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Local Option Error: N.J. Gov. Says School Boards Can Promote Creationism

If it were left up to Gov. Chris Christie, public education in New Jersey would be a free-for-all.

At a town hall in Manalapan, N.J., last week, Christie said he believes public school districts should get to determine whether to teach creationism in science classes because that’s a decision that should be made “at the local level.”

When asked at a press conference yesterday about this issue again, Christie reiterated his stance. Read more

Back Zack!: Louisianians Should Support High School Senior’s Science Project

Every year at the Values Voter Summit in September, the Religious Right makes sure to put its young activists in the limelight. They serve as a reminder (and a warning) that the fundamentalist political agenda will be pushed for years to come.

Fortunately, advocates of church-state separation have our own youth activists ready to take them on. Baton Rouge, La., high school senior Zack Kopplin is a good example. Read more

Kern Spurned: Oklahoma Legislator’s Backdoor Creationism Bill Bounced

Oklahoma is one of the most religiously conservative states in the country. Fundamentalists have a strong political presence there, and “culture war” battles are common. This is the state, you’ll recall, that recently tried to ban Sharia law – even though no Muslims are attempting to impose it there.

It’s always a pleasant surprise, then, when Oklahoma legislators resist Religious Right pressure and do the right thing. And yesterday they did. Read more

David v. Goliath: Louisiana Student Girds For Battle On Behalf Of Sound Science

A Louisiana high school senior is on a mission to save science education in his home state.

Zachary Kopplin, a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, wants to see the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act repealed, and he’s working with state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) to garner support for a bill she plans to introduce in April that will do just that.

One of his first stops to rally the troops was the Darwin Day event put on by the Louisiana chapter of Americans United last weekend at a Unitarian church in Baton Rouge. Read more

‘Science Guy’ Speaks Out: Bill Nye Says Nay To Anti-Evolution Crusade, As Bills Pop Up In The States

With Darwin Day (Feb. 12) just around the corner, scientists, educators and citizens across the world are gearing up to celebrate the birth of Charles Darwin and his contributions to science.

As Bill Nye “The Science Guy” recently put it, teachers’ reluctance to teach Darwin’s theory of evolution is “horrible.” Scientific advances that benefit everyone could be at risk if students don’t learn sound science. Read more

Ark Park Update: Ky. Gov. Says State Won’t Allow Job Bias – But That’s Not Enough

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear at least has one thing right: taxpayers should never be required to fund discrimination.

Earlier this month, Beshear outraged scientists, civil liberties activists and, indeed, lots of people who care about reasonable and responsible government, with his plan to provide tax incentives for the developers of a creationism-themed park featuring a full-size rendering of Noah’s ark. Read more

Victory In Louisiana!: State Ed. Board Approves Sound Biology Textbooks

It appears that the state of Louisiana has come finally come to its senses when it comes to science education.

The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted 8-2 yesterday to approve high school biology textbooks that teach sound science, despite complaints by creationists who felt the books gave too much credibility to the theory of evolution. Read more

A Win In Louisiana: Textbook Council Backs Bona Fide Biology Books

We have some good news out of Louisiana today – news we can hardly believe.

By a vote of 8-4, the state’s Textbook/Media/Library Advisory Council voted to support biology textbooks that uphold sound science and do not allow fundamentalist religious concepts to interfere.

For once, Louisiana has provided a glimmer of hope that maybe it no longer wants to be a science-education laughing stock. Read more

Louisiana Alert: Family Forum Is Targeting The Science Curriculum

As we feared, Religious Right activists are moving to undermine Louisiana’s public school science curriculum.

When Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law the “Science Education Act” in 2008, Americans United warned that it was merely another attempt for creationists to slip fundamentalist religion into biology classes. Read more

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