New Florida Science Standards and Selman v. Cobb County
Unfortunately, that annoying statement about evolution being the "fundamental concept underlying all of biology" remains in the standards. I am an engineer. Most of the different engineering, science, and math subjects that I studied each had their own fundamental underlying principle(s), and most of these subjects did not have a single underlying principle. But biology is supposed to have this one fundamental underlying principle, evolution, yet I don't even remember studying this principle at all in high school biology. How can that be? Regardless of whether or not evolution is wholly or partly true, telling students that it is the fundamental unifying principle of all of biology is brainwashing them with a big lie.
Biologists have an inferiority complex because of the kind of attitude expressed by Lord Rutherford: "All science is either physics or stamp collecting." Because of this inferiority complex, biologists are waging a prestige war against other branches of science by boasting that biology has something that the other branches don't have, a single grand central fundamental underlying principle, evolution.
The constitutionality of calling evolution a "theory" was a big issue in the Selman v. Cobb County evolution disclaimer textbook sticker case. The sticker said,
“Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.”
A district court judge ruled that the sticker was unconstitutional. In an oral hearing on the appeal, appeals court judge Edward Carnes told an attorney representing the plaintiffs/appellees,
"I don't think y'all can contest any of the sentences. It is a theory, not a fact; the book supports that."
-- and --
"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."
Another judge on the panel, Frank Hull, questioned how the federal district court could have found the sticker's language misleading to biology students when there was no evidence to support that view.
The appeals court vacated and remanded the lower court's decision because of missing evidence. A new trial was granted. The Cobb County school board finally took a dive, settling out of court.
Labels: Evolution education (new #1)