Bobby Jindal admits outright that he supports the teaching of creationism.

In a recent interview, Bobby Jindal admitted to supporting the teaching of creationism in public schools.  Of course, we’ve known he supports it by his actions as governor of Louisiana, but it’s nice to actually hear him say it.

Responding, Jindal said in part, “We have what’s called the Science Education Act that says that if a teacher wants to supplement those materials, if the school board is okay with that, if the state school board is okay with that, they can supplement those materials. … 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’.” “What are we scared of?” he asked.

Kenneth Miller shot back exactly what is wrong with it.

A response was provided in advance by Kenneth R. Miller, writing in Slate in 2012. A professor of biology at Brown University, where Jindal earned his undergraduate degree in biology, Miller commented, “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.”

I’ll tell you what we’re scared of: we’re scared of the next generation growing up and thinking that all ideas are equally credible, and should be taught as science simply because they are believed by non-scientists.  We’re not trying to say that you cannot contaminate your children’s minds as their parents (as much as we wish you wouldn’t).  What we are saying is that you can’t expect the government to do it until your ideas meet the same standards as scientific theories.  You want equal treatment?  You’ve got it.  The problem is that your ideas don’t measure up when given the same treatment as other ideas in science.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    I love the whole “hey, I’ll substitute conviction for evidence” line of thinking.

    By love, I mean hate. And by thinking, I mean pulling out of ass.

  • Sven

    “Give every idea equal support”, they say. Besides being laughably unscientific, their brazen dishonesty shows itself when you offer to give equal support to Islamic, Greek, Roman, Nordic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Aboriginal creation myths.

    • Anonymous Atheist

      And the ‘lizard people’ theory!

  • Rain

    “What are we scared of?” he asked.

    Yeah, sounds like a new line of T-Shirt mockery in the making. Let’s teach the world is flat. What are we scared of?

    “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults.” Yeah, guess who recently said that. Yeah, who would have guessed he was demagoguing when he said it.

  • Art Vandelay

    I know we’re supposed to be bagging on Jindal here but that’s too easy. I don’t get Ken Miller. I mean, he’s obviously an extremely intelligent and competent evolutionary biologist and he did all that great work in Dover, completely dismantling ID. At the end of the day, the guy believes in theistic evolution. He believes that what’s been going on with natural selection over the last 3 billion years or so has been a divinely guided process with homo-sapiens being the intended result of all of it. I simply fail to see how that’s any more scientific than ID.

    • Sven

      At least “theistic evolution” doesn’t deny the overwhelming evidence of the age of the Earth, or the fact that modern species evolved from earlier species. The theistic part is still wildly unscientific, but it’s not the full-blown blind denialism inherent in creationism.

      • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

        …And lightning is due to a large negative charge in clouds accumulating a large induced positive charge on the ground until the potential difference overcomes the electrical resistance of air, at which point Thor makes the lightning happen.

        • Art Vandelay

          Bullshit. Everyone knows it’s Zeus.

          • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

            Teach the controversy!

    • Rain

      Basically Ken Miller puts his god in the gaps that science doesn’t know yet. And if science did know something, then he would take his god out of that gap. That way religion and faith are kept separate. We’ll just have to wait for science to fill all of the gaps before Ken Miller can be doubtful of his religion of eating flesh and drinking blood, literally! Oh wait science can’t fill that gap because it’s all invisible. Yeah he’s full of baloney.

      • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

        It’s the Incredible Shrinking God! Once he moved the sun in the sky, changed the seasons, and caused earthquakes and other disasters that toppled empires. Now he makes personal appearances on toast.

    • Loqi

      It’s not any more scientific, but I’ll say it’s slightly better in that it doesn’t impede knowledge (at least in Miller’s case…). Whereas creationism stands it’s ground in contradiction with the evidence, Miller’s theistic evolution simply retreats when science answers new questions.

      • Loqi

        Ugh. Apostrophe fail. Off topic and unsolicited english lesson for anyone who cares: the possessive form of “it” is “its,” without an apostrophe. One of those silly english exceptions to a rule.

        • http://www.thelosersleague.com The_Schwa

          It helps if you think of it like “his” or “hers” – no apostrophe needed there either.

      • Art Vandelay

        I don’t know. It seems to me that the whole “unguidedness” (made-up word) aspect of natural selection is sort of essential to understanding it. Miller really crushed Dembski’s theories by pointing out that if you started over, the chances of it happening the same way are absurdly low. However, it seems to me that in order for God to create something in his own image using evolution by NS as the process, things would have to happen the same way.

    • Anonymous Atheist

      But if “a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about creationism”, I bet some of the implementations will be from young-earth literalists, not all from the relatively-less-ridiculous old-earth IDers.

  • Loqi

    We’re not trying to say that you cannot contaminate your children’s minds as their parents (as much as we wish you wouldn’t).

