the reasoning of one single speaker. I doubt that reposting a segment that is similar to your original one will survive when brought to the attention of Wikipedia:Cleanup. If you are (or related to) the speaker in the video you should consider identifying as such for the sake of your credibility. It would also help to avoid confusion if you used a Wikipedia account. --Theowoll (talk) 11:28, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

-Ok, I have made an account for clarity, and will revise the bias of my section. However, I do think too much was content was cropped out and hope we can reach a compromise. JonBeard99 (talk) 02:08, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

POV issues[edit]

This article is written in a very biased manner. Clearly the intent of this article as written is to launch a scathing attack on the legislation and its advocates. Some rewording is in order to fairly represent what has actually been said about this legislation.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 00:50, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

I just read the article, and it definitely needs some work, but it appears to be a fairly accurate summary of the topics at hand, namely Intelligent Design, the Discovery Institute, previous court rulings, and current press on the act. Could you provide either a new source for the article which discusses it in a different light, or an example of an area where the sources we have are misrepresented? I'm going to remove the POV tag for now, as we want to avoid drive-by tagging, but if you present a solid criticism, we can discuss it and perhaps improve the article. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 07:13, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
1) The bill refer to Intelligent Design at all. The bill's detractors make this claim, but as written, this law does not promote Intelligent Design at all.Pikachudad (talk) 20:14, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Not true. The law is intended to promote Intelligent Design and creationism in the classroom through the use of supplementary materials. (talk) 06:44, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

you need to reread the law. Your claim is incorrect. Pikachudad (talk) 07:52, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

It's absolutely true. You need to learn how to read. (talk) 08:44, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

I can read just fine, thank you very much. Pikachudad (talk) 17:25, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
2) How does the 'Discovery Institute' relate to this law? Source? Pikachudad (talk) 20:14, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

The Discovery Institute wrote the model statute and worked with organizations and legislators in Louisiana to promote this law. Source was added. (talk) 06:44, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

This was also initially sourced, and if there was not a source when Pikachudad edited, it just means someone (likely the Discovery Institute) was messing with the information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

there was no representative from the Discovery Institute at the Senate hearing. The claim does not match debate at the Senate hearing. Pikachudad (talk) 07:52, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Are you kidding? Did you watch the Senate hearing? Who do you work for? The Discovery Institute has promoted the LSEA more than any other organization in the country. No, they didn't testify at the hearing. They didn't need to. THEY WROTE THE MODEL STATUTE. (talk) 08:44, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I watched the Original Senate heaing a few days ago after I stumbled across this incredibly biased and poorly written article. The replies by Senator Cassidy (R) and Sanator Duplessis (D) dto the opposition during the hearing were compellingand destroyed their claims.. Pikachudad (talk) 23:12, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
3) 'previous court rulings'? Court rulings relevant to a law usually occur AFTER said law is passed. Pikachudad (talk) 20:14, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Not true. And you demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of how courts interact with laws. (talk) 06:44, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

oh really? Please cite a court case with respect to this law? Pikachudad (talk) 07:54, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Edwards v. Aguillard and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. Learn how to interpret the law before lecturing others on its import. (talk) 08:44, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

neither of those cases reference this law. They are not relevant. Pikachudad (talk) 17:24, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
4) The article needs to discuss the actual LSEA law and not the detractors claims that this law does. Alternatively, the article should be renamed and focus on the detractors claims. Pikachudad (talk) 20:14, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Because the purpose and intention of the law is in dispute and has been the subject of international media attention, it's disingenuous to assert that any article about the law should exclude mention of the controversy or criticism. There is no objective consensus about the purpose or intent of the law, as demonstrated by the overwhelming criticism it has received. (talk) 06:44, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Just a few of the issues I noticed right away are comments like the bill being "meant to undermine the teaching of evolution" and saying the law's purpose is to "circumvent court rulings" that "invalidated" the teaching of intelligent design (something that does not even appear to be sourced). Most of the article is spent mentioning the various individuals who have criticized the legislation as well, rather than balancing it with what supporters think of the law.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 17:24, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
The Dover v. Kitzmiller case which overturned the teaching of intelligent design in public schools appears to be cited with four external links and one internal link. I would also say calling it a "scathing attack on the legislation and its advocates" is also biased (pardon the tu quoque logical fallacy I just committed). It doesn't use complimentary quotes from the supporters of this law; only ones where they have said that the law is about creationism, but in the end they did say that it was a creationism law. If you want to put in a segment from the Discovery Institute's point of view, that's a fine idea, but you're rather aggressive and inaccurate about calling this as I mentioned "scathing." Also, as an aside, as someone who lives in Louisiana, it's pretty widely accepted by supporters and opponents of the LSEA that it's a creationism law.--Latiger93 (talk) 05:50, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
I am biased . . . . against bias. ;) Saying "the purpose of the law is to circumvent court rulings" in the editorial voice certainly qualifies as a "scathing attack" and that much should be apparent. Criticism should be clearly attributed in-text to the source, especially criticism of such a contentious nature.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 19:39, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
As written, all the law does is allow teachers to present current scientific information that is not yet the seven year old text books. The law in no way appears to allow the 'undermining of evolution'.Pikachudad (talk) 07:49, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

