Feb. 11 Florida board of education hearing
An article on tampabay.com (St. Petersburg Times) says:
One man linked Charles Darwin to Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. Another said evolution sanctioned murder. Still another held up an orange and said that because of evolution, he now had irrefutable evidence that an orange was "the first cousin to somebody's pet cat" and "related to human beings."
Other opponents spoke in more measured tones, saying they did not want the inclusion of creationism or intelligent design in science classrooms -- just a treatment of evolution that included its holes, gaps and flaws.
"Science is not infallible," said Tampa doctor Elizabeth McVeigh.
"I'm frightened," countered Robert Hankinson of Orlando. "Let the experts in science decide what my kids are taught in science."
In related developments, a coalition of conservative religious groups asked the Board of Education for 15 minutes to make their case at next week's meeting. The board said last week it would not take public input Feb. 19, so board members would have more time to deliberate among themselves . . . .
. . . Also Monday, 40 members of the committee that drafted the science standards issued a statement affirming their work and declaring, "There is no longer any valid scientific criticism of the theory of evolution."
Buckling to "special interest groups," it continued, "would not only seriously impede the education of our children but also create the image of a backward state, raising the risk of Florida's being snubbed by biotechnology companies and other science-based businesses."
The speakers at these public hearings will probably have the greatest influence because the board of education must have received thousands of written comments but does not have the time to read all of them. Here are the things I would have liked to discuss if I had the opportunity to speak at one of these public hearings:
(1) Kitzmiller v. Dover: Judge Jones showed extreme prejudice against the Dover defendants -- regardless of whether or not intelligent design is a religious idea -- by saying in a Dickinson College commencement speech that his decision was based on his notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not "true" religions. He also allowed the ACLU to virtually ghost-write the entire ID-as-science section of the opinion.
(2) Fordham Institute (no connection to Fordham U.): The Fordham Institute's reports on state science standards lack credibility. For example, though evolution education counts for only 3 points out of 69 in the Fordham rating system, Fordham threatened to drop Ohio's overall science standards grade from a B to an F just because the Ohio evolution lesson plan included weaknesses of Darwinism.
(3) Co-evolution: In the co-evolution of total co-dependence between two kinds of organisms, e.g., bees and flowering plants, unlike in evolutionary adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, and air, there may be nothing to adapt to because the corresponding co-dependent traits are likely to be initially absent locally in the other organism. Mutations producing traits that are potentially beneficial in co-evolution of total co-dependence are likely to be fatal or harmful in the absence of corresponding traits in the other organisms. The difficulties of co-evolution are an example of a weakness of Darwinism.
Labels: Evolution education (new #1)