Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Someone with the moniker BobMort has responded to my post about Vitter’s $100,000 earmark for the Louisiana Family Forum. His response, amusingly, is to deny that the LFF is a creationist group and that it’s a “smear” to call them one. He writes:

A careful study of LFF’s web-site wll reveal that it has never endorsed creationism – it has only ever presented the quite different theory of Intelligent Design as a counterpart to the now widely discredited theory of Evolution.

Well how about we undertake a “careful study” of the LFF website and see what turns up? One thing that turns up is this PDF file giving their followers a list of resources on “origins science.” That list includes Answers in Genesis, Walt Brown, Kent Hovind and the Institute for Creation Research along with the Discovery Institute and the Access Research Network. Apparently, the LFF think that ID and creationism are the same thing, both grouped under the label “origins science.”

And how about the mission of the LFF? Their stated mission is:

To persuasively present biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication and networking.

Presenting Biblical principles and now they’re the ones Vitter wants to “develop a plan to promote better science education.” Nope, no creationism to be seen here, move along folks. There is no creationism here and anyone who suggests otherwise is “smearing” them. Then there’s this little tidbit from the original NOLA article:

Until recently, its Web site contained a “battle plan to combat evolution,” which called the theory a “dangerous” concept that “has no place in the classroom.” The document was removed after a reporter’s inquiry…

Among other things, a “Louisiana Family Forum Fact Sheet” at one point included “A Battle Plan — Practical Steps to Combat Evolution” by Kent Hovind, a controversial evangelist who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for tax offenses and obstruction of justice.

Hovind’s paper stated, “Evolution is not a harmless theory but a dangerous religious belief” that underpinned the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

A battle plan to get evolution out of classrooms written by Kent Hovind. Nope, that doesn’t sound at all creationist, does it? And it disappeared from the website as soon as a reporter asked about it. What a surprise. Creationists? No, Senor. Nobody here but us chickens “advocates of better science education.”

Let’s go further in our careful study of the LFF website. How about this Louisiana Family Forum fact sheet called Dissecting Darwin. It says:

His description of how various living creatures developed requires millions of years, but the Bible describes creation, taking place in just six days. His theory of natural selection
seems to diminish God’s role in watching over and guiding the universe.

Damn, there I go smearing them again with their own words. Then there’s another fact sheet that reprints a Jerry Bergman article from Answers in Genesis claiming that evolution caused Hitler (just another example of how every single argument in the ID jokebook is taken directly from earlier creationist writings).

And if you’re looking for what kind of plan the LFF might develop to “promote better science education”, look no further than this document that was written to supplement standard biology textbooks in Louisiana. It contains virtually every long-debunked creationist argument imaginable. Like the “fossils can’t form without a huge flood” argument:

The fossilization process by its very nature implies a violent burial. Normal flood waters do not produce fossils unless there is a sudden surge of water that is full of a lot of sediment. An example is when a dam breaks. When the billions of fossils that are everywhere are considered in this light, the earth’s history had some very violent floods in its past.

It includes the claim that the full geologic column doesn’t exist (an argument both wrong and amusing, since it ignores the fact of erosion) and many more. There isn’t a single claim made in the document that does not come directly from creationist sources.

Then there’s this issue of Forum Facts, which the LFF labels “God-affirming opportunities in public schools” on their website; it includes “balanced treatment of science” – the very same wording struck down by the Federal courts in the creationism cases.

It also includes the NCBCPS Bible curriculum, a blatantly young earth creationist curriculum. The entire science section of that curriculum is based on the work of Carl Baugh and it includes all the old creationist chestnuts like the Paluxy footprints. But where would I get the crazy idea that the LFF is creationist? Smear, indeed.

P.S. It should be noted that the post to which I’m responding may be a parody. I have no way of knowing for sure, since it is substantively identical to what the defenders of this earmark would say. Whether it’s a parody or not, the evidence I cite here is important to get on the record.