The Cost of Creationism
Bottom line, at the end of the day, we want our kids to be exposed to the best facts... I’ve got no problem if a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about creationism ... some people, have these beliefs as well. - Bobby Jindal
That is a quote from the current Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, who manages to make explicit his internal struggle with the meaning of the word fact and belief, in defense of the Louisiana Science Education Act, which promotes the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in public schools. This would all be an interesting, teachable moment à la Marco Rubio's confusion about the age of Earth, if not for the fact that Jindal has this bill appear on his desk in 2008, and he signed it.
Unfortunately for the governate, this has not only cost students and teachers valuable time spent learning non-science, but is also costing the state some millions of dollars in revenue. Most of this loss is in the form of reduced tourism and conference fees for scientific meetings.
Dollar values are hard to find, but at least one organization, the Society for Integrative and Competitive Biology, moved its 2011 conference from New Orleans in response, part of a boycott of Louisiana cities by a number of biological societies. The cost figures to New Orleans proper were released in December 2012... total loss $2.7 million.
The parish of New Orleans swiftly banned the teaching of creationism from public schools just before Christmas, and the boycott was lifted. Money talks, but the boycott goes on for other Louisiana cities.
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