Archive for August, 2010

Last call for your bad art!

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Today is the LAST DAY to enter the Stick Science cartoon contest. Get moving, folks! Fame and fortune awaits … or something like that.

Gainesville Sun opinion series cont.

Monday, August 30th, 2010

The Gainesville Sun has been running a series of guest opinion pieces concerning the evolution/creationism controversy. The newest one isn’t reasoned out too well.

I was thinking about the controversy of whether or not the theory of intelligent creation should be taught in our schools, and realized that the main charge in our schools is to impart knowledge. Whether or not I believe in the theory of creationism, there are well over a billion people on this planets that do. Therefore this must be included with any other major theories.

School board election results

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

For those of you who are curious about what happened to the known creationists running for school board seats across Florida, here’s what we know so far.

I’ll let commenter Pierce Butler tell us about Alachua County:

The good news is that pro-science candidate Gunnar Paulson picked up a clean win on 8/24.

The other two school district races went into run-off, which means they’ll be decided in November along with the general election. More good news: the District 5 finalists are Jancie Vinson & Carol Oyenarte, both of whom seem to be members of the reality-based community.

More problematic is the District 1 runoff between Rick Nesbit and April Griffin. Nesbit is the white hat here, but he only garnered 32.7%, while Griffin won 39.1% and the other pro-creationists took 28.3%.

In Seminole County, Paul Ackerman was defeated while Becky Erwin goes into a runoff.

In Pasco County, John Tracy was defeated, while Mike Ryan goes into a runoff.

In Palm Beach County, Ron Young was defeated.

In Polk County, Terry Pittman was defeated.

In Hillsborough County, it looks like Terry Kemple was defeated, but I have yet to see any official final results posted.

Let me know if I missed anything, please.

One week left in Stick Science contest

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

There is just one week left in our annual Stick Science cartoon contest! Don’t put off entering. Too many people did that last year and wound up missing the deadline. We want to see your lousy artwork and great ideas.

Gainesville Sun opinion series

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

The Gainesville Sun has been running a series of guest opinion pieces concerning the evolution/creationism controversy. This one by Amanda McIntosh is a garbled mess of reasoning. On the other hand, the one by Gregory Mead had me cheering.

In contrast, supporters of creationism want special treatment. Creationists and IDers do no research, generate no data, publish no papers in peer reviewed journals, never defend their ideas at conferences before other scientists. Instead, by twisting what scientists say, by misinterpreting actual scientific research, they try to throw doubt on evolutionary science done by real scientists. Creationists want their ideas placed before our school children without actual research. Is this “fair”?

We want your lousy science artwork

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Yes, we here at Florida Citizens for Science want your lousy artwork, but at the same time we want your great ideas. The Stick Science Cartoon Contest is a mere two weeks away from deadline. Last year we had folks keep putting off completing their entries, and then it was too late when they finally got around to it. Don’t let that happen to you! You only have until August 31. “Stick” to it, folks!

Good grief, Alachua!

Friday, August 13th, 2010

We learned earlier that some candidates for various Alachua County school board seats had no problem with teaching creationism in the public schools. However, that article was unclear who exactly thought what. A Gainesville Sun article today gives us a much clearer picture. Wow … just wow.

Bonnie Burgess:
“To me, it seems only logical to offer creationism. What’s the point of teaching? It’s to teach our children how to think and we should not be prejudiced to any one thought or idea. We should be able to offer all facts and theories.”

April Griffin:
“I do believe we should teach creationism as part of a well-balanced education that opens their minds to free-thinking.”

Felicia Moss:
“In a well-balanced education, we need to have those things, as well, and leave it up to the parents to expound on it.”

Rick Nesbitt:
“I am absolutely opposed to teaching creationism as science in our schools. Possibly in a philosophy course, that would be fine. I would absolutely safeguard the separation of church and state.”

David Palpant:
Creationism does have a place in public schools. “Explain it in a class that teaches all religions. Teach it all and let them make up their minds. They can make an informed decision if they’re informed.”

Wayne Gabb:
It could be taught in high schools. “This is something that could be brought up. My job is to present them with all options out there and let them make up their minds.”

Jodi Wood:
“So long as we are teaching the theory of evolution, we should teach the other theory of creationism, too. Evolution is not a fact, it is a theory.”

Gunnar Paulson:
“I’m opposed to teaching creationism in public schools.”

Jennifer Deachin:
She is opposed to teaching it as science, but in favor of teaching it as part of a religion course. “I think everything should be taught. I’m open to ideas and to presenting information to children, as it is to adults. You should teach everything and they should deduct their own thinking, their own reasoning because, wow, they’re capable of doing that.”

Carol Oyenarte:
“I believe in the separation of church and state.”

Christopher Smiley:
If it is taught in schools, it should be in a historical context. “They don’t want to see it put alongside the hard-core theories of atheism and theism. They want to see it put alongside evolution.”

Jancie Vinson (represented by Rev. Milford Griner):
“Jancie grew up in the church, but she’s always had a high respect for the separation of church and state. She would not favor teaching creationism. It’s the parents’ responsibility to teach them.”

Keep an eye on Seminole County

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Orlando Sentinel education reporter Dave Weber recently posted on the newspaper’s education blog about a variety of tips and juicy tidbits he’s been getting about Seminole County school board candidates. Not satisfied with just passing along the tips to his readers, he actually contacted the candidates to check up on what he’s been told. Here’s one such item of interest:

The tipster scoop on [Becky] Erwin and [Paul] Ackerman is that they both are right wing Christian conservatives.  I asked them about that and both acknowledge that there might be room in Seminole County schools to teach creationism or intelligent design alongside evolution as a theory of how we came to be. But both quickly add that they are not foolhardy enough to go gangbusters on this issue if elected.