Governor Bobby Jindal: I’ve Got No Problem if a Local School Board Says ‘We Want to Teach Our Kids About Creationism’

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is no friend of science educators. Last year, he passed a voucher plan that would give more than $11,000,000 of taxpayer money to private schools that teach Creationism.

Creationism + Intelligent Design = Science!

But I can’t remember him ever supporting the teaching of Creationism as openly as he did in a recent interview with Hoda Kotb (the relevant portion begins at the 9:00 mark):

Hoda Kotb: … Should creationism be taught in schools?

Bobby Jindal: Well, look, I believe that all our children should be exposed to the best science. And, here in Louisiana, we’ve adopted Common Core standards, and so we want our kids to be able to be tested based on the best science, compared not only to kids in Georgia and Florida, but also internationally as well with kids in China, in Singapore, in Japan.

If you’re asking me about what should be taught in private schools, in Catholic schools, in independent schools, I think parents could make the decisions about where they send their kids to school, about what kinds of values their kids are taught. In Louisiana, we test all of our kids on national-based standards to make sure that when our kids graduate from elementary school, middle school, and high school, we’re gonna make sure they get the best information on science, math, English, and all these other topics.

Kotb: So you don’t think… you don’t think that Creationism should be taught in public schools?

Jindal: Well, in public schools, look, our kids are required in science to learn the same curriculum in terms of the ACT and other standardized national tests… We have what’s called the Science Education Act [LSEA] that says if a teacher wants to supplement those materials, if the school board’s okay with that, if the state school board is okay with that, they can supplement those materials. Bottom line, at the end of the day, we want our kids to be exposed to the best facts. Let’s teach them about the Big Bang Theory. Let’s teach them about evolution. Let’s teach them — I’ve got no problem if a school board, a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about Creationism, that people, some people, have these beliefs as well, let’s teach them about Intelligent Design… give them the tools where they can make up their own mind… What are we scared of?… We shouldn’t be afraid of exposing our kids to more information, more knowledge

Of course, that’s about as false a dichotomy as you can find. More education is good. More shitty education is not good. And Creationism is shitty education since it’s not based in any actual science, only religious mythology.

As Biology professor Ken Miller said last year:

Presenting an idea that has no scientific support as if it were the equal of a thoroughly tested scientific theory is academic dishonesty of the rankest sort. Indeed, this is why Jindal’s own genetics professor at Brown University, National Academy member Arthur Landy, advised him to veto the LSEA, advice Jindal ignored.

Jindal is simply unfit for office if he thinks the best way to educate children — something he plays a significant role in determining — is for educators to throw whatever wacky ideas they have at the kids and hope that only the good stuff sticks.

Leave it to the science educators to make these decisions. They have in this case, and they’ve said repeatedly that teaching Creationism is an awful use of classroom time. Jindal, playing to his Republican base, has ignored this advice for years.

But what do you really expect from a man who once performed an exorcism?

(via National Center for Science Education)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • CelticWhisper

    And he’s missing the point, intentionally or otherwise.

    You can teach kids ABOUT creationism all you want. “Creationism is a belief set that states…” “Creationists make up XY.Z percent of the population of…”

    What you can’t do is teach kids creationism. Can’t present it as scientific truth. Not sure if he meant the latter but said the former, or if he was deliberately using weasel words to be able to backpedal and claim that atheists are trying to prevent the dissemination of any simple “outside-in” facts regarding creationism as a cultural phenomenon or belief set.

  • WallofSleep

    “God did it” is not scientific theory, full stop.

  • JET

    Creationism might be considered a valid subject in a comparative religions class, but has absolutely no place in a science classroom. Governor Jindal hasn’t a clue about education.

  • JET

    Pandering for the vote?

  • thompjs

    He recently gave speech about how the GOP needs to quit being the party of stupid.

  • CelticWhisper

    Probably, though that could seriously backfire. There are times I’d love to be a science teacher in a state that requires “exposure” to creationism/ID.

    The first slide of my presentation would read “WAIT’LL YOU GET A LOAD OF THIS SHIT!” Hey, I exposed ‘em to it. Legal obligation fulfilled.