You're clueless. Why are you vandalizing this article if you think the law merely allows teachers to present "current SCIENTIFIC information" not yet available in seven year old textbooks? You think that is what this law does? Seriously? You're absolutely clueless and completely ignorant. Please stop editing an entry about something you so obviously and abundantly fail to understand. (talk) 08:44, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Please cease and desist with he inappropriate name calling. Pikachudad (talk) 17:27, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't call names; but it is hard to believe that you are so completely naive and ingenuous as to believe that this is anything other than what it has clearly been established to be: the latest effort to sneak "intelligent design" into the classroom and to pretend that evolution is controversial among scientists. Assertions to the contrary by the bill's advocates are the ultimate in unreliable sources. --Orange Mike | Talk 18:11, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

You didn't say 'clueless' 'vandalizing' and 'naive'? Hmmmm. Pikachudad (talk) 23:19, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Denialism category[edit]

I have removed Category:Denialism. One editor says it was "obvious", but I don't see that. Certainly, the Act has been accused of being creationistic, but that doesn't mean that every attribute of creationism can be transferred to it. This would need a reference. StAnselm (talk) 11:50, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Also, it seems odd to use the category when Denialism doesn't seem to include the topic. -- (talk) 15:09, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

but what does this act SAY?? what are the provisions??[edit]

This article gives the title of the Act, its legislative history, criticism, and attempts at repeal. But it does't tell us what the Act IS. (talk) 14:17, 15 July 2012 (UTC)captcrisis

I agree with the IP above. The one thing I came to this article looking for is the actual text of the Act, but it was conspicuous by its absence. Its effect is pretty clear from the article, though. Robofish (talk) 01:47, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps the text is absent because the bill does not do what the detractors claim. Link to the original SB561 of 2008 [1] and Link to the bill as passed SB733 of 2008. [2] Pikachudad (talk) 18:13, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
I certainly had a different view of this bill, what it does and does not do after reading the actual act, the digest for the act and listening to the original Senate hearing on the bill. The opponents claim is clearly overblown. The article appears to have been written by these opponents to highlight their work. Pikachudad (talk) 23:26, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Senator Never's comments[edit]

Senator Nevers initially stated that the purpose of the Louisiana Science Education Act was for creatIonism. After he said that, there was a backlash where he attempted to obfuscate and pretend like that was not the purpose of the law. Given that Nevers initially said the law was for creationism, the only backers are creationists, that it is based off a creationist Discovery Institute model, and it is being used to promote creationism, it's pretty clear that the purpose of this law is for creationism. With that in mind, is it appropriate to present Nevers later statements which are misleading and dishonest as the legitimate purpose of this law or to pretend that this law is legitimately aimed at anything other than promoting creationism? I think it's inappropriate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:33, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Louisiana civil code states: "CHAPTER 2 - INTERPRETATION OF LAWS. Art. 9. Clear and unambiguous law When a law is clear and unambiguous and its application does not lead to absurd consequences, the law shall be applied as written and no further interpretation may be made in search of the intent of the legislature." The official purpose of the law is stated in the laws digest. As the law is written, none of your claims as to the laws purpose can be supported. The law clearly bans the teaching if religion. The statements of the bills proponents should be provided in the wiki article. Those statements can be opposed in the anti section. If your claims were true, the Senate committee would not have passed the legislation. As is, both Senators Duplessis and Senator Cassidy corrected the opponents and clarified the extent of the legislation to them.. Pikachudad (talk) 06:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

recent problems[edit]

Recent edits have introduced giant problems in to this article. I may not have time to start fixing them today, but will start fixing them in the near future. If you want to edit this article, please read and understand WP:NOR, WP:SYNTH, WP:RS, and WP:NPOV. I know that seems like a lot of reading, but our content policies are especially important in articles such as these, and a lot of recent edits don't follow them at all. `Kevin Gorman (talk)

recent edits? This article started with huge isues! Pikachudad (talk) 06:40, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

