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12 Florida Schools Pass Anti-Evolution Resolutions 871

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the and-the-kids-still-lose dept.
Several sources are reporting that twelve school districts in Florida have passed resolutions against the teaching of evolution. Out of all the arguments, however, one administrator seems to have gotten it right: "Then, the final speaker, Lisa Dizengoff, director of science curriculum at Pembroke Pines Charter School's east campus, angrily reminded the crowd that after all the carping over evolution, no one had gotten around to addressing the state's lackadaisical, last-century approach to science education. 'All I heard was this argument about evolution,' she said, disgusted that so many other problems had been preempted by a single controversy. 'The kids lost out again.''"
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12 Florida Schools Pass Anti-Evolution Resolutions

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  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:55PM (#22004854) Homepage Journal
    there was a rumor going around florida might lose their fark tag.
    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:02PM (#22004980) Homepage Journal
      I've been to Florida.

      Believe me! Based on that sample, I'd disbelieve in evolution theory, too!
      • by uncoveror (570620) <webmaster@uBLUEncoveror.com minus berry> on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:45PM (#22008518) Homepage
        Most of us are descended from great apes. Floridians are descended from red-ass baboons.
        • by Mex (191941) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:47AM (#22011304)
          Hey, *Americans* may come from apes, the rest of the world evolved from hominids ;)

          (yes, yes I know... It's just a joke http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hominid [wikipedia.org] )
  • Fundies again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dosius (230542) <bridget@buric.co> on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:56PM (#22004862) Journal
    The 21st Century... The new Dark Ages, when religion is high and education is low.

    -uso.
    • The Religious Mind (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:23PM (#22005324)
      I have studied theology in some depth. I am familiar with apologetics and all the classical defenses put forth to support the integrity of specific, popular, religious beliefs.

      For all the philosophical rambling, none of them, absolutely none of them, escape this simple indisputable fact:

      All religious teachings are provided to us by humans.

      If God Himself appeared next to me and handed me a copy of the Bible, that would be one thing. But instead, a human handed to me. And, in fact, a human wrote every word that is in it. This notion of "divine inspiration" (which is supposed to remove the element of human fallibility from the Bible) was communicated to me by...wait for it....A HUMAN.

      I can agree in principle with the presumption that faith in God is well-founded, and faith in human reason (i.e. the theory of evolution) is not so well-founded. However, to put faith in the teachings (or books) of any religion is to put faith in human reason.

      There is no denial, only rationalization.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Armakuni (1091299)
        As someone said: Destroy both religion and science. Science will rise again exactly the same. But no religion will.
      • by blahplusplus (757119) on Friday January 11, 2008 @06:12PM (#22006222)
        "I can agree in principle with the presumption that faith in God is well-founded...."

        The problem is, how would you know it was god and not some advanced life form? Ancient humans with smaller brains would consider us or our mysterious technology 'gods'.

        "...and faith in human reason (i.e. the theory of evolution) is not so well-founded. However, to put faith in the teachings (or books) of any religion is to put faith in human reason."

        What *isn't* human reason? The fact of the matter is, if god showed up beside you and put (x book) in your hand, how would you know the words in it aren't from humans if they are in human language?

        I think the whole evolution vs design controversy, is simply about the fear of death and the death of traditional morality and culture, it's not about god, it's not about truth, it's about a way of life and community that's decaying and the old gaurd is reacting to it. Western culture today is a mixed bag when you look at the divorce rate, two-parent families, and the declining birth-rate in north america.

        I think more slashdotians need to read Oswald Spenglers Decline of the west, he predicted quite a lot and is quite correct that all knowledge is in fact religious in conception, science can't escape the fact that ultimately it is merely a *description* of the universe it doesn't tell us the true nature of the universe or even what 'nature' is.

