Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Florida gets ready to Vote on New Standards -- Texas take note!

Good article: "What We All Lose While Arguing Over Evolution" It reminds me of the bigger picture. The purpose of the new science standards in Florida isn't just to introduce the word Evolution, but to re-invigorate science education in that State. The arguments over the word "evolution" is a distraction that takes away from the purpose of the new standards. The simple fact that Florida has been teaching it for years, just without using the word, is frustrating.

The down-side is that this debate seems pretty inevitable in any State, mores the pity. The State School Board is in the unenviable position to make a decision they know will be unpopular with some segment of the population -- but that is their job and one I hope they do unflinchingly! Look at what flinching did in the past. Florida was teaching evolution, but apparently not good enough. It's hard teaching a concept when certain words were not available to you?

Remember years ago the argument over sex education? Some States watered down their sex-ed material until the teacher was not allowed to use the words "sex", "condom", "birth control", or any of the medical terms for describing genitalia. Oh that went over real big. I can see the lesson "Well there are these birds and these bees . . .no I know they aren't really birds and bees, but I can't call them anything else because one of your parents will sue the school."

Florida appeased the minority fundamentalist Christian view and taught the topic for years ineffectually. Now they have a chance to do it right and the same forces are trying to either have it banned outright, or add in pseudoscience drivel to water it back down.

Go Florida Go!

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