All anti, no pro[edit]

Once again, all of the statements in support of this legislation and the rational for passing this law have been deleted. The only side being presented is that of the detractors. The article is completely unbalanced.. Pikachudad (talk) 22:18, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

-- The proponents statements, like that of Senator Ben Nevers and the Livingston Parish School Board, are being presented. Despite the fact that you don't like the fact that they damage certain claims by the defenders, they are presented. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:56, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

(Redacted attempted outing) Elementary logic dictates that a bill that passes with broad bipartisan support as this legislation did must have reasons for its passage besides the claims made in this article. Those claims can be observed in the statements of Senator Duplessis and Senator Cassidy to the scientists opposing the legisation. They repeatedly state to the scientists that the bill does not appera to do what they caim it does. They provide coherrent reasons as to why they support the passage of this legislation and none of those stated reasons have anything to do with promoting creationism in science class. As such, this article continues to be seriosy unbalanced and violates the neutal point of view. Pikachudad (talk) 04:10, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Please read WP:OUTING. Speculating about the real-world identity of Wikipedia contributors is not okay, whether the speculation is right or wrong. I have redacted your speculation about the identity of the IP editor; please do not do so again.
I agree with you that this article needs quite a lot of work before it's the high quality, comprehensive, neutral article that I hope it one day becomes. If you have specific concerns about the current state of the article, please either address them by adding content that is compliant with our content policies, or by bringing each individual issue up on this talk page (preferably with reliable sources talking about the issues you perceive.) I linked some of our core content policies in my comment on the bottom of this page, they really are critical in writing an article about a subject like this. I would be glad to work with you if you have any questions about any of them, or about any of the edits I've made to this page.
Also, please place new talk page sections at the bottom of the talk page, and not the top. It may seem slightly quirky, but it's Wikipedia tradition. Kevin Gorman (talk) 05:34, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay. Lets move this to the bottom.. Pikachudad (talk) 05:59, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Veto proof majority.[edit]

This legislation passed the Senate unanimously (36 -0 - 4 absent out of 39) and with a sufficient margin in the House -(94-3 - 7 absent out of 105) , that even if Gov Jindal had elected to veto it, the legislature could have overridden the veto. In Louisiana a 2/3 vote is required. So 26 Senate votes and 70 house votes would be sufficient. In that light, request for a veto seems nonproductive. Pikachudad (talk) 03:52, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Why is your opinion on the productivity of a veto request relevant? You're engaging in hypothetical speculation and punditry. Who knows what would have happened if Jindal actually had vetoed this bill!? Seriously-- considering Jindal had tacitly supported this legislation from the beginning, a veto would have likely been upheld. I don't object to noting that the bill passed by a significant margin, but you're stringing together a series of descriptors ("wide, veto proof, bipartisan majority") in the very first sentence, which seems like puffery. (talk) 05:45, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

The distinction that needs to be made is that the bill was not controversial with the legislature. There was essentially unanimous approval of this legislation (sans 3 in the House). Ordinary bills that are 'controversial' pass by a slim margin (51/49) with substantial constituencies voting against the legislation. Even on the two repeal efforts, they could only manage one aye vote each time. Earlier versions of this bill had a request to Jindal from certain scientists to veto the bill in the summary. The point to be pithily made here is that there was no opposition to this bill in the legislature. 'Wide' is not descriptive enough. Veto-proof only gets us up to a 66% level. What is a good descriptive word for a bill that passes with a 97% plus plurality? The article implies in the summary (perhaps in earlier versions) that a Jindal veto would have been decisive. With that level of support however, a veto is not likely to stand. Essentially this bill had the support of every single caucus in the legislature. Pikachudad (talk) 07:00, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Are you unaware about how the Louisiana legislature functions? That margin doesn't mean the bill was uncontroversial. It means the Louisiana Family Forum and Governor Jindal wield exorbitant power. Check out Gene Mills and floor notes and how Governor Jindal controls committee positions. If they're for this bill, legislators were bullied into going along. If Governor Jindal was against the bill, there would be a massively different result. This is original research, but I'm sure the case could be made by digging up some articles. -- (talk) 07:09, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Spot on. It may be difficult to understand for an outsider, but in Louisiana, the Governor effectively controls the committee assignments, the speakership, and the Senate Presidency. Pikachudad, you may think you've uncovered evidence that the LSEA was somehow not controversial; you're wrong: It was. And a Jindal veto would have been decisive, regardless of the vote margin. Just look at the legislative pay raise bill that the legislature passed with Jindal's approval. After Jindal was pressured to veto the bill, the legislature fell in line. You presume the legislature acts independently, as a co-equal branch of government. In Louisiana, it doesn't. (talk) 08:35, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
PS: You also misrepresent the repeal efforts. The repeals were never voted on by the full House or the full Senate. They both died in the Senate Education Committee. The first repeal was heard by a committee led by Nevers himself. The second repeal was only voted on by three Senators. You seriously misunderstand and underestimate the power of the Governor over the legislature. (talk) 08:42, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Vandalism by Deleting References[edit]

