Yet more counties with anti-evolution resolutions

The Florida Times-Union reports that yet more counties are doing the anti-evolution resolutions.

The boards in St. Johns and Baker counties have unanimously passed resolutions urging the Florida Department of Education to back down from those new standards on evolution. The matter comes up tonight in Clay County, and Nassau and Putnam counties have similar resolutions pending.

Some school superintendents say the resolutions reflect the religious nature of their constituents in Northeast Florida.

“Of course, the farther south you get, you don’t see them necessarily embracing what we are saying,” said Baker County Superintendent Paula Barton. “To be honest with you, we are a strong Christian community here, and once people here have gotten a hold of [the resolution], they’ve certainly given it strong support.”

Nassau County Superintendent John Ruis said he is a strong believer in biblical creationism. The theory of evolution has many “holes” in it, he said – and presenting it as undisputed fact “is certainly contrary to the beliefs of many people, including myself.”

Clay County’s retiring superintendent, David Owens, said the state is “interfering” in what should be a local matter. Other theories on the origin of life should be presented along with evolution, he said.

“I believe in the separation of church and state, but I also believe there is important information available on both sides of [evolution],” he said. “To present it in just one way is wrong.”

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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39 Responses to Yet more counties with anti-evolution resolutions

  1. Karen R says:

    I have been through both Nassau and Putnam’s sites a couple of times recently, and couldn’t find anything that even hinted at a resolution regarding the science standards.

    I don’t understand why they’re doing this in such an undeniably sneaky way. There could be real legal consequences to this – which their attorneys should have told them that up front. Every ‘I can’t believe you guys’ e-mail I send to board members mentioned my surprise that their attorney allowed it, and expressed a hope that good legal insurance would protect the students’ funds from their stupidity.

    If ID itself is of dubious legality, why pass these in the shadows? Ignoring the Sunshine laws is no way to convince the public that they’re the slighted parties here.

  2. Mike O'Risal says:

    At the same time, Florida’s public universities are facing yet another round of gigantic budget cuts that are necessitating plans that may include eliminating over 200 faculty and staff positions at Florida State alone (see today’s Tallahassee Democrat).

    I don’t think these two situations are discontiguous.

  3. Karen R says:

    I submitted this post to Digg – and wanted to include a link here to the summary post that lists the counties that have spoken out against the standards:

    http://www.flascience.org/wp/?p=352

    I’ve got some hope that these resolutions will not end up derailing the new standards. Our schools can’t afford to spend millions defending idiocy like this. With any luck, all this initiative will result in is getting all the crazies to raise their hands.

  4. FMCH says:

    Well, I wonder what these people think will happen when the research community gets a whiff of the creationist pandering going on. My guess is that Floor E duh will become a science deficient state and no companies that use biology or evolution will want to set up shop here.

  5. Jeremy Mohn says:

    Karen R wrote:

    “With any luck, all this initiative will result in is getting all the crazies to raise their hands.”

    I’m afraid there may be more going on with these resolutions than is obvious on the surface. All of these counties are making it clear to their communities that they oppose the teaching of evolution as the foundational concept in Biology. They also know that their local classrooms are where instructional decisions are actually made, not the state level.

    Each of these resolutions is sending a clear message to the Biology teachers in each county that their classrooms are being watched. The desired chilling effect on classroom instruction can still be achieved, even if the standards eventually pass at the state level.

  6. bbrown says:

    What are evolutionists so afraid of? All most of us are saying is evolution is not “scientific law” and it should not be taught as fact. Humanists want to cram their beliefs down the throats of us all. If you want your children to believe in evolution, feel free to crack a book with them in your spare time. Contrary to the opinion of this blog, there are intelligent people in Florida who do not buy the “Big Bang”.

    The state should put it on the ballot, there may be more opposition than those of this site would like to admit.

  7. Casey S says:

    bbrown, I completely agree. We should also put some of the discussions in modern quantum physics on the ballot too. Lets ask the general public if they feel that string theory adequately bridges the gap between Einstein’s well accepted theories of relativity and the accurate predictions of Quantum mechanics. I’m sure that the public would have a well informed opinion of this issue…or maybe we should let the people doing the research decide what the science says.

    I also agree that if parents truly want certain scientific theories and principles taught in class, then they need to take responsibility for that education themselves. What do they think school is for? I don’t want the theory of gravity, the germ theory of disease and the theory of plate tectonics taught in schools. If parents want to read their kids a bedtime story on the germ theory of disease, they can but it shouldn’t be taught in school.

  8. Spirula says:

    Contrary to the opinion of this blog, there are intelligent people in Florida who do not buy the “Big Bang”.

