Monday, May 11, 2009

Things quiet down in Florida (again)

Well I think we can remove Florida from the list of States trying to damage science education, at least for now. You might remember that last year Florida approved new standards that require public schools to teach that the scientific theory of evolution is the foundation of all biology. This was not without a lot of politicking and acrimonious exchanges. Well State Representative Stephen Wise announced plans to introduce a bill require teachers who teach evolution to also discuss the idea of intelligent design. Apparently Representative Wise wasn't very and the bill he introduced was much watered down and said "thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution" -- in other words an even watered down version of the discredited 'strengths and weaknesses' argument.

Good news Florida, the other members of the legislature allowed this one to die off in committee. Which is political speech for "We know we can't get it passed, so let's not look like complete idiots". While I wish it had been defeated in detail, at least the State is safe until Representative Wise, or someone else like him, decides to try again. I am confident the message next time will have evolved into the Discovery Institute's 'Creationism Flavor-of-the-Month' -- whatever they believe can get passed, but at least you can rest a bit before girding up the loins and doing battle with the 18th century again. Maybe someone, like the voters, should be talking to Representative Wise about what he is supposed to be doing, other than wasting time and money on these Crusades.

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