  • Rich Wilson

    It’s hard to think of any other way to reconcile him having a degree in Biology from Brown.

  • Carpinions

    “…we want our kids to be able to be tested based on the best
    science, compared not only to kids in Georgia and Florida, but also
    internationally as well with kids in China, in Singapore, in Japan.”

    You mean in other countries where real science is actually taught and creationism isn’t? I have yet to hear of all these creationism-centered jobs that are in other countries just waiting for our newly indoctrinated kids to fill. I’d also love to know what worthwhile skills in addition to “Sounding like an unlettered moron in public” come with thorough instruction in nonsense.

    What I find paradoxically hilarious is the conservative who lionizes the Asian community’s focus on youth education, and then goes on to tell us we need our kids to learn them some “intelligent design” creationism in science classrooms and in churches so the US can compete globally.

  • Rain

    let’s teach them about Intelligent Design

    Wow what a successful con job. They even conned a governor.

  • Heidi McClure

    I don’t know what he’s afraid of, but I’m afraid of Louisiana turning into a stupid people factory.

  • Michael Harrison

    Remember that this is a guy who once wrote an essay on exorcism:

    If anything, he’s part of the con.

    Edit: That’s what I get for failing to fact-check; apparently Jindal back-pedaled and stated this was a fictional piece. Still, he did air ads when he was running against Kathleen Blanco where he asked what was so bad about the Ten Commandments. I stand by my assertion that he’s part of the con.

  • TCC

    The really funny thing is that Jindal namedrops the Common Core standards in relation to science, but right now, there are only standards for English language arts and math. The equivalent initiative for science, the Next Generation Science Standards, were just released, and as of yet, no states have adopted them. The only states that have actually agreed to consider adopting them are the 26 lead state partners. Guess who’s not on that list?

  • Carpinions

    Which is why calling him “conned” misses the 800lb pink gorilla in the room. He’s been part of the “con” for who knows how long. Why? Because he’s sympathetic to the cause. It’s not as if he was some Johnny Know-nothing that found himself in a governor’s office one day, had a meeting to listen to some “concerned citizens” worried about the state of science education, and suddenly was convinced of creationism. Bobby Jindal was already in the camp before he even campaigned for that office. Indeed, depending on how he was raised (I have no idea how he was), it’s entirely possible he has always thought this way because the indoctrination stuck.

  • C Peterson

    Too late.

  • Stev84

    This also the guy who said the Republicans have to stop being “the stupid party”

  • SteveS

    I grew up in Kentucky and went to college in Louisiana… Psychopathy seems to be a requirement for most elected offices in both places. He will say and do anything he needs to to get re-elected. You just can’t have a biology degree from a major university and condone spreading creationism unless you are a true believer or a psychopath. QOD.

  • corps_suk

    There would be nothing greater for “Atheist Movement” than being allowed to test the scientific validity of creation myths. I say bring it on, when kids start going home and talking to parents about the complete lack of scientific evidence for their myth and how compared to the overwhelming evidence for evolution their beliefs look like a childlike belief in the tooth fairy…this crap will end.

    Embrace it, turn it around, and make the most of being able to compare myth to reality in a structured and scientific way.

    Make them regret the day they let it happen.


    Read the story of Abraham Lincoln in Quran (words of the God) since more than 1400 years ago
    The great miracle

  • CaptainAhab

    And the still unproven theory of evolution has a place in the science classroom? Get real. Evolution is just as much a “religion” as Buddhism or Hinduism. To believe in evolution, you have to have faith to believe that everything miraculously came into being on its own. You have to have faith AND imagination to visualize all of the transition species that are missing from the fossil record. Evolution is the religion of atheists. It’s the only way they can TRY to explain their existence while at the same time denying an intelligent creator. Have you ever emptied a box of toy parts at Christmas onto the floor, and did you ever just stand back and watch them assemble themselves into the completed toy? That’s what evolutionists want our children to believe happened. Oh yeh, they also want you to believe that the box full of toy parts just magically appeared under the tree on Christmas Eve.