        All natural laws are merely descriptions of geometry and geometric and other relationships in a metaphorical (mathematical) language. Since if you have a sphere, what are you going to use to describe it? An abstract representational system (math).
        • by Sloppy (14984) on Friday January 11, 2008 @06:33PM (#22006588) Homepage Journal

          The problem is, how would you know it was god and not some advanced life form?
          PGP Web of Trust, baby! If God signs it, then those people who certified his key would all have to be liars. What's the chance of that?
        • by raybob (203381) on Friday January 11, 2008 @06:45PM (#22006822)
          "...science can't escape the fact that ultimately it is merely a *description* of the universe it doesn't tell us the true nature of the universe or even what 'nature' is."

          "All natural laws are merely descriptions of ..."

          You are missing a key concept here. Scientific theories are more than descriptions, they collectively form a 'model' of the observable world. As such, they may be used as predictive tools, which is not true of religious dogma. Given a certain set of conditions, outcome X will occur.

          Religion, on the other hand, is descriptive of past events, and assigns causal relationships where there aren't any. Think of miracles - they can't be predicted, there's no evidence finding for a supernatural cause, and given the same set of initial conditions, the miracle can't be reproduced.

          So evolution, natural selection, species environmental dynamics, etc. as a body of knowledge can be used to predict to a certain extent. Not exactly --what-- will occur, but that change in species characteristics will occur (speciation, see here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html [talkorigins.org]) due to selection processes over time that have as their genesis factors such as isolation, mutation, interbreeding, etc.

          Science is an axiomatic, rigorous, and predictive model, whereas religion is interpretation of history to fit a non-rigorous faith-based viewpoint.
        • by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Friday January 11, 2008 @07:17PM (#22007332) Homepage Journal

          "I can agree in principle with the presumption that faith in God is well-founded...."

          The problem is, how would you know it was god and not some advanced life form? Ancient humans with smaller brains would consider us or our mysterious technology 'gods'.

          In any case, if there is one true God, who is it? Aphrodite? [wikipedia.org] Thor? [wikipedia.org] the Morrigan? [wikipedia.org] Siva? [wikipedia.org] Anubis? [wikipedia.org] Even if there were a God, what would make you think it was Jhwh? [wikipedia.org]

          Mind you, dead funny to see some of these rednecks rolling up to the pearly gates in their Humvees to find that Allah is in charge...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by arthurpaliden (939626)
        For what it is worth The King James Bible was a "Government" publication.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bombula (670389)
        I can agree in principle with the presumption that faith in God is well-founded, and faith in human reason (i.e. the theory of evolution) is not so well-founded.

        I cannot agree in principle with that presumption. Faith in God (zero evidence, zero logical consistency, negative social utility) "well-founded" but 'faith' in evolution (overwhelming evidence, extraordinary cross-discipline consistency, staggering social utility vis-a-vis the natural sciences) "no so well-founded"? Perhaps you're not living on

    • by riseoftheindividual (1214958) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:50PM (#22005784) Homepage
      I mean, this argument over evolution has religious roots, but I can't help but stare in disbelief at believers who waste their energy over this argument. What difference does it make if every school in the country teaches God created the earth when you look at most religious people and the only way you can tell they have religion is their loud harping on evolution and abortion and hatred of homosexuals, atheists, and people who don't share their faith? There's no compassion or any of the other virtues you occasionally hear touted as being part of religion coming from the people behind these movements. No love of truth. No love of others as they love themselves. Just know it all venom and a desperate need to defend dogmas no matter how silly they sound defending them or what new lows of deception they have to sink to in their defense.

      I have to ask those believers, is this what Jesus would do and be about? I'm working my ass off to make sure my kids can go to the finest private non-religious schools available. They can raise their kids in 3rd world ignorance, but I can make sure my kids aren't.
      • by wiredlogic (135348) on Friday January 11, 2008 @07:19PM (#22007374)
        Well said. You have my applause.