Someone has vandalized the article by removing this article from the second reference in the reference section. Please stop deleting references that you dislike. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:59, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

said reference does not refer to SB 733. Pikachudad (talk) 04:05, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Renaming and numbering a bill does not mean it's a different bill. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:20, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
With all due respect, yes it does mean that it is a different bill. The legislative practice for minor changes or repairs to a bill is through amendment prior to the bill being heard. The only reason to substitute a bill is to make wholesale changes. Pikachudad (talk) 04:44, 6 February 2013 (UTC) Not true. (talk) 05:51, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Well it's the same bill modeled off the exact same Discovery Institute statute, so you're wrong. -- (talk) 04:47, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Here's the history of the bill -- (talk) 04:50, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Please cite a credible, unbiased source. The actual history of bills can be found on the Louisiana legislative site.Pikachudad (talk) 20:55, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

weak reasoning by critic to explain loss[edit]

The article contains the following quote by Dr. Forrest. There opposition had a well represented group (20 requesting speakers mentioned in Senate hearing). Yet they lost by unanimous vote in the Senate and only garnered 3 votes in the house. In the two repeal efforts, they only managed one vote each time. The Louisiana Family Forum is a strong group in the legislature, but his legislation passed overwhelmingly. A review of the hearings indicates the opposition is not making points relevant to the legislation.

Dr. Barbara Forrest, professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond[3], a prominent critic of the Discovery Institute and the intelligent design movement, has explained that she thinks the law itself passed because

"In Louisiana, we had no organizational framework to respond to [the Louisiana Science Education Act]. One of the ways that Florida, for example, has kept [creationism] out is they have a very active, well organized Florida Citizens for Science. At the time we didn’t have that. I and a couple of people, very, very quickly, had to get something together. [Although] there weren’t very many of us… we did put up some opposition, but Louisiana Family Forum had been planning such a move probably since their founding in 1998."[4]

"In Louisiana, we had no organizational framework to respond to [the Louisiana Science Education Act]. One of the ways that Florida, for example, has kept [creationism] out is they have a very active, well organized Florida Citizens for Science. At the time we didn’t have that. I and a couple of people, very, very quickly, had to get something together. [Although] there weren’t very many of us… we did put up some opposition, but Louisiana Family Forum had been planning such a move probably since their founding in 1998."[5]

A full review of Senator Quinn's questions in the first repeal effort (besides the colorful quote post) shows why they were unable to obtain her vote an the vote of most of the rest of the committee. Pikachudad (talk) 04:14, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

A full review of Senator Quinn's questions shows her polling the audience and insulting students. And we should mention that Senator Walsworth in a later hearing spent a large amount of time arguing against teaching evolution. That's a pretty strong indicator that this is about evolution and creationism. Teaching the controversy has been documented over and over as creationist language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:24, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Well yes, now look at the relevant question that she asked. Pikachudad (talk) 04:59, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect claim here[edit]

This section is incorrect. What is the best way to correct it.

Creationism --- Critics of the Louisiana Science Education Act call the law a creationism law, because it singles out specific scientific theories, which happen to be politically controversial, for teachers to “critique and review” using “supplemental materials.” The theories in question include “evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and cloning.”[29]

Jerry Coyne, a prominent biologist and President of the Society for the Study of Evolution sarcastically illustrated what he perceived as problematic about the law by saying, “Yep, we don’t need more critical thinking in areas like physics, chemistry, or medicine—just human cloning, evolution, and global warming.”[30]

Actual bill says...

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 does not single out specific theories. The bill lists three examples in a non-exclusive list. (Ie. including, but not limited to). So Mr. Coyne's complaint is incorrect. The bill does allow critical thinking in other areas (he cites physics, chemistry or medicine. When making an illustrative but none inclusive list, three items is typical number to be representative of the class without being overly burdensome.

So for example the 'big bang' theory might be reviewed. A class might conduct a review of the steady state theory for example.

There could certainly be some lively discussions on new theories such as dark matter and dark energy... The field of ocsmology is articularly dynamic right now.

