New State Board of Education Member: no evolution

This week our governor appointed a new member to the state Board of Education:

Gov. Rick Scott has made his next pick for the state Board of Education: citrus grower and former Highlands County School Board Chairman Andy Tuck.

We have a problem. Back in 2008 Mr. Tuck said this:

[Highlands County] School Board Vice Chairman Andy Tuck said Thursday, “as a person of faith, I strongly oppose any study of evolution as fact at all. I’m purely in favor of it staying a theory and only a theory.

“I won’t support any evolution being taught as fact at all in any of our schools.”

What impact will this have? Discuss.

[edited to add: Here is a link to the original story that quoted Tuck: Board Opposes Evolution Being Taught As Fact. Also, the Orlando Sentinel’s education blog has noticed.]

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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19 Responses to New State Board of Education Member: no evolution

  1. Jonathan Smith says:

    Come on Brandon, we all know that Evilution should be taught as just a theory, rather than a fact.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says:

    So much for the hypothesis that R. Scott is moderating his political bent for the sake of re-election.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Alas, the O’do Sentinel‘s blog will not accept my comments.

    Evidently my sins have caught up with me at last…

  4. Gary says:

    Come on Jonathan, we all know that most of the bible should be taught as just a myth rather than as a factual document. Galileo proved that somewhere around 400 years ago. Duh!

  5. ivorygirl says:

    Come on Gary, I think you missed the sarcasm, Dr Jonathan Smith is the VP of Florida Citizens for Science. LOL

  6. Jonathan Smith says:

    Thanks Ivorygirl, sorry Gary,the “evolution is just a theory” statements is one of Brandon’s pet peeves.

  7. Chris says:


    “Come on Jonathan, we all know that most of the bible should be taught as just a myth rather than as a factual document. Galileo proved that somewhere around 400 years ago. Duh!”

    Wow, I had no idea that Galileo had actually pulled that off. Could you give us a little more detail? Thanks.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Chris – Do you know how to go to the library’s Information desk and ask the nice people to help you find a biography of Galileo, including the repercussions of his imprisonment? (John Heilbron’s life of GG comes highly recommended.)

    Then, if you both check out the book they find you and actually read the thing, you will see that Galileo’s case illustrates unmistakably how assigning authority to an anthology of ancient tribal lore just doesn’t work out well at all.*

    Numerous other examples of this phenomenon can be found, but please stick with this one for a while. Note particularly how much it matters that Galileo was not just persecuted but also right.

    Pls submit a book report by the end of February, of as many words as you feel necessary to summarize what you read. A chocolate if you get it in by Valentine’s!

    *Except to serve as a bad example. The Pope’s peevishness contributed to the backlash against theocracy (known as the Enlightenment for short) by driving generations of intellectual talent out of Italy, and the French, English, Dutch and Germans never even thanked him for it.

  9. chris says:

    Pierce R. Butler ,

    I think you’re a little off track here. I wasn’t referring to Galileo’s little spat with the Catholic Church. I was interested in what he said. Which is to quote, “we all know that most of the bible should be taught as just a myth rather than as a factual document. Galileo proved that somewhere around 400 years ago. Duh” I’m sure he must have something extremely special and is not just be making ignorant statements.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Sorry Chris, you don’t get to pull one possible interpretation out of an ambiguous sentence and declare your version is “what he said.”

    I know that’s standard operating procedure amongst the bible-bangers, but – have you noticed? – this here is a science blog.

  11. Chris says:


    From his comment of recycled propaganda, It would appear Mr Gary has never read the book. But I could be wrong.

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. “(Carl Sagan)

  12. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Chris – You sure could. As a matter of fact…

    Meanwhile, back to the topic at hand – apparently the Fla Board of Ed favors the schools-should-produce-produce model:

    “It’s only appropriate that on the Florida Board of Education we have a citrus grower,” [Board of Education Chairman Gary] Chartrand said.

    Adding a thick layer of rotted manure works well for orange groves, so …

  13. Chris says:


    From what I know of Andy Tuck, Scott has made an excellent choice. Tuck will no doubt serve Florida well.

    I see you’re evolving into manure now.

  14. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Chris – please tell us what you “know of Andy Tuck”.

  15. Chris says:

    I also live in Highlands county and met Tuck at a school board meeting a few years back. He’s a family man with a genuine commitment to our educational system. He’s successful in business, a straight shooter and a man of integrity. He’ll do a good job for the state of Florida. Kudos to Gov. Scott.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Chris – In other words, you know nothing of his credentials, background, or track record in science or education.

    To be fair, even “Dubya” Bush appointed a few people who later proved competent to fill their positions, so we should recognize the possibility that Gov Scott has slipped up in the same way in this case.

    Except, of course, the evidence presented in the original post here indicates exactly the opposite.

    Have you observed any of Tuck’s actions on the Highlands board concerning science ed?

  17. Chris says:


    I didn’t say we were fishing buddies. He has a good reputation in the area and appears to be a decent guy. I know it must be disturbing to you that he may not be a proponent to push communism, perversions or distributing condoms to first graders. I also doubt he believes dirt made itself. You’ll just have to get over it.

  18. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Chris? Anyone? Bueller?

  19. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Chris – Somehow I didn’t see your 8:29 comment when I posted last night.

    Be careful should you find yourself fishing with Bro. Tuck – he may enjoy spontaneous baptizings.

    I also doubt he believes dirt made itself.

    Did you ever take that online genetics course you told us you had signed up for? (Yes, this directly pertains to the quotation above.)

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