“They’re both theories”

senateWelcome to the final week of the Florida legislative session. Today, the creationist-enabling Instructional Materials bill (SB 1210) is being debated on the Senate floor. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out the Instructional Materials bills ’17 blog category here to find out why creationists, climate change deniers and anti-vaccine nuts love this bill that could impact how textbooks are chosen on the local school board level.) As of this writing, I don’t know if the bill has actually been debated yet or if that will come later. I’ve been at work all day, as I’m sure most of you have been, so I haven’t been able to monitor today’s proceedings. If I understand the process correctly, senators will just ask questions and debate the merits of the bill today without any voting. Then the bill needs to be scheduled for a full Senate vote on some later date. Of course, I could be wrong about that. I’m no expert, and it is the final week of session. I don’t know if the process can be expedited before the session ends on Friday. We’ll see.

While we wait to see what happens, the online news website Motherboard published a story today about the Instructional Materials bills: Florida Bills Would Let Citizens Remove Textbooks That Mention Climate Change and Evolution. I’m excited about the story because for the very first time, one of the main bill creators/supporters, Florida Citizens’ Alliance’s Keith Flaugh, has finally been directly confronted with our science education concerns. His thoughts on the matter are quite revealing:

Keith Flaugh, co-director of the Florida Citizens’ Alliance, a libertarian advocacy group, argued the bills are about transparency and giving communities greater say in school materials, which he said are currently being chosen by “politicized” school districts and “establishment” textbook companies.

“The science here is not proven on either side,” Flaugh said. “There are lots of scientists on both sides of that equation: Creationism versus the theory of evolution. They’re both theories. And all we’re asking for is both sides of the discussion in a balanced way be put in front of the students.”

If only this view had been drawn out of Flaugh so much earlier! I don’t know if it would have done any good. But at least now there is clear evidence that Flaugh wants something in Florida schools that has been repeatedly judged by the court system to be unconstitutional.

What happens now? Assuming the Senate bill is voted on and approved by Friday, I believe the next step is that the House and Senate versions, which have some differences, need to be reconciled before a final joint version can be forwarded to the governor for signature. Does the merging of the different versions need to happen before Friday? I don’t know. I’m out of my depth right now. Anyone with better knowledge of the process is more than welcome to chime in.


About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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9 Responses to “They’re both theories”

  1. Ivorygirl says:

    Their complete scientific ignorance on what constitutes a scientific theory never fails to amaze me. Also their lack of understanding of constitutional law, that has plainly shown over and over that Creationism and Intelligent Design are overtly religious and there for not permissible in a science classroom, period. I see major law suits on the horizon.

  2. growlinghands says:

    Just had this discussion yesterday with a colleague – we are both college reference librarians – that “theory” doesn’t mean the same thing in scientific vs. layman terms. I didn’t press it, but only because she’s retiring. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one in my workplace who rejects evolution.

    It’s disheartening when smart, highly-educated, and well-traveled people reject science because of religious beliefs. I live in the Panhandle, which is very conservative, so I see this a lot. We had an Intelligent Design speaker come to the college and most of my coworkers went in support of her, and the venue was packed with community members. Science profs and I were probably the only folks there who were in opposition…

  3. Chris says:

    Ivorygirl, what religion is creationism?

  4. Ivorygirl says:




    noun: creationism

    the belief that the universe and living organisms originate from specific acts of divine creation, as in the biblical account, rather than by natural processes such as evolution.

    You really do ask the dumbest questions

  5. Chris says:

    As you have partially shown, creationism is not a specific religion. Your faith, ‘naturalism’ is religious in the same way.

  6. Ivorygirl says:


    “A philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted”. Implying evolution is a religion, is like saying not collecting stamps is a hobby. You are just repeating worn out creationist crap, don’t you guys have anything new?????

  7. Chris says:

    Naturalism goes beyond the simple myths of evolution. My assertion is not philosophical but instead adherence to faith. Your faith for instance as a religious naturalist. The anti-science label pinned on anyone who questions the validity of evoution can be seen as a faulty argument and only a ploy for religious dominance. i’m sure you will call it all creationist crap. But can’t you see yourself as a faithfull follower, justified by ignorantance knowing the problem is not science, but rather two compelling competing religious belief systems? I can.

  8. Ivorygirl says:

    Of course you can see it Chris, because you are scientifically ignorant and your mind is corrupted by religious nonsense. Yes you are right Chris, that’s what my goal in life is, religious dominance You are such an idiot.

  9. Chris says:

    Yourself being a descendent of the lower animals, i kinda knew these facts were beyond your comprehension. But don’t let it get you down, think positive, you are inspirational. Without your type of influence and leadership these bills would have never been introduced, Don’t fret keep the faith.

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