        Really, this sort of behavior boils down to tribalism. People have a need to identify themselves as part of a group and what better way to do that then to contrast yourselves with those who are outside of your group. This is why some people glom onto fanatacisim for professional sports teams or fall victim to fashion trends. It's all about establishing your group identity. The Japanese have a notably complex system of in-groups and out-groups and expected behaviors when interacting with people in and out of your many groups.

        The foaming at the mouth evangelicals love to portray themselves as under perilous attack by secular heathens despite the fact that North America has an overwhelmingly Christian culture and it isn't going away anytime soon. This is all part of the rhetoric established from the time that Christians really were a minority group who had to withstand the oppression of other dominant groups. Just once, I whish these fools could put themselves in the shoes of a Hindu or Buddhist immigrant to realize what it truly feels like to be a little fish in a bowl of sharks.

        Of course this is one of the many problems with modern Christianity: it is permeated with an air of anti-intellectualism. You shouldn't try to question the "truth" as given to you by people serving as intermediaries for God (or direct from the KJV Bible for the literalists). To do so would be to admit that you don't have enough faith and without faith you're going to hell so just shut up and believe everything we tell you to believe in. We have things like idiot Protestants claiming that Roman Catholics aren't real Christians. (WTF?) People like Pat Robertson are lionized by millions and yet he openly expresses hatred for non-Christians. Somehow these people can claim to be followers of Jesus and yet they conveniently fail to realize the core meaning his teachings.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Phroggy (441)

          Really, this sort of behavior boils down to tribalism. People have a need to identify themselves as part of a group and what better way to do that then to contrast yourselves with those who are outside of your group. This is why some people glom onto fanatacisim for professional sports teams or fall victim to fashion trends. It's all about establishing your group identity.

          You've neatly summed up the conflict in Iraq as well. Sunis, Shiites and Kurds don't hate each other because of differences in religious doctrine, they hate each other because they identify themselves as part of a group that collectively hates the other groups. It just happens that they've adopted religious labels, which causes great confusion over here where we're not used to religious labels being used in this way.

          Religious labels being applied to groups that do obnoxious things is why so many people t

    • Read Some Voltaire (Score:5, Interesting)

      by catchblue22 (1004569) on Friday January 11, 2008 @06:57PM (#22007028) Homepage

      More of us should read Voltaire's writings. He wrote a great deal about fanaticism and religion (he was not an atheist). Some quotes:

      One of my favorites:

      Those who can make people believe absurdities can make them commit atrocities.

      From Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary:

      Fanaticism is to superstition what delirium is to fever, and what fury is to anger. The man who has ecstasies and visions, who takes dream for realities, and his imaginings for prophecies, is an enthusiast. The man who backs his madness with murder is a fanatic.

      Believing that the Earth is 10000 years old in the face of hard scientific evidence is like taking dreams for reality.

      Once fanaticism has cankered a brain, the disease is almost incurable...There is no other remedy for this epidemic illness than the spirit of free thought, which, spreading little by little, finally softens men's customs, and prevents the renewal of the disease. For as soon as this evil makes any progress we must flee and wait for the air to become pure again. Laws and religion do not suffice against the pest of the soul.

      Methinks in these days of growing fanaticism, both religious and ideological, we would do well to learn from what Voltaire wrote.

  • So....... (Score:5, Funny)

    by aztektum (170569) on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:56PM (#22004880)
    When do we start bombing the religious zealots in this country for oppressing their people?
    • Re:So....... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:27PM (#22005402)
      You know, to be honest, I'd really like to suggest a title change for the articles concerned - "12 Florida Schools Pass Anti-Science Resolutions."

