More news from Florida
Holding up two oranges -- evidence of evolution's contributions to Florida's economy -- at the hearing. Picture is courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel
The Florida Citizens for Science blog says that "support is starting to roll in" for the proposed evolution education standards, but this support is a little late, considering that the Florida board of education is scheduled to make its decision only about a week from now, on Feb. 19.
We opponents of the proposed standards have two big advantages: (1) there are a hell of a lot of us and (2) right now our views are not represented at all in the standards. The proposed evolution education standards do not even have the word "theory." The proposed standards stink. In the words of Darwinist professor Paul Mirecki of Kansas University, the proposed standards were written as "a nice slap in the big fat face of the fundies." Darwinism is so bankrupt that the Darwinists must resort to censorship to help defend it.
The FCS blog says,
I am proud to announce that organizations are now coming forward in support of the new draft of the state science standards.
The first is a complete surprise. Our very first county school board has approved a resolution in support of the standards. Thank you, Monroe County!
Yes, your very first county school board. Congratulations. But according to your own count, 11 county school boards came out against the standards, many or even all of them unanimously.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State also released a letter in support of the standards.
The AUSCS letter claims that evolution is a "fact" and not just a "theory":
Evolution is both a scientific theory and a scientific fact. A scientific "theory" is "a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence." This contrasts the colloquial meaning of "theory," which is just a guess or a hunch. When a scientific theory "has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing it or looking for additional examples," scientists also use the term "fact" to describe it. This is the case with evolution: "scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur." Thus, arguments that students should learn about "fundamental weaknesses in the science of evolution are unwarranted based on the overwhelming evidence that supports the theory" and will only harm students' education.
This controversy over the term "theory" recalls the following statements that federal appeals court judge Edward Carnes made to a plaintiffs'/appellees' attorney in an oral hearing in the defunct Selman v. Cobb County textbook sticker case:
"I don't think y'all can contest any of the sentences. It is a theory, not a fact; the book supports that."
"Your difficulty is that you've got to take something that actually is reflective of the content of this textbook you like so much, and say it violates the First Amendment."
Videos of the Feb. 11 hearing are here. I wish that audio recordings or transcripts were available -- my dial-up connection is too slow for videos longer than a few minutes.
One of Wesley Elsberry's summaries of the public comments said that one commenter mentioned my favorite criticism of Darwinism, co-evolution, but I don't know how effectively this criticism was presented:
Do not confuse science and faith. Most of the evidence for Darwinism has been refuted or disputed. Blood clotting! Flower and bee co-evolution! Following the Pied Piper, is that science? Science said the world was flat. Scientists are indoctrinated by our educational system! I was! Faith in Evolution!
Labels: Evolution education (new #1)