For the third year in a row, a bill to repeal Louisiana's 2008 Science Education Act was rejected by the state's Senate Education committee. Governor Bobby Jindal's office also opposed the repeal.
The law has allowed the use of "supplemental" materials in science classrooms, to "promote critical thinking skills, logical analysis and open and objective discussions of scientific theories being studied."
Critics say this opens the door for discussion of Biblical creationism, which contends that the Earth is only 6,000 years old and is the result of a creator's "intelligent design."
Tammy Wood, a science teacher for 31 years, told The Advocate the law leaves unanswered which are legitimate supplemental materials and which are “mere nonsense.”
Several committee members challenged critics, however, to cite a single instance where a parent has complained to officials about science materials taught in public classrooms. None was provided.
Zack Kopplin, a 19-year-old Rice University Student and one of the nation's most prominent voices against teaching creationism in schools, wrote an open letter to Gov. Jindal earlier this week urging the repeal of the law. Kopplin quoted Jindal's request to the Republican Party to "stop being the stupid party."
"The only controversy over evolution is one constructed by Louisiana politicians. Louisiana students must be taught evolution so we can compete for cutting edge science and technology jobs in places like the New Orleans BioDistrict or Baton Rouge’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center."