Back to 1981 in Louisiana

03.30.2016

Louisiana's Senate Bill 156 (PDF), which would have repealed the state's Balanced Treatment for  Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act, was rejected on a 4-2 vote in the Senate Education Committee on March 29, 2016, according to the Associated Press (March 29, 2016).

The law targeted for repeal was enacted in 1981 and declared to be unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard in 1987. Yet it remains on the books. SB 156 represents the third attempt of Dan Claitor (R-District 16) to remove it.

John Milkovitch (D-District 38) was "the most outspoken opponent of the repeal proposal," according to the Associated Press, saying that the repeal would have "basically create[d] a situation where only the secular review [sic] of creation is taught."

Louisiana blogger Lamar White Jr., who attended the committee meeting, reports on his blog (March 29, 2016) that Milkovitch moreover asked Claitor, "are you aware that there is an abundance of recent science that actually confirms the Genesis account of creation?"

Also still on the books in Louisiana is the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act of 2008, which former governor Bobby Jindal (R), speaking to NBC News in 2013, said (at around 9:00) allows teachers to "teach our kids about creationism."

Five attempts to repeal the 2008 law — SB 70 in 2011, SB 374 in 2012, SB 26 in 2013, SB 175 in 2014, and SB 74 in 2015 — have been introduced by Karen Carter Peterson (D-District 5). So far no such bill has been introduced in the current legislative session.

Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills told the Baton Rouge Advocate (March 27, 2016) that he was unsure whether to oppose the repeal of the 1981 bill, since "discussing creationism in the classroom is protected by the Louisiana Science Education Act."

Interestingly, the on-line version of the story was later revised, with "discussing creationism in the classroom" replaced by "discussing the weaknesses of the theory of evolution and other scientific theories in the classroom."