      That's really what's happening. The theory of Evolution is one of the most heavily supported things in the scientific world, and passing laws against it speaks exceptionally loudly about the given parties ability to discern fact from fiction, intelligence from hand-waving, and most importantly, critical thinking from anything else. They're not just rejecting evolution, they're rejecting the process of science as a whole.
      • Re:So....... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Seumas (6865) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:44PM (#22005694)
        If they can't teach evolution, then they shouldn't be able to teach about gravity or anything else. Almost everything in science that is relatively established (beyond hypothesis) is a theory. So why have science classes at all? And then these same religious idiots are the ones who will bash the education system for not staying competitive with the rest of the world. How can you stay competitive when you are preventing your children from receiving a valid, proper, progressive education with such important things as ... you know... math and science?
    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      When do we start bombing the religious zealots in this country for oppressing their people?
      No - it will be the other way around...
  • This is going to going over as well as a fart in church...
    In the end the kids always lose out when adults do things "in their best interests"
    • Re:Blasphemy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:24PM (#22005344) Journal
      You're right that it's going to end badly. It's only going to take a few pissed off parents and the ACLU will walk in and destroy all of this as completely as was done in Dover. The schools will end up owing millions, the kids will suffer, and the idiots who have fallen liars from the Discovery Institute will largely get off scot-free like they did in Dover.
      • You're right that it's going to end badly. It's only going to take a few pissed off parents and the ACLU will walk in and destroy all of this as completely as was done in Dover. The schools will end up owing millions, the kids will suffer, and the idiots who have fallen liars from the Discovery Institute will largely get off scot-free like they did in Dover.

        Yep. I am Christian, but religion (as such) doesn't belong in a public school. Science needs to be taught and taught right (starting with scientific *process*, not facts, and why the process matters). Making the school a battleground for dogma is just stupid and hurtful. If you really want to cripple your child's education, teach them privately and leave the other kids out of it. Myself, I do plan on homeschooling my daughter, and she will be taught religion, but she will get a general education, including

  • The comment that struck me is one board member stating that they were "Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact."

    I suppose he should also be against teaching gravity or biology or even simple arithmetic...

    All the above are based on theories that have been shown to be consistant but none are trully "facts."

    When will we see an article talking about teaching alternate theories of Math?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:59PM (#22004938)
      pi = 3. It's in the bible, it's the law. I for one do not welcome our divine overlords.
      • by aldousd666 (640240) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:15PM (#22005202) Journal
        I don't either. And I'm not posting anonymously. This is bullshit, and deserves to be treated as such. If you'll pardon the metaphor, to hell with this "theory" bullshit. It's an observable phenomenon. The only 'Theory' part of it is whether or not the currently observable laws of nature also were holding true during the time that life as we can see it came about or not. It's like saying, 'Sure that gravity pulls books down to the ground NOW, but did it still do that 10,000 years ago? Until you can answer that positively then you only have a theory!!'
        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:37PM (#22005572) Journal
          The "it's only a theory" comment is a pretty classic example of an etymological fallacy; invoking an older or more looser usage of a word in an attempt to undermine a more narrow or professional usage. In this case, they attempt to equate the definition of theory as a "claim" or "guess" with the very narrow and strict definition of the word as it is applied by scientists. It's simply another variant of the older sticker trick that was tried, and every time it comes up, a court sees through the bullshit and lies (it's ironic how deceitful and immoral all these good Christian folks become) and rule that the Creationists/IDers have distinctly religious motives.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by bckrispi (725257)
            While I agree with you, I have to point out that scientists themselves are often guilty of this. By definition, physics shouldn't have "String Theory", but the "String Hypothesis".
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by MightyMartian (840721)
              And you'll find a good many physicists who agree with you. I, for one, do not think String Theory qualifies as a theory, and find calling it that rather abusive of the term.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by DragonWriter (970822)

              While I agree with you, I have to point out that scientists themselves are often guilty of this. By definition, physics shouldn't have "String Theory", but the "String Hypothesis".