  • CaptainAhab

    Evolution is the wackiest idea I’ve ever heard. No science, just imagination.

  • Mewslie

    You either have not studied evolution or you are being dishonest because not one of those points accurately describes evolution as it is used today in research.

  • Rich Wilson

    The lack of understanding of evolution demonstrated by so many Americans is further evidence for how poorly it is taught. I will say this for the design proponentsists, they are good at propaganda.

  • Antinomian

    Thank you Captain, we’ve never heard the argument for intelligent design from the point of view you’ve just elucidated.

    Now if you would be so kind as to explain in the same way, how our lack of faith as opposed to real evidence, keeps us from grasping the reality of a geocentric universe and the earth as a flat plane, I’m sure we’ll be happy to join you in the dark ages. If you have an extra moment and it doesn’t tax you to much, please present some credible evidence for the existence of your God or creator.

  • Antinomian

    OK pal, you owe me two minutes…

  • Sids

    Well, he’s talking about science classrooms and the science education act. I don’t see how saying how many people are creationists or what creationists believe really fits into a science class either. High school science doesn’t normally include sociology.

  • Rich Wilson


    the longest verse in the chapter which is verse number 32 and it has a total number of 31 words, so the sum of 31 and 32 is 63 which is the total number of chromosomes of the mule

    Using that kind of logic, I’m pretty sure I could show that the Egyptian Book of the Dead proves that Muhammad is a false prophet who just wanted to have six with little girls.

  • Jerome McCollom

    Ironic, because Jindal stated he wanted the Republican party to stop being the “stupid” party.

  • Jeff See

    Way too late. They’re already passing laws about how to wear clothes for $#$%’s sake.

  • Mike Haubrich

    Jindal is perfectly suited to be a politician, if not for office. He knows on which side his bread is buttered; and if he forgets that he is mindful that Louisiana has an open-primary for governorship.

  • Mike Haubrich

    Sorry, the magic part is “Let there be…”

    You’re welcome.

  • sunburned

    He didn’t make it through the first sentence without making the “only a theory” faux pas.

  • corps_suk

    Then apparently you haven’t heard Christianity’s myth.

    Its ok, we know you’re here to show us why we absolutely need better science education in our country…people grow up to be as ignorant as you.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    I’ve got no problem if a school board, a local school board,
    says we want to teach our kids about Creationism, that people, some
    people, have these beliefs as well, let’s teach them about Intelligent

    Apparently he considers Creationism and Intelligent Design to be interchangable terms. That should give the Discovery Institute fits.

  • dan davis

    I taught bio in South Carolina, and I know my evolutionary biology (paleontology major). I couldn’t even attempt to analyze creationism vs. natural selection w/o getting grief, because when the two are compared analytically creationism appears to be a fairy tale (which of course, it is). They want this taught by “non-scientist” science teachers, or the plan will backfire. Real science teachers will be pressured into foregoing the unit.

  • Rich Wilson
  • Alexis

    Here is the glitch in the proposal: “give them the tools where they can make up their own mind”. If the teacher gave them these tools, every politician, every clergyman, and nearly every parent in the state would be up in arms.

  • Guesty Guest

    But “Let there be…” in Latin is “Fiat”, which is an Italian car. I’ve seen Italians, and I’ve seen cars, so clearly “Let there be…” is not magic!

    Checkmate, atheists.

  • CaptainAhab

    Silly atheist, the “theory of gravity” became the “law of gravity” when it was proven scientifically.

    I haven’t heard anyone refer to the “law of evolution” yet, nor will I ever.

  • corps_suk

    Silly believer, the “law of universal gravatation” is one peice of the the “Theory of Gravity”. The Law you so ineloquently speak of is a specific analytical formula directly relating the gravitational force between two objects. Notice the law only gives us the force, with no explantion as to why. The theory of gravity decscribes a wide range of laws and hypotheses relating to the why of gravity. So when we are scientifically discussing gravity, we can talk about the law that describes the attraction between two objects, and we can also talk about the theory that describes why the objects attract each other.

