Monday, February 16, 2009

Louisiana: Epicenter of Stupidity

National science group boycotting Louisiana in protest of Science Education Act

I think BJSD said it best in the comment section of this article:

Once again New Orleans pays for Baton Rouge's stupidity. We need to get this city out of Louisiana if it is going to survive.

I am actually in due diligence process right now for a new documentary about the Louisiana Science Education Act. In case you don't know, Louisiana is now on the forefront of the stealth religious battle to push creationism back into the classroom. I think it is important for my fellow bloggers to understand what is going on and who the players are in this farce. I have recently been fully enlightened as to the actual nature of the LSEA, who is behind it, and the implications it has for our state....please allow me to share.

Many of you probably know about the landmark case in Dover, Pennsylvania, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, in which Judge John E. Jones, III ruled that "Intelligent Design" was not science and that the book "Of Pandas and People" published by The Discovery Institute did indeed have a religious bias and could not be permitted into classrooms under his interpretation of the Constitution. If you aren't familiar with the case, this NOVA documentary is an incredible account of it:

The bright spot of the documentary for Louisiana was that one of our own professors, Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor from South East Louisiana University, went above and beyond the call of duty in the case and provided the critical proof that "Of Pandas and People" was originally written with a religious bias to promote creationism. She was truly the champion of the case.

After this defeat, the Discovery Institute has stealthily brought the battle to her own backyard....Louisiana. Our state has proven to be the perfect battleground for their fight thanks to the efforts of the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) and our own "I see dead people" Governor Jindal , as well as the swarming mass of idiots north of I-10 which comprise our state legislature.

First let's establish the true players in this game.

Senator Ben Nevers from Bogalusa claimed that one of his aides wrote the Louisiana Science Education Bill. Bullshit. The Discovery Institute wrote it, gave it to Gene Mills of the LFF who in turn gave it to Nevers. So understand that this bill is not the whim of some backwoods Senator who probably can't even spell evolution....this bill came down from the most powerful creationist lobbying entity in the nation, The Discovery Institute, through the hands of the most powerful lobbying entity in the state of Louisiana (yes they are, and we better start paying attention), The LFF.

On the opposing side, we have, of course, Professor Forrest and the Louisiana chapter of the ACLU. They are few in number and need help....if you happen to be interested.

The next thing I want you to know is exactly what the law states and why it's so fucked up. Essentially the Dover ruling drove a stake through the heart of the semantic, trojan horse: "Intelligent Design". It has been officially ruled unscientific and not allowed to be taught in the classroom. So.....stop using it. Don't even say the word anymore, because it doesn't exist....even the dickheads who created it don't use it anymore.

With the Dover case established, The Discovery Institute took a page from the Neo-Con handbook and decided to write the Louisiana Science Education bill in parlance which is exactly the opposite of what it is, i.e., The Patriot Act. So they called their affront to science a "science education act." gets worse. Without going through the entire is the critical part of it: Teachers are now allowed to bring "supplemental material" into the classroom to promote "critical thinking". Thats the shit. So you see what they've done? Instead of promoting an actual theory as they did with Intelligent Design, they've now changed their strategy by using this semantic construct "critical thinking" to slip whatever they want into the Louisiana curriculum. How are you going to present a legal case against "critical thinking"? You're not....because critical thinking is the basis for all science.

So we essentially just passed a law which states the obvious...that education should promote critical thinking....but the term "critical thinking" in the context of this law is semantically pregnant with a litter of genetically altered chimeras....

or maybe it's just one cerberus whose first head is creationism, second head is anti-global warming, and third head is anti-stem cell research. It now guards the gates to the underworld of religious stupidity.

Which actually brings me to the second important aspect of this stupid law. The supplemental material cannot contain any reference to that was clearly ruled unconstitutional in the Dover case. So who decides if the material has any religious connotations? Get this....local Louisiana school boards...yeah....holy shit (pun intended). Teachers who wish to present supplemental material into the classroom must first present it to their local school board for approval....then if there is any protest, the material will be brought before the BESE Board for a final ruling. You see what they've done? This law effectively takes the decision out of the hands of the judicial branch and puts it into the hands of a minor...usually inept.....local, legislative body. This is exactly how the Dover case began....with a bunch of idiotic, religious asswipes on the Dover school board. Think about how many of those stupid fuckers we have on Louisiana school boards. So now the LSEA has effectively nullified the Dover decision and put the power back into the hands of hundreds of local, redneck, bible-thumping, school board members in Louisiana.

So how do you fight this? I'm not a lawyer, but I really can't see any substantial legal argument against the law as it is currently written. The only way a legal case can be brought against it is to wait until a school or teacher does the inevitable....bring creationist literature into the classroom. Only then can a parent file suit against the school board, BESE board, and finally the state itself to challenge the law's constitutionality.

BUT....BUT....(devilish grin on my face)....there is nothing to stop you from exploiting this stupid ass, ambiguous, poppycock law to really piss off the LFF and the Discovery Institute. Any supplemental text can be introduced as long as it doesn't reference religion. So I'm thinking that the Theory of the Giant Spaghetti Monster, The Order of Jedi, the Astronaut/God theory, even Anton La Vey's brand of Satanism could all be potential qualifiers for supplemental material. Not to mention the thousands of creation myths worldwide which could be presented independently of the culture or religion they originated from. I could definitely present the Yoruba Cosmology version as it is really more of a philosophy than religion. Our Legislature is responsible for passing this bill and hence created this slippery slope...I just want to shove them down it and watch their faces as they slide into the chasm of dumbassness.

I'm actually working on my own theory akin to the Giant Spaghetti Monster called the Theory of the Omnipotent Crawfish. I surmise that a giant crawfish actually triggered the big bang and started the first arrow of time as Stehpen Hawking called it in A Brief History of Time. But instead of moving headlong into time, because our true creator was a crawfish, we are moving ass-forward through time....clasping our pinchers at anything we see as it passes us at light speed. This would of course explain much of our civilization's behavior and reluctance to accept established scientific knowledge. If anyone want's to help me develop this theory...please advise.

Further reference:


Leigh C. said...

You can of course reference Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth", just to make things more interesting on the Order of the Jedi front...but he never was able to get to the whole medicloreans thing...

Jason Brad Berry said...

i think it's metachlorines huh? you just referenced one of my favorite books and human beings!

Yeah...campbell would be perfect though. Great thunk.

Anonymous said...

There is always the "Principia Discordia" for ammo.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Thanks for the plug, but the "BayouStJohn" who frequently comments at isn't me. He does say some things that I would say, but I've also seen him say some things that I definitely wouldn't say.

I have made one or two comments under the name "stjohndavid" (I think that's what it was, it's been a while), but once I started taking classes, I decided it was a waste of time.

Jason Brad Berry said...

oops.....still sounds like u. great comment, no?