Last night’s science standards meeting

The Orlando Sentinel reports that several people attended last night’s meeting in Orlando about the new draft science standards with the objective of promoting intelligent design and complaining about evolution.

But several people who spoke Thursday urged state Department of Education officials to allow schools to teach intelligent design and other theories along with evolution.

Teacher and parent Veronica Bryant said there’s a lack of fossil evidence to support evolution and that the complexity of life defies it.

“Real science can stand up against other theories,” said Bryant, who teaches math at Silver Star Center, an alternative school. “There is nothing wrong with offering alternative viewpoints.”

Since the proposed standards were made public Oct. 19, the state has received nearly 5,000 online comments from educators and nearly 1,500 from others, including about 700 from parents. Some people also are sending e-mails directly to state Board of Education members.

Among them is Kim Kendall, a St. Augustine mother who is urging friends to contact the state to oppose the teaching of evolution exclusively. In an e-mail, she warned that “No other reasons for existence (like the truth of Creation) will be applied . . . ”

“I feel like there’s too much scientific data punching a hole in evolution,” Kendall said.

What’s lacking in this story is a stronger definition of “several speakers.” Does that mean five or 15 or 50? How about evolution supporters? You see, this is what feeds the frenzy over creationism/intelligent design. The media reports that there is a big controversy, supposedly providing an unbiased view of “both sides.” In the scientific community, there literally is only one side: 150 years worth of scientific exploration of evolution, with the theory not only holding up under the scrutiny, but growing stronger.

The only controversy is that which is in the public mind, fueled by news reports such as this one. Would the reporter/newspaper have bothered to mention any speakers who came forth saying that there had never been a moon landing? Doubtful.

Reporters, take note: one side CAN be wrong.

On the flip side, the Lakeland Ledger did a much better reporting job, giving the proper details and background.

About 40 people attended a public hearing at Jones High School in Orlando, hosted by the Florida Department of Education, to hear comments about proposed revisions to the Sunshine State Standards, which specify what students should be taught. The revisions would revamp the benchmarks for mathematics and science, and for the first time, the standards would explicitly require that the theory of evolution be taught in high school biology classes.

That drew praise and criticism. Of the 10 speakers who addressed the inclusion of evolution in the new standards, four supported the changes and six spoke against them.

But Joe Wolf, president of Florida Citizens for Science, said intelligent design is a religious concept, not a scientific theory.

“Teaching intelligent design, creationism, can only cause confusion in the minds of students. How can we expect students to learn science when we’re teaching religion?” said Wolf, who identified himself as a Christian believer and a deacon in his church. “I accept evolution as the only current scientific theory that explains the natural world. I’m sick and tired of being told you can’t accept evolution and be a Christian.”

The reporter then goes on to mention the Dover court case that  had completely shut down attempts to include intelligent design in science classes. Good job!

[edited to add] WKMG, Channel 6, totally blows the story in true local television news fashion. I get the impression they didn’t even know what they were reporting on since the brief says that Jones High School officials held the meeting, which is not accurate.

Maybe it’s time to loose the Flying Spaghetti Monster on these clueless reporters.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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2 Responses to Last night’s science standards meeting

  1. I wanted to thank whoever is posting to the blog for doing such a great job of keeping us informed about the process of adopting the new science standards. We appreciate it.

  2. firemancal says:

    OK, between FSM, just how much ramen can those bastards stand? har har har!….and those of us not looney, can easily wipe the carpet with ID.

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