Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Florida State Board of Education finally approves evolution - but only “in theory”

Transcript of today's show:

In a precedent-setting decision, Florida education officials voted to add evolution to required course work in public schools, but only after a last-minute change depicting Charles Darwin's seminal work as merely a theory. Bending to pressure from religious conservatives, the compromise would require teaching that Darwin's proposal has yet to be conclusively proven. [source: Miami Herald]

See the press release from the Florida State Board of Education here.

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Comments and opinions:

excerpt from a news report published by the National Center for Science Education:

The Florida state board of education voted 4-3 at its February 19, 2008, meeting to adopt a new set of state science standards in which evolution is presented as a "fundamental concept underlying all of biology." The adopted standards differ from those developed by the writing committee in adding the phrase "the scientific theory of" before mentions of plate tectonics, cell theory, atomic theory, electromagnetism, and evolution. According to the standards, "a scientific theory represents the most powerful explanation scientists have to offer."

The previous set of state science standards, adopted in 1999, received a failing grade in a national assessment by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation in 2005, which observed, "The superficiality of the treatment of evolutionary biology alone justifies the grade 'F'." The word "evolution" itself was absent from the standards. In contrast, evolution is now featured as a "big idea" around which the standards are organized. [read complete article]

from a comment posted at
Forcing a child to learn creationism, a biblical concept, in school is religious oppression ...not freedom.

Forcing a Muslim to deal with Christian concepts in verse and in print within government dealings, is not religious freedom.

Forcing a Jewish child to partake in Christmas (be it in celebration or in task ..such as a art project making wreaths) in a public school is not religious freedom.

Religious freedom is the right to choose your own beliefs, not have it forced upon you by others. Religious freedom does not come from imposing your beliefs on others or by coercing them to follow laws written in support of those beliefs.

from a post by Wesley R. Elsberry at the blog Panda's Thumb:
Florida adopted amended standards. We know from prior experience that when one agrees to language from the anti-science advocates, they have some angle for exploitation of that language. While Florida standards now do mandate the teaching of evolutionary science, they also have the antievolution back-door installed. There will be further years of dealing with antievolution efforts in Florida because of this action.