    I’ll say that. Children ought to have rights and be protected against things like being lied to and indoctrinated. It bothers me that some parents think of parental rights the same way they think of property rights (“it’s mine and you can’t tell me what to do with it!”). Children are people, not empty vessels into which parents can pour their delusions, superstitions, and hatreds to make sure they carry on into future generations.

    I’ll caveat this by saying I am not a parent myself, so if I’m talking gibberish due to a lack of perspective, feel free to call me out.

    • iknklast

      Oh, you beat me to it! Well, I am a parent, and I’ll tell you, I don’t think you’re talking gibberish. I didn’t tell my son what to think; I taught him how to think. He explored a lot of ideas, and ended up an atheist, but not because I told him to. I didn’t call myself an atheist at that time. I just wanted him to think. He does. I’m proud.

  • iknklast

    You know, I actually do have a bit of a problem with the idea that they can poison their children’s minds as much as they wish. That is a violation of the children’s rights, in my opinion. Children do not belong to their parents; they are human beings with rights, and we often seem to forget this. You have the right to raise your child as you please? No, you don’t. You have a responsibility to that child to raise him or her in a manner conducive to a future where theywill fit in, be able to fully function, and be educated properly. That is the child’s right, to have the correct education, and it trumps the parents “right” to turn the child into a carbon copy. I don’t believe atheists have that right, and I don’t believe Christians (Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Pastafarians…) have that right. We have the responsibility to pass on critical thinking skills and teach the child to think through problems to the best of their ability.

    We are applying the rights in this case to the wrong individual. The rights here belong to the individual who has the brain and the body that are being acted on; the responsibilities to safeguard those rights belong to the other individuals.

  • Randomfactor

    I imagine the Scientologists would ALSO love to have their shot at providing the classroom materials. Hey, “science” is almost in their NAMES! And the Democratic Party would gladly donate classroom materials detailing Jindal’s record, for the social-studies classes.

  • gratch

    What are we scared of? We’re scared of raising a generation of “scientists” who think belief is just as good as knowledge. In short, Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” was not a mediocre sci-fi movie but a cautionary tale of the dangers of teaching creationism in the classroom.

  • BabyRaptor

    What are we scared of? A bunch of fundies ensuring that the country continues to go downhill in everything from technology to quality of life because idiots like you think you’re too special to follow the law.

    Education is for facts. If you want your kids to learn creationism, teach it to them yourselves. Or take them to church. Creationism is not fact. Its religion. It has no business in public, tax funded schools.

    Oh, damn. There’s that Constitution you guys claim to love so much getting in your way again…

    • BabyRaptor

      Bleh, no edit button. The “you” here wasn’t aimed at JT. It was aimed at people like Jindall.

  • http://research.brown.edu/research/profile.php?id=1100924768&r=1 Ken Miller

    “Art Vandalay” wrote: “I know we’re supposed to be bagging on Jindal here but that’s too easy. I don’t get Ken Miller. I mean, he’s obviously an extremely intelligent and competent evolutionary biologist and he did all that great work in Dover, completely dismantling ID. At the end of the day, the guy believes in theistic evolution. He believes that what’s been going on with natural selection over the last 3 billion years or so has been a divinely guided process with homo-sapiens being the intended result of all of it. I simply fail to see how that’s any more scientific than ID.”
    No, I don’t believe that natural selection is a “divinely guided process,” and I’ve stated that clearly time and time again. I accept the evidence, which is that evolution is a fully-naturalistis process, and that the outcome of that process is not predetermined or guided by outside forces.
    Here’s the difference between my view (which is the mainstream scientific view) and ID: I believe that natural processes were fully sufficient to bring about the world of life we see today. An ID-er believes that they were not. Clear enough?
    – Ken Miller

    • GBJames

      @ Ken Miller: That part is clear enough, at least to me. But a question remains unaddressed. What is the difference between that position (no divinities required) and the basic atheist position?

      • Rain

        He knows we want to know where the “mumbo jumbo” part comes in, and why in the world he believes the “mumbo jumbo” stuff. He knew that before he posted. So good luck getting an answer.

  • Art Vandelay

    Dr Miller, thank you for your response. Yes, it’s clear that you accept the evidence for nature creating the diversity of life on it’s own and you’ve done as good of a job as anyone in teaching this and I know that’s the big difference between you and the ID’ers. However, I was almost certain that as a Catholic, your stance was that human beings in our current form were divinely created and if it isn’t…well, that seems like a bit of a deal breaker, no? If it is your stance, there’s a miracle in there somewhere. There has to be a suspension or manipulation of natural processes.

    • http://irenist.blogspot.com Irenist

      There has to be a suspension or manipulation of natural processes.

      Why?

      • iknklast

        Because divine creation is not a natural process. It is a special, supernatural process. Evolution didn’t make it to the apes, then stop and let god finish the job. Where is god in this process? The minute he steps in, there is a manipulation, at the least, possibly a suspension.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X