              Well, it shouldn't have a "String Theory", but that doesn't mean it can't have "String Theory"; string theory seems to me to be a field of "theory" in the unenumerable sense used in mathematics (e.g., "knot theory"), that takes as its underlying basis the conjectures of a particular fundamental model of physics (I'm not sure its e

      • by Bloke down the pub (861787) on Friday January 11, 2008 @06:21PM (#22006396)

        pi = 3. It's in the bible, it's the law.
        Knock it off will you, I'm trying to draw a circle and it keeps coming out as a hexagon.
      • Literalism (Score:5, Funny)

        by EnsilZah (575600) <EnsilZah@NospAM.Gmail.com> on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:10PM (#22007996)
        You when will you literalists ever learn?
        God only used an integer because support for floating point operations was severely limited in the CPUs of the time.
    • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Friday January 11, 2008 @06:29PM (#22006512) Journal
      The comment that struck me is one board member stating that they were "Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact."

      ....but I bet, never the less that he BELIEVES in it as a fact. Lawrence Lessig (of Physics of Star Trek fame) gave an excellent talk at a Canadian physics conference I was at last year where he explained that scientists should not take too much to heart all these medieval occurances since deap down people really did believe in evolution.

      His example was the bird flu scare. Absolutely nobody went around say: "don't worry it cannot possible evolve into something deadly to us, it was designed for birds and will stay that way". So when push comes to shove these people really do believe in science and evolution. So in the end they are really nothing more than hypocrits which, since most of them are politicians, we already knew anyway.
    • by ultracool (883965) on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:48PM (#22008562)
      From Nature [nature.com] this week:

      SPREAD THE WORD

      Evolution is a scientific fact, and every organization whose research depends on it should explain why.

      Three cheers for the US National Academy of Sciences for publishing an updated version of its booklet Science, Evolution, and Creationism (see http://www.nap.edu/sec [nap.edu]). The document succinctly summarizes what is and isn't science, provides an overview of evidence for evolution by natural selection, and highlights how, time and again, leading religious figures have upheld evolution as consistent with their view of the world.

      For a more specific and also entertaining account of evolutionary knowledge, see palaeontologist Kevin Padian's evidence given at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial (see http://tinyurl.com/2nlgar [tinyurl.com]). Padian destroys the false assertions by creationists that there are critical gaps in the fossil record. He illustrates the fossil-rich paths from fish to land-based tetrapod, from crocodile to dinosaur to feathered dinosaur to bird, from terrestrial quadruped to the whale, and more besides. Creationism is strong in the United States and, according to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, worryingly on the rise in Europe (see http://tinyurl.com/2knrqy [tinyurl.com]). But die-hard creationists aren't a sensible target for raising awareness. What matters are those citizens who aren't sure about evolution -- as much as 55% of the US population according to some surveys.

      As the National Academy of Sciences and Padian have shown, it is possible to summarize the reasons why evolution is in effect as much a scientific fact as the existence of atoms or the orbiting of Earth round the Sun, even though there are plenty of refinements to be explored. Yet some actual and potential heads of state refuse to recognize this fact as such. And creationists have a tendency to play on the uncertainties displayed by some citizens. Evolution is of profound importance to modern biology and medicine. Accordingly, anyone who has the ability to explain the evidence behind this fact to their students, their friends and relatives should be given the ammunition to do so. Between now and the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth on 12 February 2009, every science academy and society with a stake in the credibility of evolution should summarize evidence for it on their website and take every opportunity to promote it.

  • Opposed to facts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:58PM (#22004912)

    Oscar Howard Jr., superintendent of Taylor County's School District, and Danny Lundy, vice chairman of the School Board, spoke in accents from that other Florida. ''We're opposed to teaching evolution as a fact,'' Howard said, adding that his School Board and 11 others have passed resolutions against the imposition of evolution in the school curriculum.
    Before the "It's just a theory" folks start up, I'll point out that a theory is a model to explain the facts.
    • Re:Opposed to facts (Score:5, Interesting)

      by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:09PM (#22005106) Homepage Journal
      Thank you. That is the part that always gets ignored. Theories can only attempt to explain something that already exists. They're not making something up. To wit:


      Gravity is a fact. The theory(s) that explain it and its effects are not facts.

