Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Challenged in Louisiana’s Public Education

June 30, 2008

Darwin's Theory of EvolutionDarwin’s theory of evolution has been an accepted theory for years in scientific circles and with laypersons alike. Though recently, the theory of creationism has been kicking on its heels, softening lawmakers, that perhaps, there is another explanation for man’s existence. Accordingly, in a landmark act, Louisiana state senators passed an academic freedom bill protecting teachers who encourage critical thinking and objective discussion about evolution and other scientific inquiries.

The Louisiana Science Education Act, as it has been named, has already passed the state’s congress with a 94 to 3 vote. “The bill is a bold statement protecting the freedom of teachers to discuss both the scientific evidence for and against Darwinian evolution and other controversial scientific theories,” said Casey Luskin, an attorney and program officer for public policy and legal affairs at Discovery Institute. “The bill does exactly what it says, which is to allow teachers and school districts to ‘use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.’”

“This is great news for the science teachers in public school classrooms in Louisiana, and it’s great news for science education in the whole state of Louisiana,” said Wade Warren, professor of biology and Cavanaugh Chair in biology at Louisiana College. “Not all DNA and fossil evidence support a Darwinian view of life. This bill gives teeth to the freedom of a public school science teacher to ask their students to objectively analyze the scientific data.”

Critics of the Act are convinced that loopholes are made to ease creationism into public classrooms. But in Section 1D of the Act, it states that it “shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion.”

Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, which was later titled, The Origin of Species, by 1872. The nuts-and-bolts of Darwin’s theory states that humans evolve over time through a process of natural selection: “survival of the fittest.” Those who are the “fittest” for their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce and vice-versa for the “un-fittest.” The result, over time and adaptation to environments, a new species form, like from apes to human.


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