Keep an eye on Hillsborough

Sure, we may have missed out on a great show in Pinellas County when a potential candidate who had serious problems with basic science understanding didn’t qualify in time to officially run. But another opportunity has presented itself in Hillsborough County. Terry Kemple is running for a seat on the school board there. Don’t remember Kemple? Let me jog your memory.

Baptist Press story: Proposed science standards debated in Fla.

Terry Kemple, president of the Tampa Bay Christian public policy group Community Issues Council, said leaving the standards unchanged regarding the origin of species would be better for teaching children how to think.

“The issue really goes to the basic question of whether our schools are places of learning or indoctrination …,” Kemple said. The proposed standards, she [sic] noted, come from people who have a set of beliefs and want children’s education to be based on those beliefs, he said.

“My objection to their proposal is that, at its core, the suggested science standard relative to evolution is a set of beliefs unproven. They believe that millions of years ago there was nothing and then suddenly there was something. They have no proof. It’s not replicable. It’s clearly a belief,” Kemple said. “You can give it a name and call it evolution, but it is nonetheless a set of beliefs.”

Kemple noted that a set of beliefs is typically considered a religion or non-religion. A large number of educated people believe evolution is not correct, he noted, and thus, as a set of beliefs, it should not be taught without stating its shortcomings.

Opinion article written by Kemple: What’s The Fuss About Evolution?

Macroevolution is entirely unproven. It hypothesizes that our original “ancestor” went through a series of gradual changes that led to it becoming a new type of organism. It further hypothesizes that through thousands of iterations of this process, you and I are here today. There is no fossil evidence of this happening nor has it ever been replicated in the laboratory.

The sole purpose of the Academic Freedom Act that Storms introduced is to protect teachers and students from persecution if their investigation of evolution leads them to conclusions that differ with the “party line” as it’s stated in the standards.

Yet, those who are using the authority of the Florida Department of Education to impose the religion of evolution are railing against Storms and claiming she is using her position to introduce religious teaching into the classroom when that’s exactly what they are doing!

Press release issued by Kemple: State Legislature to take up “Academic Freedom Act”

“The evolution ‘sacred cow’ must be submitted to scrutiny in American education,” said Terry Kemple. “Anyone in academia who strays from the ‘doctrine’ of marching lock step in support of the theory of evolution risks persecution and blackballing in their career.”

Members of both chambers of the Florida Legislature have filed a bill that will allow teachers “to present scientific information relevant to the full range of views on biological and chemical origins” without fear of persecution. The bill will also protect “students from being penalized for subscribing to a particular position on evolution.”

“Finally teachers and students will have the opportunity to cover all the information regarding the theory of evolution,” Kemple continued. “Until now a teacher who differentiated between micro evolution (observed changes over time within a species like a bacterium becoming resistant to antibiotics) and macro evolution (Darwin’s unproven theory that all varieties of animal life came from a one celled common ancestor) did so at the risk of his or her employment.”

Kemple, President of Community Issues Council, worked closely with the Senate sponsor to get the bill filed in the Florida Senate. The Senate language is being picked up by the House sponsor. Other pro-family groups around the state have joined in and there are already co-sponsors in both the House and the Senate and the bill enjoys the favor of legislative leadership.

So, do you remember him now? I thought you would. His campaign website is pretty tame right now, avoiding all mention of any divisive issues from his past. His record is readily available, though, with a quick search of the Internet. It looks like someone has already taken the initiative to create a parody campaign website for Kemple.

Despite having views completely at odds with reality, don’t be fooled. Some folks in Hillsborough County have told me he has quite a bit of support, and can raise tons of money in no time. This is definitely a race worth watching.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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4 Responses to Keep an eye on Hillsborough

  1. Jonathan Smith says:

    Brandon,didn’t you debate this guy on the radio ?

  2. Jonathan Smith says:

    Wait, I know Joe Wolf debated him on the TV and took him to the cleaners.

  3. Brandon Haught says:

    You are right. My guy was Rev. Book:

    And Joe’s was Kemple:

  4. Chris says:

    I feel my IQ score dropping the longer I read Kemple’s words.

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