There was a flurry of activity yesterday started by the initial confusion of a Tampa Tribune reporter, but the end result is actually good news.
First, I sent out a news release early yesterday morning announcing that the Florida Academy of Sciences issued a statement condemning Florida senate bill 2396. The proposed bill would introduce “critical analysis” of evolution into the state’s public schools.
The Orlando Sentinel briefed it on their education blog. The Tampa Tribune also put up a blurb on their website. However, the Tribune reporter was a bit confused, thinking that the antievolution bill had just recently been filed and thus put the FAS statement at the bottom of the blurb. The blurb headline said “Evolution bill quietly filed in state senate.”
PZ Myers and Phil Plait both quickly picked up on that and wrote blog posts announcing the filing of the bill. (They did this despite the fact that I notified those two knuckleheads about the filing of the bill weeks ago. Sheesh, no one ever listens to Brandon.)
I sent quick e-mails to PZ and Phil in an attempt to correct the misunderstanding on their end. Phil updated his post.
I then called the reporter who wrote the Tampa blurb. She apologized for the confusion (she said that she had misread my release through weary eyes) and said that an updated story would appear and clear everything up.
The updated story appeared and everything looks great. The antievolution bill is as good as dead. If Rep. Alan Hays (the guy who introduced and fought for a similar bill in the House last year) says the bill has no chance, then it is down for the count.
Anti-Evolution Bill Still A Fruitless Exercise
TALLAHASSEE – A bill aimed at undercutting acceptance of evolution in Florida science classes, which kicked up a fuss but didn’t pass in the Florida Legislature last year, apparently is going nowhere this year.
A Senate version of the bill has yet to receive a committee hearing and has no companion bill in the House.
That means, said one proponent of the idea, that the bill has little chance of passage in this frantic session, heavily devoted to cutting and balancing the state budget.
“With no companion in the House, it doesn’t have much likelihood,” said Rep. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla.
This doesn’t mean that we can all forget about antievolution in the legislature this session. There is always the chance that an amendment can be slipped into an existing bill. We can breathe easier right now, but we can’t take our eyes off the lawmakers until the session is officially closed.