Perhaps Newton/Einstein's theories regarding gravity would make a good critical review. Perhaps some discussion on gravity waves given the LIGO project in Livingston is within firld trip distance.

There is certainly plenty of advances, almost daily in astronomy, that can be critiqued. Mars rover finds... New extra-solar planets...

Instead of looking at the glass being 10% empty, perhaps you should look at it being 90% full. Pikachudad (talk) 05:35, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Then why were the specific examples given at all. If the sponsor of the bill thought gravity needed critique, why didn't he say it? -- (talk) 05:39, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
As stated above in the text of the law, the list is nit exclusive. Which three topics would you have preferred to see listed? Pikachudad (talk) 05:49, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
None of those. They're not scientifically controversial and there is no legitimate way to claim otherwise. -- (talk) 05:55, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
So do you have any scientific theories you would care to suggest? Pikachudad (talk) 06:18, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
That's not my job, because generally science is not controversial among scientists. Incorrect burden of proof. You want to claim science is controversial and needs to critique, then science that is actually controversial and needs to be critiqued should be brought up. Evolution and climate change don't fall in this category. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:24, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

relevance of Tennessee law to article[edit]

Okay, How would you prefer this issue addressed. Reference 63 refers to this bill, as does the first section of the legacy section. The claim is made that the fight against LSEA stopped these other bills. However, this bill has since passed. So this articles claim is no longer valid. Also, have all references to Louisiana having the 'only' law of this kind been changed? I see it has in the summary to 'first of its kind'. There may be some other vestiges of the 'sole' claim in the article.

Nine academic freedom bills were proposed in various state legislatures in 2011. The effort to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act may have had an effect in dampening the pressure to pass those bills.[63]

====Passage of similar legislation in Tennessee====

Similarly worded legislation was passed the Tennessee legislature, House Bill 368 by Dunn[6] and Senate Bill 893 by Watson, and became law on April 2012.[7] The legislation passed through both houses with wide, bipartisan support. The legislation passed through the house by a vote of 70-23 and through the Senate by a margin of 25 to 8. In part, the bill states:

This bill prohibits the state board of education and any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or principal or administrator from prohibiting any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught, such as evolution and global warming.

That reference was from 2011 when the bill was on hold. It says:


House Bill 368 (HB 368) Aim: "teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories"...including evolution, global warming, the chemical origin of life, and human cloning. Status: Passed in the House, 4/7/2011. Senate version postponed until 2012 session.

Senate Bill 893 (SB 893) Aim: Identical to HB 368. Status: Postponed until 2012 session

The same site contains a reference to the passage of this legislation. The title is ""Monkey bill" enacted in Tennessee" dated April 10, 2012.


june 5th the same site claimed "Call 2012 the Year of the Copycat. Many of the antievolution bills proposed this year were old bills that were simply dusted off and offered up as new. A 2011 Tennessee bill—largely drawn from Louisiana's infamous 2008 Science Education Act—was revived and signed into law in April. Among other things, this classic "academic freedom" bill lets teachers "help" students critique evolution, global warming, and more. This means there are now two states in the Union—Louisiana and Tennessee—that have anti-evolution and anti-climate change education laws on the books."[9]

Pikachudad (talk) 06:35, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

perhaps you can find a source from a more neutral site for me. Critic Barbara Forrest — Southeastern Louisiana University - is on the Board of the NCSE. Pikachudad (talk) 06:27, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
such as this one in Nature. "NATURE | NEWS Tennessee ‘monkey bill’ becomes law" Pikachudad (talk) 06:35, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
And Dr. Forrest is one of the most prominent experts on creationism and the intelligent design movement. Ask Judge John Jones if you disagree. The creationists tried to discredit her this way in court. Google Kizmiller if you want to know how that went for them. Her credentials are pretty much impeccable. -- (talk) 07:11, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

If there are secondary reliable sources that discuss the Tennessee bill in relation to the Louisiana one, feel free to include some material about it in the article, but please, include in-line citations for whatever content you add. I'm slowly trying to strip out all of the unreferenced or poorly referenced content from this article, and removed that section because it only cited unrelated primary sources. Kevin Gorman (talk) 08:09, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Okay, no hurry. I have only been reviewing this issue for about a week or so now. There do not appear to be many reliable secondary sources on this issue, and I have made it through only 2 of the primary sources (legislative session hearings) so far. Do the WIKI rules consider Forrest run NCES a [reliable source] on this issue. Or do we have to find sources separate from Forrest because she is one of the key activists seeking the repeal of this legislation. Pikachudad (talk) 19:32, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
There's nothing inherently wrong with using sources that have strong opinions or that are connected to people who have strong opinions, as long as they otherwise meet our guidelines about reliable sources. I would consider the NCSE a reliable source in most contexts for statements of fact, although their opinions should always be attributed to them. They have editorial oversight, are generally fairly well respected, and are an affiliate of the AAAS, a very prominent scientific society. I would consider the NCSE article you linked here an acceptable source in this context, as well as the Nature source.
As a side note, the NCSE isn't run by Forrest. She's one of nine members of their board of directors, which certainly means she is involved with them, but is not an officer of the board or an employee of the organization. Kevin Gorman (talk) 22:41, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Reputation issues[edit]