      Here are two links which cover this topic:

      Link 1 [wilstar.com]

      Link 2 [fsteiger.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)
        Indeed. Evolution is a fact. Punctuated Equilibrium (for example) is a theory.
        • Re:Opposed to facts (Score:4, Informative)

          by rossifer (581396) on Friday January 11, 2008 @06:06PM (#22006108) Journal
          I don't know who moderated the parent a troll, but you need to inform yourself. Evolution is an observed fact [skeptictank.org]. Natural selection is a scientific theory that provides a comprehensive explanation for the observed facts of evolution.

          What most people are doing when they say "Evolution is just a theory" is confusing hypothesis with theory. Or, they are confusing the word theory in common parlance (conjecture) with scientific theory.

          A scientific hypothesis is defined as: "A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation."

          A scientific theory, on the other hand is defined as: "A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena."
  • I think I'm going to have to head down to that next meeting with a clue-by-four and lay down some science on their asses.
  • by escher (3402) *
    Evolution. I has it. [molybdenum-platypus.net]
  • by bunbuntheminilop (935594) on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:59PM (#22004930)
    1. Brace self for usual massive troll reaction to this, 2. Go outside, and do something else.
    • by u-bend (1095729) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:44PM (#22005704) Homepage Journal
      Thank you! This is a seductive game the first thirty times, but all it makes me want to do now is close my /. tab. After I post this comment, that is. Seriously, here's how it always goes:
      1. Article posted that makes fundies look like idiots.
      2. Anti-fundie flaming.
      3. Anti-religion flaming.
      4. Sideshow discussions about reconciliation of theology and science in one's personal life, usually reasonably posited and humbly submitted; drowned out by the by now raging flame war.
      5. Sideshow flame war about the observability of evolution.
      6. ...
      7. Profit? No, everyone loses (except the trolls), the smartest stay away completely, the next tier down leaves feeling drawn in and sheepish (c'mon we've all been there), and the trolls emerge stupid as ever, feeling victorious.
      8. Ugh.
      9. It's Friday, everyone drink a beer or something.
  • Figures (Score:3, Funny)

    by tgd (2822) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:01PM (#22004964)
    The kids are getting screwed by America's wang.
    • by snl2587 (1177409)

      Fortunately I can safely say that while the board members who make these decisions are people with a distorted view of the world (ok: bigots), I know that many of the teachers I had in high school would rather be fired than stop teaching evolution. I forsee many lawsuits...

  • by Entropius (188861) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:18PM (#22005260)
    ... seems to be the sum total of evidence against evolution.

    http://xkcd.com/54/ [xkcd.com] is appropriate right now.
  • by porkThreeWays (895269) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:20PM (#22005288)
    What makes me so mad about things like this are, these parents seem to be concerned about their kids education when it's convenient. Our education system here is in shambles and this is what they bicker about? How about being concerned about failing schools THEN robble about silly shit. Hypocrites...
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:24PM (#22005342) Homepage Journal
    When I was in school we did learn that they where other theories about how life started on earth. We learned that some people believed in spontaneous generation like that maggots came from rotting meat. We learned how these where shown to be incorrect or lacking in any evidence.
    I would have no problem with them teaching intelligent design if they just followed the rules of science when teaching it.
    Simply that some people think this is how life got started but there is no proof or experiments that prove it out and many of their claims have been disproven or at least had a lot of doubt about them.

    Science should be open to different ideas even if they are wrong. They must all be looked at using the scientific method. I doubt many creationist would like the way it was being taught but that is just too bad. If they can get some good science to back them up then let's see it.
    All that I have seen was really bad.
  • by Bullfish (858648) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:32PM (#22005474)
    This isn't about education at all. It is about power. And the worst power mongers are people are these low-level politicians on school boards and local councils who have more direct control over the people immediately around them.

    They are no doubt congratulating themselves about bringing 17th century thinking to the 21st century.

