Science in the Sunshine State

The anti-science creationists are continuing their state-by-state assault on evolution. Florida is currently revising the state standards for science and the strategy is to pass resolutions like the one below from Taylor County.

[W]e are requesting that the State Board of Education direct the Florida Department of Education to revise/edit the new Sunshine State Standards for Science so that evolution is presented as one of several theories as to how the universe was formed.

DarkSyde at Kos has the details:

One of several theories as to how the universe was formed? Good grief, could they be any more blatant in their scientific ignorance? Evolutionary biology examines how living things change over time, regardless of how the universe (Or the earth) ‘formed.’ Evo is about as relevant to the origin of the universe as geology.

Early indications are that many more counties in the Sunshine State have passed or are considering almost identical resolutions. The inference is that someone is shopping around an anti-science template to perhaps well meaning but nevertheless gullible school board members. . . if physical reality is something we could change merely by voting on it, why not vote big? How about “Resolved: Cancer is no longer a deadly disease and is instead less serious than a hangnail” or “We the undersigned hereby decree all people can travel faster than light anytime they want to”? If you can answer that question for cancer or relativity, you’ve answered it for evolutionary biology as well.

What does Margaret Spellings think about all of this?

For all the rhetoric about world-class standards and maintaining scientific supremacy in the world, you might think that the Bush Administration would have an opinion about this. Not so, according to the Miami Herald.

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who is visiting states to tout the benefits of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, stayed as far away as she could from the unfolding controversy in Florida over whether the word ”evolution” should be included in the state’s science standards for schools. The State Board of Education is expected to vote on the new weather science standards next month.

Spellings said it isn’t her job to make policy decisions and said it was up to people such as new Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith.

When asked whether the nation’s top education official has a position on whether evolution should be a part of science standards, Spellings replied: “No, I don’t.”

We can look forward to this state-by-state strategy eventually making its way to Idaho. It is just a matter of time given the make-up of the current state board.


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