Archive for April, 2015

Wrong sources?

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

From a column in Florida Today: Theology answers ‘why’ and ‘who’ queries

When people are drawn into the science-versus-faith debate, they’re usually seeking answers from the wrong sources. When scientists try to disprove God, they venture outside of their expertise. And when theologians argue how young Earth is, they, too, cross the boundaries of their know-how.

What do you think?

Florida’s presidential candidate Marco Rubio on the teaching of evolution

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Presidential candidate Marco Rubio, a current U.S. senator representing Florida, was asked about the teaching of evolution yesterday. The question starts at about 55 seconds in the video.

 

Here is my rough transcript of the exchange:

Reporter: You mentioned education standards upstairs and your role in pushing for those as house speaker. Where are you at on evolution?

Rubio: It’s a scientific theory that should be taught. I think the kids should learn from their faith what their faith teaches and schools should teach them all the theories that are out there. Most faith-based schools do that. They teach all the theories that are out there. You want to know my personal belief. I don’t think they’re in conflict with my faith. […] Science can explain to us the biological processes by which life on earth developed but at the end of the day I believe God is the one that guided it.

Reporter: Should teachers have to point that out?

Rubio: At a faith based school they do. And non-faith based schools they can inform students and should be able to about the fact that there are other theories out there that exist as well. If you want to give them truly a rounded education you should explain to them that there is a theistic creationism that exists or theistic evolution theory that exists out there that the Catholic church has adopted. It teaches that science and faith are not incompatible.

[Updated to add:]

Rubio was much harsher on evolution back in 2008:

The “crux” of the disagreement, according Rubio, is “whether what a parent teaches their children at home should be mocked and derided and undone at the public school level. It goes to the fundamental core of who is ultimately, primarily responsible for the upbringing of children. Is it your public education system or is it your parents?”

Rubio added, “And for me, personally, I don’t want a school system that teaches kids that what they’re learning at home is wrong.”

Rubio, a Cuban-American, made a comparison to the strategy employed by the Communist Party in Cuba where schools encouraged children to turn in parents who criticized Fidel Castro.

“Of course, I’m not equating the evolution people with Fidel Castro,” he quickly added, while noting that undermining the family and the church were key means the Communist Party used to gain control in Cuba.

“In order to impose their totalitarian regime, they destroyed the family; they destroyed the faith links that existed in that society,” he said.

The Florida Foundation for Future Scientists Need Your Help

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

As some of you may have heard during the State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida last week the FFFS has launched a funding campaign to raise money to continue the sponsorship of the SSEF. The FFFS is a statewide, non-profit organization authorized by the 1957 Legislature of the State of Florida to discover scientific and technical talent in the schools of Florida and to encourage the pursuit of careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).The State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida has relied on unpredictable state funding and corporate contributions for 60 years. How ever, the economic conditions in Florida over the past 7 years have forced them to draw down their reserves. There is currently no predictable way of continuing this life-changing event without additional assistance. Their aim is to demonstrate the wide-scale support of the science fair and the impact of Florida science fairs on the students in our state. Bottom line, if the SSEF is to continue, they need financial help. You can donate at the Save the SSEF! here. As a judge at this fair for the last 4 years, I can’t tell you just how important to science education in our state, this fair is.