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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.

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.

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.

Melee In Modesto: California Community Debates Creationism In Science Class

It’s the debate that never ends – thanks to an aggressive minority that insists religious beliefs belong in the science classroom.

California public school teacher Mark Ferrante belongs in that group. According to the Modesto Bee, Ferrante recently announced that he planned to teach the latest variant of creationism, “intelligent design” (ID), alongside evolution at Modesto’s Roosevelt Junior High, sparking quite the community discussion.

Unintelligent By Design: Louisiana School District Considers Teaching Creationism

Members of the Livingston Parish School Board in Louisiana may be on the verge of making a huge mistake – one that could cost their community a lot of money.

During a recent meeting, several board members went off on a tangent about teaching creationism. During this public session, they openly discussed their desire to bring religion into the classroom. It was not a wise move.

Friday Follies: A Round-up Of Stories From Here, There And Everywhere

It's Friday, and here's a quick round-up of some stories with church-state overtones that you might have missed:

* Remember the proselytizing cheerleaders in north Georgia? A lot of people are getting worked up over that, and I feel certain that a "fair and balanced" Fox News report isn't far off.

Dissing Dawkins: Okla. Lawmaker Attacks Evolution Advocate

I've been to Oklahoma to speak on several occasions and know that there are lots of strong advocates of church-state separation there. AU has chapters in Oklahoma City and Norman, and Bruce Prescott, a member of the Americans United Board of Trustees, runs Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists. Journalist Frosty Troy's Oklahoma Observer frequently slams the Religious Right.

Nevertheless, They Will End Up Apologizing: Galileo, Darwin And The Vatican

A story is told about the 17th Century astronomer Galileo. Supposedly, after he was ordered by the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church to recant his theory of the heliocentric universe, Galileo left the room muttering under his breath, "Eppur si muove" – Italian for "Nevertheless, it does move."

The tale is considered apocryphal, which is a shame because it's one of those stories that I wish were true.

No Thanks, New Orleans: Scientists Take Conventions Outside Anti-Evolution Louisiana

"No thanks, New Orleans."

The Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) coined this phrase on its Web site this week, and it could quickly become the new catch phrase for scientists, educators and civil liberties groups across the country.

On Monday, SICB sent a letter to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal telling him that the organization will be taking its 2011 annual conference to Salt Lake City.

Origin Of The Specious: AU Attorney Comments On The Evolution Of Creationism

Tomorrow is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. There has been a lot of interest in this important anniversary among the media, and some editors and reporters are using the occasion to re-examine the issue of teaching evolution in the public schools.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Americans United Assistant Legal Director Richard B. Katskee"][/caption]

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