Jerry Coyne[edit]

The quote from Jerry Coyne's blog, a prominent biologist and President of the Society for the Study of Evolution, is problematic and in my view harms his reputation. The quote states:

“Yep, we don’t need more critical thinking in areas like physics, chemistry, or medicine—just human cloning, evolution, and global warming.”[39]

On reading the entire block, he also states:

"The thing is, though, that the critical- thinking mandate concentrates on only a few areas—and you can guess which ones. The thing is, though, that the critical- thinking mandate concentrates on only a few areas—and you can guess which ones."

As pointed out above, these statements are tangibly incorrect. The list in the act are illustrative only. The courts interpretation of this law would be that, given that they are required to use a plain the critical thinking mandate would apply to physics, chemistry and medicine.

Of the illustrative list, only one refers to evolution. Global warming and Human Cloning for example are not related to the theory of evolution at all.

It would be better for this scientists reputation to not quote this misstatement of what the law does.

Surely there is a better quote to be had from him? Let this misstatement slide down the rabbit hole of history. Pikachudad (talk) 19:32, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't like the Coyne quote as it stands in the article, and intend to remove it or at least change the way in which it is used when my rewrite of the article gets to that section. I definitely don't think it's a great quote to start off a section labelled 'creationism' with.
However, I must point out that we, as Wikipedians, should not attempt to use our own original opinions to decide that a reliable source is wrong. You personally think that his quote is incorrect because the list is intended to be illustrative only; I personally think his quote has a point, because I don't think it is coincidental that those three particular illustrative examples were chosen. But neither of our opinions matter: we go off what is written and said in reliable sources. It's perfectly appropriate to include a quote by a prominent critic of the LSEA in the article, especially when he happens to be a well respected biologist. (If you can find a quote from an appropriate source/prominent supporter of the LSEA or something that explains why they think Coyne's interpretation is incorrect, we could always juxtapose the two quotes where appropriate.) Kevin Gorman (talk) 22:58, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Julie Quinn[edit]

I was going to say that someone else should review the Sen Q. quote. WP:COI "You should also not write about people with whom you could reasonably be said to have an antagonistic relationship in real life."

A friend alerted me to the CenLamar article making the claim she was a 'creationist'. From there I bounced to here. Given that the article was atrociously written and biased, I started to work on cleaning it up. While there may be plenty of issues to criticize her on (I can't because of self promotion and lack of secondary sources) the claim she is a 'creationist' would not hold water. Pikachudad (talk) 19:32, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Can you point out what precisely you're talking about? I don't see her described as a creationist anywhere in this article. Kevin Gorman (talk) 23:02, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
This article. Video labels her[10] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pikachudad (talkcontribs) 20:48, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Barbara Forrest and American's United[edit]

How is Americans United separate and distinct from Barbara Forrest? How should the article identify the linkage between Forrest and AU? Currently, the article implies they are completely independent of each other. This is clearly not the case.

"The Americans United for Separation of Church and State is also worried about the process for parents to challenge supplemental materials brought into the classroom, because “the proposed procedure for reviewing challenged supplemental materials... appears designed to provide a forum for promoting creationism.[44]"

On Nov 14, 2010, Barbara Forrest introduces Judge John Jones and starts of by saying "My name is Barbara Forrest, I am on the education committee and the board of trustees"[11]

It appears that "Americans United" is not a separate organization, but rather one that Mrs. Forrest has considerable involvement in. She is cited by them as a American's United Board of Trustee starting in December 2007.