    Sad. I doubt most people in Florida, or even these schools agree with this result. Hopefully, like in Kansas, it will be overturned.
  • by srobert (4099) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:58PM (#22005954)
    Maybe now that they've had some success on this front, they can pursue suppressing the "round-earth theory" in Earth Science, and Geography classes.
  • by CyberLife (63954) on Friday January 11, 2008 @06:58PM (#22007036)
    I've always found it funny how creationists and their supporters argue against the teaching of evolution on the basis that, "It's only a theory." What they seem to forget (or were never taught) is that everything in science is, at most, a theory. Nothing is certain, nothing is absolute. Nothing can be deemed "irrefutable" as such a statement implies one can tell the future. It is always possible that new data will someday come to light and contradict that which we hold to be a "universal truth."

    Of course, I suppose if the creationists did understand this concept they would attempt to use it against the scientific community. If nothing is absolutely certain, how then do you know anything, right?

    *looks around at all of the gadgets, cars, buildings, medical technology, etc.*

    Well, we seem to be applying science quite well despite the fact. :)
  • by lelitsch (31136) on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:12PM (#22008038)
    If you actually read the http://www.taylor.k12.fl.us/shared.content/board.meetings/minutes/11-20-07.pdf [slashdot.org]>meeting minutesyou would see that they are actually EXPANDING on the theory of evolution into the real of cosmology and quantum physics.

    "[we] 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."

    I have a graduate degree in physics, but I wasn't aware that the universe was formed by evolution. Although I have to admit that the thought of mating galaxies has a certain appeal.

    ---------------------
    People who don't understand sarcasm are bound to be an irresistible target for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mike2R (721965)

      Although I have to admit that the thought of mating galaxies has a certain appeal.

      You mean the big bang theory?

  • by whitehatlurker (867714) on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:19PM (#22008132) Journal
    Excerpt from the minutes [k12.fl.us] of the 20th Nov., 2007 meeting of the Taylor County school board:

    Upon motion by Danny Lundy, seconded by Darrell Whiddon the Board adopted/approved the: 1.) Resolution regarding the new Sunshine State Standards for Science.
    The adoped resolution is as follows:
    Whereas, the Florida Department of Education has drafted and is now proposing new Sunshine State Standards for Science, the Taylor County School Board opposes the implementation of the new standards as currently presented.
    Whereas, the new Sunshine State Standards for Science no longer present evolution as theory but as "the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported in multiple forms of scientific evidence," we 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.
    Whereas, the Taylor County School Board recognizes the importance of providing a thorough and comprehensive Science education to all the students in Taylor County and to all students in the state of Florida, it recognizes as even more important the need to present these standards through a fair and balanced approach, an approach that does not unfairly exclude other theories as to the creation of the universe.
    NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Taylor County School Board of Taylor County, Perry, Florida, that the Board urges the State Board of Education to direct the Florida Department of Education to revise the new Sunshine State Standards for Science such that evolution is not presented as fact, but as one of several theories. The Board Members and Superintendent Howard discussed the upcoming meetings on this issue. Superintendent Howard stated that he plans on attending one of the meetings in the near future. However, there is discrepancy as to when and where the meetings are to take place.

    Now if the state is trying to force these people to accept evolution as an explanation of the origin of the universe, I'd be miffed about it as well. On the other hand, if they came up with this bit all by themselves, I think that they really do require someone to explain what evolution really is. I'd feel sorry for the good people of this county, if they hadn't been the ones electing the board in the first place.

  • by reallocate (142797) on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:46PM (#22008540)
    Employers who expect their employees to be conversant with modern science and the scientific method should send letters to these school districts decalring they won't hire anyone who is a product of their schools.

    Yes, that's unfair to some students, but these willful Luddites need to be taught a lesson.

  • Posted Response (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SnowDog74 (745848) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:04PM (#22009314)
    I posted this in response to some of the comments on the linked blog:

    To Rob Poole and biblethumper, excellent responses.

    Also, I would like to add for clarity that "theory" in the scientific context (or any other) does not mean a blind guess, or even an educated guess...

