Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas has a blog post “Groan … evolution back on trial in the Legislature.”
This bill would turn us into a laughingstock. It makes Republicans look foolish and backwards. Here we are upgrading our academic curriculum in high school, particularly in science, while at the same time going back to the 19th Century.
The Broward Palm Beach New Times editorial blog post “Anti-evolution bill hits state senate” is listed under the blog category FloriDUH.
It is clear that Sen. Stephen Wise and his allies do not understand science or even its terminology. “Evolution” is not a theory. It is a fact, demonstrable in laboratories and in nature. (Even “speciation” — the divergence of one species from another — has been empirically observed among certain populations of sea gulls, salamanders, and warblers.) The only theory is “evolution by natural selection” — which is to say, it is theorized that the fact of evolution is made possible by the action of natural selection. There is a tremendous, incontrovertible amount of evidence to suggest that this is the case.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Political Pulse blog post title says it all: “Tallahassee: The place where evolution stopped.”
The Florida Citizens for Science, an advocacy group that argues in favor of teaching evolution and better science instruction overall, says such bills are just an attempt to undermine lessons on evolution.
It notes that Wise filed a similar, and unsuccessful, bill in 2009, and has spoken in favor of “Intelligent Design,” an argument that an “intelligent cause” better explains living things than evolution by natural selection.
And the St. Petersburg Times is on the ball with a story: “Florida bill may rekindle debate over evolution.”
Evolution supporters say the language is another attempt by Florida lawmakers to undermine the teaching of evolution, introduce the faith-based concepts of creationism and intelligent design, and water down state science standards that were narrowly passed by the state Board of Education in 2008.
“We at Florida Citizens for Science oppose this theocratic attempt to introduce creationism into the Florida schools,” group member Jonathan Smith said today. “We will be mounting a campaign to fight this in every way possible.”
I’ll keep you updated as more stories come in.