Power Corrupts, PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely — Edward Tufte
I went this morning to something I found on meetup.com, which was an event hosted by Atheists United. I’m not a dues paying member of Atheists United, but they function as sort of a community for Atheists that’s analogous to a church. The event was a speech and lunch function, and the speaker was Barbara Forrest, who was instrumental in the Dover case against Intelligent Design.
She was very interesting and knowledgeable, and I feel immediate kinship to smart, rational, public school educated Southern women. She had a powerpoint (keynote) presentation, and I really hate those, but other than that it was fascinating in a somewhat horrific way. In Louisiana they’ve passed a law (SB 733) that basically says that a science teacher can supplement the science curriculum with whatever they want, the intention being that science teachers can teach Creationism if they so choose.
It’s so bad that, even though they’ve tried to pass it in several other states including Texas, the only place it’s actually passed is Louisiana. It is a point of embarrassment that it’s still under consideration in South Carolina. But apparently Louisiana, in addition to being ridiculously religious and conservative like the rest of the south, suffers from having an incredibly strong Executive Branch with an extremely right-wing religioso and politically vindictive governor, Bobby Jindal. You’ll remember him from his embarrassingly bad response to Obama’s State of the Union.
I was shocked that I hadn’t heard about this at all. I mean, you can teach creationism in public school biology classes in Louisiana. It’s really icky. Being a SC native, I’m hoping that the particularly weak governorship in SC will prevent this legislation from being pushed through there.
So, she was interesting. But the event as a whole was a bit… geriatric. I mean, I would guess the average age in the room was over 60. They need to start a youth outreach or something because I felt very awkward being one of 2 people there under the age of 50. Nothing wrong with older people, of course, it was just a bit weird. I mean, people were impressed by the powerpoint presentation…