    A theory, contrary to its colloquial usage, is defined by Webster's as "The analysis of a set of FACTS in their relation to one another."

    Thus, that evolution occurs is a fact. HOW it occurs is what The Theory of Evolution proposes to explain. It explains it so well that it has been used to predict much of the cause-effect relationships that have resulted in most of the medical care you receive today. Were it not for evolutionary biology, very little of today's medical expertise would exist. You cannot peruse any corner of medicine and/or science without running invariably into evolutionary biology, paleobiology, genetics, heredity and all the myriad life sciences that were, of all things, spawned unknowingly by the discovery of a monk (the aforementioned Mendel).

    The problem with imagining that Creationism is anything remotely resembling a theory is that it consists of no facts. When questioned as to the facts that support it, a mishmash of suppositions are presented, but no evidence. When asked what Creationism proposes, no cogent explanation is provided. In short, Creationism/Intelligent Design fell apart upon very basic scrutiny in Kitzmiller et. al. v Dover Board of Education, during a cross-examination of ID's biggest "expert", Michael Behe, a molecular biologist from Lehigh University... The court testimony of Behe exposed that Creationism/Intelligent Design consists of no direct evidence, proposes nothing, disproves nothing, and proves nothing.

    It should be noted, however, that contrary to Rob Poole's post that the Theory of Evolution doesn't have "just as much" evidence as Newtonian and Einsteinian Theories of Gravity. The Theory of Evolution, in fact, has many times the evidence behind it. Over 150 years of findings published in thousands upon thousands of peer-reviewed scientific articles.

    It is useful to note that Mendel, who did not understand yet the mechanism of heredity but observed its occurrence, was vindicated three centuries later by James Watson and F.H.C. Crick's discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA, the mechanism of heredity (not unlike how Arno Penzias and Bob Wilson discovered in 1960 the Cosmic Microwave Background that Dirac predicted some 40 years earlier). It is also useful to note that modern genetic research on homeobox genes, the "master control switches" of huge sets of genes, are vindicating key aspects of Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge's Punctuated Equilibrium -- namely the abrupt and drastic periods of divergence interrupting long periods of data-backed, not gap-backed, stasis.

    How does the Bible explain the interchangeablity of the Pax-6 homolog between Drosophila melanogaster and Homo sapiens sapiens? Why did the Bible not predict the structure of DNA? If two humans can do it, surely god could have proffered an explanation of his own invention.

    There has not been in the history of modern science (circa the advent of chemistry and physics) a more demonstrable theory with more evidence to support it. If you refute evolution, you might as well walk off a cliff and hope for the best.

    I agree with those who say that faith and science are not entirely incompatible. But whereas science does not attempt to do anything but find facts, religiion does not do anything but pursue meaning... and poorly at that. So in a way they ARE incompatible. But where science is the best system for testing hypotheses and deriving what is fact, as the scientific process is more successful than any system before it for doing so, religion is no better than a great philosophical treatise or a poignant fiction in giving human beings a sense of self-worth and meaning to find their place. The difference is that, Siskel and Ebert's cutthroat debates aside, usually
  • by onemorechip (816444) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @03:01AM (#22011722)
    There are only three possibilities.

    1. All species that exist today have always existed. This would only be compatible with a steady-state cosmology.

    2. Complex species appeared suddenly (with no predecessors). Observe as long as you wish, you will never see this happen.

    3. Single-celled species appeared at some point in the past, and complex species evolved from those.

    Guess which option I'd put my money on.
  • by Z00L00K (682162) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @03:17AM (#22011800) Homepage
    Will not that be a problem for the students later in life if they chose to seek higher education?

    Oh - wait - religion wants us to be all meek and follow the leader and his disciples.

    There is only one religion that always works and that is Murphy's Law [wikipedia.org]. But there are some who think's Murphy was an optimist [fu-berlin.de]. - In short "Shit happens".

    "Religion is only a crutch"

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