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.