The Americans United website has 19 references to Barbara Forrest during the past seven years. Their site lists these references to her:

Pikachudad (talk) 06:38, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Would you mind cutting the list of references out, or collapsing it? It makes this whole section really hard to read. (I'm going to avoid giving an opinion about your actual question for now, because I intend to pretty much 100% rewrite the entire critics/creationism section. I'll revisit this question after the rewrite if it's still relevant.) Kevin Gorman (talk) 23:05, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Awesome idea. Thanks for the cool suggestion. I learned how to make a collapsable table!!! That is a good way to store those links. Some of them may be appropriate for the article. Perhaps she rises to the level of point person on this issue for this organization. What is the appropriate/typical way of notifying readers of the connection? Should be okay as long the connection is clear. Pikachudad (talk) 01:19, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

'Critical Thinking Skills'. A bit of levity from Colbert[edit]

The argument here appears to be between those promoting critical thinking skills based learning versus those promoting learning a list facts. So jumping one state over, here is Colberts take, via the Washington Post, on people opposing 'critical thinking'.

“The minds of young people are being poisoned by knowledge, but thankfully Texas is the Large Hadron Collider of denying science.” [12]. Hilarious video of Colbert skewering the Texas GOP for

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Pikachudad (talk) 20:10, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

verification of source[edit]

Someone added a verify source request tag to the statement that the bill is based off of the discovery institute's model statute. The source in question verifies that the bill is an 'academic freedom' bill. Here's a direct quote from the source that verifies the claim: "The Louisiana Science Education Act, passed in June and deemed the first "academic freedom" law passed by a state," (I have a free subscription to highbeam from WP:HIGHBEAM.) The source does not verify the statement that the bill is based off of the Discovery Institute's model statute, however. I will add a source that verifies this statement as well, and then remove the verify source tag. Kevin Gorman (talk) 18:14, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

I have now added a times-picayune article that verifies the claim that the bill is based off of the Discovery Institute's model statute. Kevin Gorman (talk) 18:17, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I am not to keen on using James Gill as a reliabe source! How about this source as an alternative. [13]. An Evolving Controversy

The Struggle to Teach Science in Science Classes. By Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer page 18.

I am really liking this source! We have some actual research here and a scholarly review of the issues. Pikachudad (talk) 04:36, 14 February 2013 (UTC)


I have a free subscription to highbeam from WP:HIGHBEAM.

WOW. That looks like a really cool tool. I had never heard of it before. That is the best incentive yet for becoming a contributing Wiki editor. What do we have to do to gain access (besides 1,000 edits)? How does it compare to google and google scholar? Pikachudad (talk) 19:13, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Civil Code Article 9 and 10[edit]

A search of court cases shows no court challenge to the LSEA.

The difficulty with a court challenge is that the courts are mandated to use the 'clear and unambiguous' law as written. The 'wink and a nod' claim does not hold water.

The Louisiana Civil Code mandates that when a law is clear and unambiguous and the application of the law does not lead to absurd consequences, the law must be applied as written without any further interpretation of the intent of the legislature. La.Civ.Code art. 9 (West 1993). However, where a statute is ambiguous or susceptible of two reasonable interpretations, statutory interpretation is necessary. State v. Randall, 219 La. 578, 53 So.2d 689 (1951). 617 So.2d 885 (1993) TOUCHARD v. WILLIAMS No. 92-C-2919. Supreme Court of Louisiana. April 12, 1993.

And later

The function of statutory interpretation and the construction to be given legislative acts rests with the judicial branch of government. State v. Sissons, 292 So.2d 523 (La.1974); Ethyl Corp. v. Collector of Revenue, 351 So.2d 1290 (La. App. 1st Cir.1977). The Civil Code and related jurisprudence establish guidelines for statutory interpretation. Louisiana Civil Code article 10 provides:

When the language of the law is susceptible of different meanings, it must be interpreted as having the meaning that best conforms to the purpose of the law. The Code also suggests that ambiguous text be interpreted according to the generally prevailing meaning of the words employed in the statute. La.Civ.Code art. 11 (West 1993); Bradford v. City of Shreveport, 305 So.2d 487 (La.1975).

[14]Pikachudad (talk) 21:21, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

a pro article in Central City News. Sep 2013[edit]

Finally found a pro article. [15]. Pikachudad (talk) 04:00, 15 February 2013 (UTC). (central Ity is Baton Rouge)

a balanced neutral article here giving pros and cons[edit]

Political Horizons for April 29, 2012 ‘Science’ issue back again

BY WILL SENTELL Capitol news bureau April 30, 2012

Two years and two votes attracted just two supporters for a bill that would repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act. Not only is there next-to-zero support to scrap the law. The issue is not even controversial, at least among Louisiana House and Senate members who make the call. Four other committee members were apparently unenthused about the debate and they missed the vote. However, even if all seven had been on hand the repeal bill was considered dead on arrival. The same thing happened in the same committee in 2011.