    Similarily we can talk about the Law Of Inheritance as a law that works within the Theory of Evolution. It is true we inherit traits from our patents, but why, how, and the what happens if things go wrong are discussed in the much broader discussion of the Theory Of Evolution.

    All you did was simply so your lack of understanding of basic science, biology, physics, and evolution. All things you need to have in order to understand evolution

  • sunburned

    Silly theist still doesn’t know the difference between a scientific theory and the use of word theory as a colloquialism .

    Perhaps start with looking up the difference between a scientific hypothesis and a scientific theory.

  • CaptainAhab

    The belief in creation is SUPPORTED by the fossil record, and the Bible is supported by history AND archaeology.

    Evolution, on the other hand, is NOT SUPPORTED by the fossil record, and is NOT SUPPORTED by archaeology.

    So tell me, which of these is “more scientific”? If you say the answer is evolution, you are being dishonest.

  • RobMcCune

    So you’re telling me that distinct sets plants and animals existing only at certain periods over millions of years is consistent with the idea that all life was cooked up in 7 days by magic rather than gradual changes over time?

  • RobMcCune

    Funny that you consider an imagination to be a bad thing, does that make a creationist against creativity?

  • Rich Wilson

    That’s right, that’s why all the fossils of so called ‘prehistoric horses’ are all in the SAME layer. Because they all went extinct at the SAME time.

    It’s also why the rate at which the continents are drifting apart, as measured by GPS, shows that they split about 4500 years ago, during the flood.

  • corps_suk

    Do you even live on the planet Earth? Or do you just not understand you live on the planet Earth?
    There is actually little to no scientific, historic, or archaeological evidence to support the bible…even Jesus cant be proven by any contemporary evidence to his life. To say so is like saying the existence of Mount Olympus proves Zeus and Hercules exist…
    On the other hand, evidence from every field of science including the soft sciences of psychology and sociology provide pieces of evidence to the fact of evolution. Your post about theory vs. law shows you haven’t the basic understanding of science to make any claim.
    Though, you have given me an example as to why we should teach these silly myths in a science classroom, so kids can see how profoundly childlike they are and how totally unsupported by evidence creation is…so bring it on!

  • RobMcCune

    Laws amount to observations with no explanation. Hooke’s Law is true whether it’s done by physical forces or fairies. A theory is an overarching explanation of observations. The law of gravity could remain the same regardless of what our theory of gravity it is.

  • Rich Wilson

    I think we’ve had enough creation/evolution debates. What I think might be interesting is a quiz to see which ‘side’ knows the most about the other. It seems like most of the regulars on this site understand both biblical creation as described by AiG and ID as described by The Discovery Institute far better than any of the creationist visitors understand evolution as described by pretty much any biologist.

  • corps_suk

    I agree, but CaptainAhat is new around here, actually appears to have followed me here from the pit of ignorance called Human Events.
    He just needed a quick humility check.
    Maybe Hermant could set up a quiz thread, Java style so no google… That would be interesting.

  • CaptainAhab

    If it was a gradual change, there would be evidence in the fossil record. There is none.

  • Rich Wilson

    That poor deluded Francis Collins who thinks he’s a Christian… doing Satan’s work…

  • CaptainAhab

    Perhaps you and others need to look up the Second Law of Thermodynamics (law of increasing entropy).

  • CaptainAhab

    I never said imagination was a bad thing. It’s great in the artistic world and the entrepreneurial world.

    Imagination is not a good thing when you have to use it to fill in the thousands of holes in the fossil record for your theory of evolution to work.

  • Rich Wilson

    Because the earth is a close system that doesn’t get any energy from any external source, which is why we’re stuck burning old dinosaurs* rather than inventing some kind of crazy ‘solar energy’ or anything.

    Good thing God gave us those dinosaurs to burn.

    *yes, I know oil mostly isn’t dinosaurs.

  • sunburned

    LoL. You are a hoot. Believe it or not we have seen all of these specious arguments before.

  • RobMcCune

    For a creationist “holes in the fossil records” is equal to n-1 where n is the number of species identified in the fossil record. If one species exists in one era and a similar, but clearly different species exists in another era a creationist demands a third specimen to prove a transition occurred. When one is found bearing similarities to both at a time period in between the others, creationists demand two new fossils to prove the first evolved into the second and the second evolved into the third. It’s not a very good criticism when you look into it.

