Newspapers: Antievolution bill is bad idea

The Orlando Sentinel has published an editorial opposing Sen. Wise’s “non-evolution” “theory of whatever”:

Among scientists, the idea of teaching “nonevolution” in public schools would be dismissed as nonsense. But in Tallahassee, just such a bill sponsored by Rep. Stephen Wise has its supporters. This is, after all, a state that only three years ago started officially referring to “evolution” instead of “biological change over time.”

It’s enough to make anyone who values science plenty nervous. Wise (gulp) also happens to be chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

Wise reportedly asked, “Why do we still have apes if we came from them” — even though anthropologists and other scientists long ago proved man and apes share common ancestry. Wise would have our schools teach evolution and “nonevolution” — creationist-based theory — “at the same time.”

Florida has enough challenges getting its kids educated. It doesn’t need another one — this one — from Wise.

And a Florida Times-Union opinion blog also says the bill is a bad idea.

It’s a little more than disturbing that the legislator playing a key role in shaping Florida’s public education policy, Sen. Stephen Wise, is challenging how evolution is taught.

Besides being the Senate sponsor for the whack-the-teachers bill the Legislature just passed, Wise is behind legislation that would require that what he calls “non-evolution” also be taught in the classroom.

So how does Wise explain his disagreement with the theory of evolution?

In a 2009 radio interview, he put it this way: “Why do we still have apes if we came from them?”

Enough said.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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5 Responses to Newspapers: Antievolution bill is bad idea

  1. Shauna says:

    Evolution doesn’t address the origin of life, so even before Wise’s inane statement, “Why do we still have apes?” it’s obvious he has absolutely no understanding of it. It’s evident his scientific understanding of the world comes from the Iron Age.

    As a parent of school-aged children attending Florida public schools, it scares me that we have such an uneducated Senator in charge of the education committee.

    If this bill passes it will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in lawsuits. It’s unconstitutional and it will be challenged. Wise is not looking out for the best interests of our children, the taxpayers or the state.

  2. caseyboy says:

    Evolution, as a theory, is losing adherents as our study of the genetic code brings forth new data. Whether you believe Darwin’s original theory of gradual change over time or the newer theory of punctuated equilibrium (sudden, radical mutation) you are left to explain “first life”.

    What we are learning is that it isn’t necessarily a biological question, but rather an information issue. One’s DNA provides informational instructions throughout our bodies. Encoding, decoding, data & code authentication are taking place billions of times each second throughout our molecular systems. We are the ultimate information system; “information – facts, data : the attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something (as nucleotides in DNA or binary digits in a computer program) that produce specific effects”

    Throw the letters of the alphabet on the floor and you have a mess, but not information. Have someone form those letters into words then words into sentences and you have information. To be useful, information must have structure, syntax, meaning and intent. Existing information cannot mutate into new, improved information without a driver(creator).

    This is an information equation. Man’s work in cognitive engineering (creating machines and systems with the ability to adapt/mutate) may prove that information cannot exist without a “Creator”.

    The real question is whether science will accept a paradigm shift. Many scientists are intellectually invested in the theory of evolution. Academic reputations and credentials are at stake. ID will have trouble getting a seat at the table I’m afraid. Agenda driven science does great harm to scientists.

  3. Shauna says:

    caseyboy, I’m afraid your post makes absolutely no sense to me and I can’t for the life of me figure out what it has to do with this blog post or Senator Wise’s disingenuous bill proposal.

    Do you have any citations for the ideas you’ve posted here?

  4. Steve says:

    caseboy, that was gibberish.

    Why do so many legislators love litigation so much? That’s what they’re going to get for pushing something so clearly unconstitutional yet _again_.

  5. caseyboy says:

    shauna – As it relates to the loss of evolution adherents see Honest scientists willing to risk the wrath of the agenda-driven science community by challenging Darwin.

    It is so over for Darwin I can’t believe people still rally around his theory. I love the closed end logic of scientism, only believe what can be proven scientifically. Scientism is too narrow a theory of knowledge development. Not all knowledge is the result of the scientific method. We know some things by rational intuition. Science is permeated with assumptions that cannot be scientifically proven. For example, the principle of induction cannot be scientifically justified. Just because A has always been succeeded by B in the past is no guarantee for inferring that it will do so in the future. We could be at the beginning of a chaotic series of As and Bs whose initial segment is ordered ABABAB. So trying to provide “a good inductive argument for scientism” is hopeless, since it must presuppose the validity of inductive reasoning. Darwin’s theory is full of inductive reasoning and presupposes cause and outcomes not evident in data.

    I’d ask your opinions on global warming, but I kind of think I know the answer for that as well. Another agenda-driven scientific fiasco.

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