... Will Sentell covers state education policy for The Advocate’s Capitol news bureau. His email address is

[16]Pikachudad (talk) 04:28, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Debate on the act at press club in Baton Rouge Passman v Forrest[edit]

− Two articles on a debate. One announcing it. Educators to discuss science, creationism at Press Club

− April 23, 2012[17] and the other reporting it.[18] Pikachudad (talk) 04:28, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

implementation policy by central school board[edit]

Another from the Baton Rouge Advocate. ... The new policy received little discussion Monday and no one spoke against it. After the policy passed in a 6-0 vote, a handful of people in the audience indicated their approval with smiles and thumbs up gestures.

Willard Easley was the only board member not present.

Superintendent Michael Faulk said the policy has been on the school system’s website for the past two weeks and no one emailed in support or opposition of it. A copy of the policy can be found at this link: ... [19] Pikachudad (talk) 04:51, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Critical Thinking[edit]

It seems we need to begin at the beginning and define 'criticl thinking'

Science as argument. Implications for teaching and eaning scientific thinking. Deanna Kuhn [20]

Critical thinking, what it is, why it counts...[21]

Strategies for teaching critical thinking. [22]. Pikachudad (talk) 06:09, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Biology & Environmental Science Classrooms Daniel D. Chiras The American Biology Teacher[23] Pikachudad (talk) 06:11, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Popper quotes.[edit]

[24] Normal' science, in Kuhn's sense, exists. It is the activity of the non-revolutionary, or more precisely, the not-too-critical professional: of the science student who accepts the ruling dogma of the day... in my view the 'normal' scientist, as Kuhn describes him, is a person one ought to be sorry for... He has been taught in a dogmatic spirit: he is a victim of indoctrination... I can only say that I see a very great danger in it and in the possibility of its becoming normal... a danger to science and, indeed, to our civilization. And this shows why I regard Kuhn's emphasis on the existence of this kind of science as so important. — Karl Raimund Popper 'Normal Science and its Dangers', in I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge (1970), 52-3. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pikachudad (talkcontribs) 06:35, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory—if we look for confirmations. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions... A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice. Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or refute it. — Karl Raimund Popper Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1963), 36. [25]Pikachudad (talk) 06:38, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Science does not rest upon solid bedrock. The bold structure of its theories rises, as it were, above a swamp. It is like a building erected on piles. The piles are driven down from above into the swamp, but not down to any natural or 'given' base; and when we cease our attempts to drive our piles into a deeper layer, it is not because we have reached firm ground. We simply stop when we are satisfied that they are firm enough to carry the structure, at least for the time being. (1959) — Karl Raimund Popper The Logic of Scientific Discovery: Logik Der Forschung (2002), 94. Science quotes on: | Science (754) | Theory (319) Pikachudad (talk) 06:39, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

found a second (probably the first) implementation by a school board[edit]

Ouachitta has come up a few times in the articles by Forrest. So I searched for them regarding the act.

The School board has this download referencing their policy adopted 2006[26] It is posted online at

They cite a

"WHEREAS, diverse organizations including Americans United for Separation of Church and State and American Civil Liberties Union have acknowledged that “any genuinely scientific evidence for or against any explanation of life may be taught” (5), and;"

"(5) Joint Statement of Current Law on Religion in the Public Schools (4/12/1995) Religion In The Public Schools: A Joint Statement Of Current Law (Accessed July 20, 2006)."[27] Pikachudad (talk) 20:19, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

okay. What is wrong with my collapsable list? Pikachudad (talk) 20:36, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
nevermind. Figured it out.Pikachudad (talk) 20:40, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

This appears to the pertinent portion of the statement that they are referring to.

"6. These same rules apply to the recurring controversy surrounding theories of evolution. Schools may teach about explanations of life on earth, including religious ones (such as "creationism"), in comparative religion or social studies classes. In science class, however, they may present only genuinely scientific critiques of, or evidence for, any explanation of life on earth, but not religious critiques (beliefs unverifiable by scientific methodology). Schools may not refuse to teach evolutionary theory in order to avoid giving offense to religion nor may they circumvent these rules by labeling as science an article of religious faith. Public schools must not teach as scientific fact or theory any religious doctrine, including "creationism," although any genuinely scientific evidence for or against any explanation of life may be taught. Just as they may neither advance nor inhibit any religious doctrine, teachers should not ridicule, for example, a student's religious explanation for life on earth. " Pikachudad (talk) 20:43, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

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  4. ^ Barbara Forrest. "Interview with Barbara Forrest, Defender of Evolution". Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
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