  • RobMcCune

    There’s plenty, unless you’re expect the fossilized skeletons to evolve in front of people after their dead.

  • fghdhdfh

    I think it would be perfectly fine if students are taught “about creationism” in public school, so long as its the TRUTH about creationism – that its pseudoscience created by theists in an attempt to sneak their “religion” into science class and that is has no basis in reality whatsoever.

  • fghdhdfh

    INDIVIDUALS do not evolve. Evolution does not suggest that things assemble themselves.

    A *species* evolves. Each time new generations are born, there are variations. Some are taller, some are shorter. Some have red hair, some black, some blonde, etc. There are MANY MANY other aspects that vary between humans. The simplest explanation of the concept of evolution, is that if, in a very broad way, a particular variation contributes more to the likelyhood that those that have it will reproduce and generate MORE offspring, that variation will very slowly, over LONG periods of time, become dominant. And if changed in environment lead to DIFFERENT variations becoming more able to survive and reproduce, then what is dominant will change again.

    And your parents assembled the Christmas present. There is no more a Santa Claus then there is a God.

    Science is setting up a video camera when you go to bed Christmas eve. Not blindly attributing the presents to some sort of magical being.

    The theory of Evolution is the result of science. (And note that its a theory because its an explanation of HOW evolution works that isn’t 10% complete. No real scientist denies that it DOES work)

    Creationism is the result of theist’s imagination and interpretation of fairy tales. (And note that its not even a “theory”, its just nonsense) No real science involved.

  • fghdhdfh

    That gravity exists, is an accepted scientific fact. What it does can be clearly observed. The theory of gravity attempts to explain HOW gravity works. It is still not fully understood.

    That evolution exists, is an accepted scientific fact. What it does can be clearly observed. The theory of evolution attempts to explain HOW evolution works. It is still not fully understood.

  • fghdhdfh

    Speak for yourself. I use only oil that is certified 100% dinosaur sourced :P

  • Chad Boswell

    Creationism Tests go like this: Answer everything with “God did it” and you will Ace it!

  • CaptainAhab

    How so? One of the common defenses of evolution is to say that it takes millions of years for it to happen, therefore it cannot be observed. Well, if it takes that long for it to happen, there has to be gradual changes, and evidence of those changes have to be in the fossil record. But they are simply not there.

    Or, are you saying that every once in a while, there is a large, drastic, change between species, all of a sudden? If that is the case, then reproduction would be a problem. And if these large changes (jumps between species) were happening, we would be able to observe it happening somewhere in the world right now. And that isn’t happening.

  • CaptainAhab

    Evolution tests go like this: Answer the questions about the lack of evidence with “use your imagination” and you Ace it!

  • CaptainAhab

    To simply say that I have never studied evolution, or that I’m being dishonest, is a very weak way of countering my statement. Evolutionists themselves admit that there are thousands of gaps in the fossil record. The fossil record doesn’t lie.

  • Rich Wilson

    We’ve reached the point at which Wendy Wright keeps asking where all these fossils are, and Richard Dawkins says “go to any natural history museum” and Wendy Wright keeps asking “where are all these fossils”.

    But you keep on chanting that the fossil record doesn’t show any evidence of evolution. Just don’t learn anything about molecular genetics. You might not be able to handle the cognitive dissonance to claim that God gave us the exact same viruses as Chimpanzees, but decided to not give them Gorillas. Just because.

  • CaptainAhab

    Natural history museums are interesting places, but not a place to use as the foundation and proof for the weak theory of evolution. These museums are filled with artists’ fictional renditions of what THEY think the missing links might look like. They find one stray bone, and create the rest of a skeleton or sculpture, using only what they IMAGINE the rest of the animal might look like.

  • Chad Boswell


  • CaptainAhab

    So you are saying there is no evidence in the fossil record because the evolving animals died before they had a chance to evolve? LOL!! Now that’s funny!!


