A linguistics professor at UL who routinely lobbies the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on behalf of Louisiana Family Forum insists his views have been misinterpreted. A UL professor referenced in The Independent Weekly's Dec. 8, 2010 cover story about creationists' attempts to compromise standard biology education in Louisiana public high schools ("Devolve: Creationists are jeopardizing science education in Louisiana public schools and once again making us the laughing stock of the country") is setting the record straight in The Acadiana Gazette, the right-leaning, south Lafayette Parish newspaper begun by late businessman/political aspirant Pat LeBlanc and former Republican state Rep. Ron Gomez.
In an article titled "Academic denies practicing textbook terrorism," John Oller, a linguistics professor at UL who routinely lobbies the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on behalf of Louisiana Family Forum - most recently at the December BESE meetings during which members voted to approve standard biology textbooks - insists his views have been misinterpreted by The Ind and others: "I haven't been misrepresented," Oller tells the Gazette, "I haven't been represented at all."
In fact, Oller's long ties to young earth creationists - those who believe the earth was created over the course of six, 24-hour days 6,000 years ago - are well-chronicled in the Ind's reporting on the topic, including the publication of a photo of the professor with other evolution skeptics at a conference at the Creation Museum in Kentucky where attractions include dioramas depicting early humans living alongside dinosaurs.
Citing a devotion to his students during finals week for declining to speak to The Ind for the December cover story, Oller retreads the common (mis)characterization of modern, mainstream evolutionary biology as cleaving to "19th century orthodoxy," and says, "Darwin's too-dull tools can't refute the existence of an intelligent God. It's entirely presumptuous."
Read the full article here.