These dangerous bills need to be disarmed

An op-ed I wrote was published in today’s Daytona Beach News Journal: Bills threaten science education

Of concern to science advocates like us is the Collier group’s vociferous opposition to established, accurate science concepts. Among their targeted objectionable materials are lessons about evolution and climate change. The single most alarming statement from the bills’ supporters is this analysis of a textbook passage about evolution: “Nowhere in the material is a balanced discussion of the biblical explanation.” This week, the bill’s supporters offered affidavits from parents who said their complaints about textbooks were “ignored.” Among those affidavits, I found complaints about evolution and climate change.

Giving these grossly unscientific views a voice equal to education and science experts in the choosing of instructional materials is irresponsible and does a disservice to our children. Confusing and inaccurate science lessons based on bad instructional materials could discourage students from seeking out science careers or immediately put students academically behind their peers in college.

Please share widely. Our opposition is crowing about their success so far, saying: “Senators’ aides told us they were flooded with calls.” We can only counter that if you help us. Drown out their calls with ours. If you sit idly by, our schools and our students lose.

13 Responses to “These dangerous bills need to be disarmed”

  1. Pierce R. Butler Says:

    An actual “balanced discussion of the biblical explanation” – with the archaeology and history of early western-Semitic mythology and comparisons with other primitive lore – probably wouldn’t please the hyperchristians of Collier County either.

    Given the present political tides, it seems fairly likely they will get their way this year. If so, only two questions come to my mind:

    Will pro-science and pro-secularism people muster the resources to challenge this unconstitutional measure in court? and

    What more will they demand in next year’s legislative session?

  2. Chris Says:

    Forget Biblical creationism. If there was a honest balanced discussion on evolution it self there would be no opposition to it.

  3. Pierce R. Butler Says:

    Chris –

    Pls direct us to such a “honest balanced discussion”.

    Hint: Answers in Genesis ain’t it.

  4. Ivorygirl Says:

    Any science class room Florida.

    Teacher to Students “Explain how plants and insects co/evolved”
    Students to Teacher “God did it”
    Teacher to Students “Show scientific evidence is was your chosen god
    Students to Teacher “We don’t have to, it would infringe on our religious freedoms”

    Now that’s what we need to really “Make America Great Again”

  5. Chris Says:

    Believe it or not I also believe these bills could open a can of worms. With all the nut jobs around we might have witches casting spells during class or Imams presenting proper beheading. If evolution’s theory could stand on it”s own merits no one would be concerned with any opposition. Herein lies the problem. With open dialog much of Darwin’s imaginary theory could crumbly away

    The forced indoctrination and hard line presentation of evolution’s full blown tale as a fact or the only explanation for life can be accredited for bills such as these in the public school system.

    Ivorygirl, When teachers start making living plants and bugs out of dirt in the class room, then and only then will they be able to explain it.

  6. Pierce R. Butler Says:

    Chris – Actually, no: forensic specialists don’t need to murder anybody in order to figure out how a murderer did it.

    Also, please look up “accredited” before trying to tell real educators what to do.

    Now, about that “open dialog” and “honest balanced discussion”… we’re all waiting!

  7. Chris Says:

    Piercd – You’re correct, thanks to Body Farms such as at the University of Tennesse along with unclaimed cadavers and volunteers human decomposition can be observed in real time without directly killing the subject. However, determining how or why a human died has nothing to do with how the human became a living organism in the first place. As a real educator can you honestly explain that?

  8. Ivorygirl Says:

    Chris, really? “When teachers start making living plants and bugs out of dirt in the class room, then and only then will they be able to explain it.”
    Wow just wow, that has to be up there with the most stupid statements you’ve ever made.

  9. Pierce R. Butler Says:

    Chris – The (well, one) point you missed is that the basic processes of unwitnessed events can still be deduced – and we do so every day.

    You might also try to ponder, as best you can, that evolutionary science begins with the premise of existing organisms, and does not address “how life began” any more than it questions how the necessary ingredients of matter and energy, or space and time, began. (Look up abiogenesis sometime if you want to argue those questions.)

    When will you show us the “honest balanced discussion” that puts evolutionary biology in doubt?

  10. Chris Says:

    Pierce – I understand completely evolutionary science begins on the assumptions of favorable evidence. And scientist continue to speculate, theorize and fantasize on how life began. And to-date the only concert fact that exist in this science is, they have no clue of how the event or process began. So to speculate transmutation foward simply multiplies the ignorance. It can only be a work of fiction not fact.

  11. Pierce R. Butler Says:

    Chris – Apologies for the lag in replying: The Mighty Thor smote my computer and modem a couple of nights ago, so getting back online has taken a bit of time.

    Even so, you “understand” wrongly bigly: evolutionary science begins with (literally) tons of evidence. That’s just the fossils; we also have megatons more in the form of DNA of living organisms.

    And we do have multiple clues of how all this began (you didn’t click my “abiogenesis” link, did ya?).

    C’mon now, show us something besides a string of “nuh-uh”s.

  12. Chris Says:

    No problem Pierce. So it’s the Thor Dude who plays with computers, he gets mine too

    Yes evolutionary science does begins with tons of evidence. What’s amazing once you erase the dotted lines, redicrick and millions of years from the evidence you’re left with creationism. The same evidence which is used to sell evolution stands firm for creationism. The only real difference is nothing didn’t do it.

    DNA destroys evolution. The assumed undirected accumulation of advancing genetic information for the necessary upward evolution of organisms is so far beyond complex, I don’t see how even a humanist could suck up the tale.

    I did click out your abiogenesis sites, and from those links I’d say you’re shooting blanks.

  13. Pierce R. Butler Says:

    Chris – Uh, by “redicrick” do you maybe mean “rhetoric”? How does that apply here?

    But yeah – if you erase everything that isn’t creationism, all you have left is creationism. Which doesn’t help you at all, because creationism hasn’t provided anything useful or even interesting for scientific or practical purposes approximately ever.

    And just because you don’t see how evolution works reveals more about you than about anything else. Lots of people pick it up pretty well, just from the popular literature and videos, by using the one weird old trick of starting with an open and logical mind.

    What you say fails to persuade anybody, because you say very little with lots of words, or you say things you consistently fail to back up (see “honest balanced discussion” above). We’re still waiting.