    If it looks like a troll (CatainAhab) and sounds like a troll, perhaps it is a troll? Or perhaps just another ignorant, delusional creationist spouting tired old arguments…

  • Isilzha

    And why do you think YOUR version of creationism is the ‘right’ one? There are thousands of origin stories so where’s the evidence that your story should be believed over all the others. And if you say, ‘the bible’ then you also must accept any other mythology book as actual evidence, even Grimm’s fairy tales.

  • George Hilbert

    What you describe in the paragraph beginning with “A *species* evolves” and ending with “will change again” has a creature at some early time and a creature after “LONG periods of time,” both creatures if they were able to be brought together to mate, would produce viable offspring, because they are the same creature. That is not evolution as I understand it. As I understand it, evolution attempts to present a “theory” on how life originated and developed to what we see today.

    If that is not true, and your version is true, then how life originated and came about to what we see today is thrown open to *gasp* the Theory of Special Creation!

  • Rich Wilson

    both creatures if they were able to be brought together to mate, would produce viable offspring, because they are the same creature

    Not sure what you’re getting at here. If you could somehow ‘bring together’ two animals separated by millions of generations, the no, might not be able to breed.

    As I understand it, evolution attempts to present a “theory” on how life originated and developed to what we see today.

    No, it certainly does not deal with how life originated.

    If that is not true, and your version is true, then how life originated and came about to what we see today is thrown open to *gasp* the Theory of Special Creation!

    There is no ‘Theory of Special Creation’. There are many creation myths, such as Genesis. But there is no scientific explanation as to how anything happens. There’s no description of the ‘intelligent designer’ or how it works.

    Even if you want to reject evolution because it doesn’t explain where life came from, then you’re left with simply nothing to explain where life came from OR why we have the variety of life that we do today. Unless you want to go with a Creation Myth, in which case there’s no more evidence for Genesis than there is for Giant Turtle.

  • Spirit

    I support you, because nothing comes from nothing. So if there was nothing in the beginning how did something come from it. There had to be someone powerful enough to give us this great universe.
    There is so much that Science cannot explain. The great Scientists do come to the conclusion that there was some one or something great and powerful to start this ball rolling. It is the little scientists that keep on sticking to their guns (ignorance)

  • CandideThirtythree

    Then how did your god come from nothing?

  • Mark Henderson

    You seriously came to this website promoting creationism WITHOUT an understanding of how evolution works, and on top of that, scolding those who accept evolution as an accurate representation of where we came from based on all our observations?

    Dude, do us all a favor, and kick yourself in the nuts until a doctor can verify your inability to reproduce.

  • Mark Henderson

    Every fossil is a transitional fossil.

    You have NO CLUE what you are talking about.

  • Mark Henderson

    Silly creationist, you are an intellectual lightweight trying to wrestle WAY out of your weight class.

    Go back to glass jaw school.

  • Mark Henderson

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a great argument…if we are in a closed system, which the earth is not. The earth is in an emergent system, you see, and the second law does not apply.

    Let’s see what other pre-school arguments this person-of-lower-than-average-intellectual-honesty can produce!

  • CaptainAhab

    Doesn’t apply to Earth?! LOL!
    So, are you saying they came up with the Second Law of Thermodynamics while they were on the surface of the sun? I didn’t know they had a research team up there. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TCC

    No, you dolt, Earth is not a closed system. There is this input to the system, a thing you might have heard of once or twice…called the freaking sun.

    Also, if the Second Law holds, why do embryos (simple organisms) become adults (complex organisms)? Why is that violation of the Second Law okay?

  • Rich Wilson

    The earth gets energy from the sun. The 2nd law of thermodynamics applies in situations where there is no energy coming into the system.

    (I really should refresh before commenting- again, on 5 month old threads)

  • Antonio Calabria

    Jindal went to Brown? I used think highly of my alma mater…

  • Antonio Calabria

    Why are you trying so hard to prove that you’re really stupid? You had made that point quite clearly with your first post!

  • Antonio Calabria

    How can you be so effing dumb?

  • Antonio Calabria

    Why don’t you read some science books for a change?