Monthly Archives: June 2008

Louisiana Flooded By Creationism, Public Education Dies

A bill, the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows the teaching of creationism and other pseudoscientifc ideas in Louisiana’s public schools, has passed through the Louisiana Senate and is awaiting approval by the governor. Read the story.

Shockingly, the bill passed 36-0. Who knew politicians were so pathetically ignorant? Oh Wait. Everyone knew. The power of the bill lies in its vagueness:

[The bill] allows public school teachers to “supplement” their science textbooks with materials of their choosing – leaving a gaping hole for, say, religious or intelligent design content to walk right through.

The creationists failed to stop public schools from teaching evolution, so their new plan is to throw garbage at the students. This way everything stinks. It all has a post-modernistic smell; make creationism and evolution seem equal in the public eye. The bill’s supporters claim:

… the bill is designed to promote critical thinking, strengthen education and help teachers who are confused about what’s acceptable for science classes.

Would they be open to teaching other religions’ creation stories in public schools? I somehow doubt it. How about sorcery and witchcraft? Some religious wackos have insisted on a ban of the Harry Potter books. But why not teach them along side the bible “to promote critical thinking”.   

The bill is a doorway to chaos. Teachers sympathetic to creationism are going to present both creation and evolution, but one more than the other. There’s nothing to stop them from emphasizing creationism. The bill specifically mentions creationism, global warming, and cloning (a.k.a. abortion), three subjects ultraconservative Christians often have a problem with. 

Will the governor sign the bill? More on that at the National Center for Science Education’s website.

 

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Robotic Fish

These robotic fish can organize themselves into a school. This type of research touches on the study of emergent behavior and self-organization. Ants, for example, don’t consciously decide how they will perform their work. Each individual ant has basic programmed behaviors. But when ants interact as a group, behaviors emerge that aren’t inherent in the individual ants. Only as a groups do they truly shine. As a society, ants are more than the sum of their parts. A great book on the subject of self-organization is Artificial Life by Steven Levy

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