I just wanted to write a quick post saying I’m still around. Florida Citizens for Science activities swamped me the past month or so, taking away from other work, family and college responsibilities. So, I am now taking a short time out from FCS to catch up on everything else in life. For instance, I just finished up a paper for literature class comparing and contrasting moral themes in the plays Hamlet and Dr. Faustus. Yuck.
Meanwhile, for your reading pleasure:
Liam Julian of the Fordham Foundation wrote a guest column for the St. Petersburg Times.
Let’s first dispense with the thought that adolescents should debate the merits of evolution in their science classes. This is silliness, akin to asking them to hash out the germ theory or the atomic theory. Until Florida’s students are taught the basics of science, it’s folly to demand they critically evaluate its finer points.
A Tallahassee Democrat columnist also talks about the state science standards approval fallout.
The standards refer persistently to the scientific theory of evolution, so should they not at least touch upon the implied nonscientific theories of evolution? Surely we should ask, “Are there any such theories?” No. Not for any serious scientific or any other educational purpose.
What then, pray, is the point of belaboring, with the pompous prefix “scientific theory of,” the following: evolution, cells, geology, atoms? “The scientific theory of cells!” Is there any other kind of cell theory worthy of consideration? I know of none.
The compromise is a political sop to a large and concerned population of Florida voters who believe that, on the core issues of science, some other way of knowing (religion, perhaps; surely not art or philosophy) is equal or superior to science itself.