This year Louisiana will use over 11 million dollars of taxpayer money to fund fundamentalist Christian schools teaching Biblical creationism. Under a controversial new voucher program, public school funds will be used to pay for tuition and certain fees at private schools devoted to Christian indoctrination and training.
In other words, under the leadership of Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana will be using taxpayer money to fund the abuse of innocent children by allowing religious superstition and dogma to pass as science education.
Reports indicate that of the roughly 6,600 slots available through the state’s controversial new voucher program for publicly funded private school tuition, 1,350 will be filled at private Christian schools that teach creationism and peg evolution as “false science.”
Jindal’s administration has been consistently and vehemently anti-science and anti-evolution. Jindal supported, signed, and defended the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), a pernicious law that allows irresponsible teachers to sneak creationism into public school science classrooms by using creationist supplemental materials. The voucher program continues Jindal’s pattern of promoting his brand of Christian fundamentalism while hindering the legitimate science education of children.
Using taxpayer money to promote ignorant religious superstition and dogma is wrong. Teaching Biblical creationism as science is wrong, and ultimately harms children by painting a false and misleading picture of reality.
Despite the protests of Christian fundamentalists like Governor Jindal, Biblical creationism is not a legitimate alternative to the theory of evolution. A failure to accept the reality of biological evolution is like a failure to accept the reality of gravity. One may claim that gravity is not real, or that 2 + 2 = 5, or that the earth is a plane rather than a sphere, yet such claims can be dismissed as false.
Evolution is the single, unifying scientific explanation for the diversity of life on earth, and the foundation upon which the biological sciences are built. The scientific theory of evolution is accepted by an overwhelming majority of mainstream scientists around the world as the cornerstone of biology. To deny the reality of evolution is to deny the foundation upon which modern medicine and related biological sciences are built.
The belief that Biblical creationism constitutes a legitimate alternative to the theory of evolution constitutes powerful evidence in support of the claim that religion breeds ignorance. Louisiana, and Governor Jindal, are abusing children when they allow taxpayer money to fund the irresponsible and misguided attempt to indoctrinate children with religious superstition and ignorance while at the same time denying children a legitimate education in the biological sciences.
“Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back. And it’s fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don’t believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don’t believe in science, that’s a recipe for disaster. We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.”
― Bill Nye
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