    Considering you made this comment in a post about teaching evolution in biology classes, I would have to say it doesn’t appear you are one of these “intelligent people”.

    Anyone who mentions “the origin of life” or “the big bang” as part of their objection to teaching evolution, clearly haven’t bothered to educate themselves about these topics.

    Maybe if you would crack a book about evolution and read about the theory, the evidence, and the fact (yes, evolution is a fact and has been observed) you might bring something worthwhile to the discussion.

  9. Spirula says:

    (Adding to Casey S’s comment)

    I’m curious bbrown, if the theory of gravity was put on the ballot and was rejected by the voters, how would that change the outcome if you were to walk off a cliff?

  10. Josh Krupnick says:

    bbrown,
    I think most people in this group are concerned about others who wish to undermine sound science education in favor of pseudoscientific concepts. It is certainly my fear that this could ultimately result in degrading the quality of science education, both here in Florida, and elsewhere.

    You seem to be confused about basic terminology. I would suggest stopping by your local library and reading up on the meaning of terms like “scientific law”, “fact’, and “belief” in the context of science. I think you might find this fascinating!

    I am sorry that you feel there are Humanists trying to cram their beliefs down your throat. I do hope they stop. As far as I can tell, however, all of the people in this group are promoting science – not personal beliefs.

    The cosmological event that we call “the big bang” is an entirely different subject than evolution, but I suppose I would agree with you that there are many Intelligent Floridians who don’t “buy” it. This really depends on the definition of “buy”. The earliest stages of the Big Bang are still the subject of much discussion in the science community. The Big Bang theory depends on two major assumptions: the universality of physical laws, and the cosmological principle. The Big Bang theory is supported by observational evidence, some of which is testable, and theoretical considerations. If you don’t “buy” a particular cosmological model of the universe, I would suggest further study so that you can formulate an educated opinion that does make sense to you.

  11. firemancarl says:

    Wowzers, here we go again. bbrown just summed up the incredible stupidity of the YEC/ID crowd. No sir, not big bang for me when yo teach evolu… oh wait, evolution and cosmology are 2 separate fields of study. ‘tards.

  12. firemancarl says:

    Casey,

    Maybe we should ask all of the ID/Creationists/cdesign propentists / YECers to walk off the cliff that Siprula suggest to test the “theory of gravity” I am guessing it would be a resounding success!

  13. bbrown says:

    It’s fun to play with you guys— you’re so serious, but you also have tunnel vision.

  14. Jonathan Smith says:

    bbrown

    Whether you or other misadvise members of the non science
    community fail to except Evolution,it remains that biological
    evolution actually happened; it is a fact.
    You obviously do not know the the scientific context of Law and
    Theory,please do some reasearch on this.
    You equate Humanism and Atheism with a acceptance of Evolution,
    which is a obvious non sequitur.
    If you want your children to believe in religion,feel free to crack a
    book with them in your Church or Sunday school,not in a science class,
    in a public school.
    You show your lack of scientific understanding again when you say

    “There are intelligent people in Florida who do not buy the “Big Bang”.

    The Big Bang has nothing to do with Evolution or the origins of life on
    this planet,again I suggest you need to study further.
    You expresed that “The state should put it on the ballot,”
    Are you insinuating that people who are as scientifically ill informed
    as yourself or perhaps the religious leaders or polticians
    should decide the science standards for our children?
    Our students deserve the best education to compete in a rapidly expanding
    scientific community,these type of decisions should be made by the scientists and professional eduactors who are the most qualified.

  15. bbrown says:

    I am not proposing we teach our children ID however, there are a multitude of scientific falsehoods associated with evolution that should be included in any proposed curriculum.

  16. firemancarl says:

    bbrown. Please by all means enlighten us with these scientific falsehoods.

  17. firemancarl says:

    The more urban/suburban the county is, the more likely it is to support science and not any religious movement.

  18. Josh Krupnick says:

    There are scientific falsehoods associated with evolution? Really? Is this breaking news? Please do tell! Everyone here is interested in science and would love to know.

  19. Jonathan Smith says:

    bbrown: Here is a list of the most common “proofs” that evolution is a false theory.

    Human footprints found inside of dinosaur footprints
    Evolution has never been observed
    Evolution would cause all land animals to be like giraffes
    Growth rate of human societies
    Pre-human fossils
    Neanderthals didn’t exist
    Cro-Magnon vs. Homo Sapiens brain capacity
    Fossils of extinct proto-humans
    Long “extinct” Agraptalyte fish found
    Transitional species missing from the fossil record
    Survival of previous species
    The genome cannot increase in complexity; microevolution vs. macroevolution
    Organic material cannot come from inorganic; thus evolution could not have started up.
    Second law of thermodynamics:
    Missing geological column
    Inter-species mating
    Missing proof

    These indicators have been well circulated among scientists; all have been easily refuted by them.

  20. Jonathan Smith says:

    bbrown:

    I suggest you publish those “multitude of scientific falsehoods associated with evolution” in a peer reviewed scientific journal.
    A Nobel prize is just around the corner.

  21. M. Ethredge says:

    The ” Separation of Church and state” issue, our framers of the Constitution were concerned about was : Not Allow the Catholic Church to be in control of the government like it is in England and other countries.The United States was established on Christian principals and the acknowledgement of God.

  22. PC-Bash says:

    I’d be happy to refute this non-sequitur. The United States was not established on Christian principles. Most of the framers were Deiests, which is pretty far from the concept of Christianity. They may have believed in a concept of Providence, but they did not put any Christian morals into the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution. I fail to see “god” mentioned in “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of land happiness.”

    Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were both strong believers in secular government, that’s not a very Christian thing to be.

  23. firemancarl says:

    M Ethredge,

    I ahev to agree with PC-Bash. The US was not set up on xtian ideals. Nor an acknowledgement of god.

  24. S.Scott says:

    M Ethredge,

    “Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace of Society.”
    ~George Washington

    “The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.”
    -Abraham Lincoln

    “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion”
    -James Madison

    “Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, ‘This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!'”
    -John Adams

  25. S.Scott says:

    OOOH! I forgot Ben Franklin!

    “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion… has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

  26. firemancarl says:

    Anyone else notice that bbrown hasn’t posted in a few days? I wonder why……?????

  27. Karen R says:

    Probably off to find a more gullible audience

  28. PC-Bash says:

    Interesting… bbrown and a few other posters (different personas?) with the same writing style and the same invalid points haven’t posted in a few days.

  29. S.Scott says:

    Asking their preachers why they were lying.

  30. PC-Bash says:

    …or the people being paid by the Discovery Institute to troll on sites like these only work Monday through Friday. 😉

  31. none says:

    Poor kids. Adults are screwing the country up more and more every day. Religion has only one place and that is church or your home.

  32. none says:

    Holes? WOW. That guy must not read the bible. There are so many holes in the bible that you have to have faith to believe it! I would say a theory (Which is above a fact I’ve been told) is way above faith. We’re corrupting our children just like the muslim extremists. We are not much different than our enemy!

  33. bbrown says:

    I haven’t posted because you guys have all the answers— you just have no evidense of the transitional life form. Varities of Finches just does not fit the bill (npi).

  34. PC-Bash says:

    bbrown –

    …or you just can’t find a single source to back any of your claims that don’t resort to quoting scripture to show how evolution is wrong.

    How, precisely, was a two thousand year old theologian supposed to understand DNA, science, evolution, or genetics? They were still convinced that demonic possession caused mental illness, and that pork was unclean/unholy because people who ate it did not know how to properly cook it.

    To take Genesis 1:21 literally, as creationists are inclined to do, makes as much sense as taking Mark 16:17-18 literally. If you are inclined to do the first, then help along the theory of Natural Selection and take up snakes, poison, and speak in tongues.

  35. S.Scott says:

    b brown,
    Do you still think that “The United States was established on Christian principals and the acknowledgement of God.” ??

  36. S.Scott says:

    b brown,
    I’ve been considering asking Donna Callaway these questions, maybe you can answer them for me:
    Do you think that studying evolution can DISPROVE GOD? (I don’t)
    Do you think that GOD has boundaries? (science does)
    Do you think that whatever GOD allows us to learn is a gift and therefore necessary for our salvation? (I do)
    Do you think this discussion has ANYTHING to do with science class? (I don’t)

  37. S.Scott says:

    b.brown – I DO apologize … that first question was for
    M. Ethredge.

  38. jay says:

    Bbrown,

    I see that you and I share the same beliefs on evolution.

    I would go as far as saying that science does NOT support the evolution model at all.

    I will also say that evolution is a very religious topic, because it denies the existence of God, making man think he is in no need of salvation.

    Evolution is just another lie folks.

    Not fact.

  39. PC-Bash says:

    jay –

    I’ll go over your talking points one by one.

    I would go as far as saying that science does NOT support the evolution model at all.

    I recommend you start reading here:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/

    I will also say that evolution is a very religious topic, because it denies the existence of God, making man think he is in no need of salvation.

    Evolution says nothing about the Christian god, nor does it make any claims about morality or “salvation”.

    Evolution is just another lie folks. Not fact.

    Repeating a lie does not make it true.

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