Florida Science Standards opposition

I believe the writing of the new draft of the Sunshine State Science Standards is nearing completion and will be up for public comment soon. FCS members have been very active on the framing and writing committees and feel confident they have produced a good, useful document. FCS as an organization will be promoting the new standards during the public comment period and encouraging everyone to support them.

However, there is the distinct possibility of opposition from other groups and individuals to the inclusion of a certain biology concept. Can you guess what will be drawing all the attention? Evolution, of course. The old standards avoided the use of the word itself, opting instead to say “changes over time” and the like. The new standards draft has evolution stuck right back in there where it belongs.

The first salvo has already been fired, actually. A man named Fred Cutting has written a letter to the Science Standards Writers & Framers asking that the pros and cons of evolution be addressed, under the pretense of fostering critical thinking skills. Cutting claims that evolution is being presented in a dogmatic fashion. In other words, he’s taking the standard “teach the controversy” route. I’ll try to publish a copy of the letter in the near future once we make sure we won’t get into any trouble for doing so.

We can expect to hear more from Cutting and other like him, I imagine. If there’s one thing that can be said about the intelligent design and creationism crowd, it’s that they’re very loud. Here’s an interesting story mentioning Cutting in 2006. From the story:

Teachers have latitude. In both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, they are free to discuss ID, although most acknowledge they do not do so.

In some cases, they bring in someone like Fred Cutting to do it.

Cutting is 62 years old and has a strong background in science. He retired as a mechanical engineer from Honeywell in Pinellas County and has a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Wisconsin.

Once a year for the past four years, Cutting has found himself at Countryside High School in Clearwater during the Great American Teach-In, talking about ID to honors students.

“I’ve got the really good students, and they ask really good questions,” he said. “I’m not teaching religion; I’m teaching, ‘Let’s think.'”

Cutting passes along not just an encouragment of intellectual curiosity but his reading of the evidence about how life came to be on Earth.

“It may not have been just the way the Bible story tells it, but I’m looking at it as a scientist, and it is pretty evident to me that there was an intelligent designer,” he said. “It doesn’t say he was a Christian God, or anybody’s god, but just that he did exist. Anything else is just faith.”

And, Cutting adds, why should evolutionists be allowed to dominate public schools with their “humanistic” faith?

“In our schools, those whose faith is atheism or humanism, they use Darwinism to reinforce their faith,” he said, “and that’s not intellectually honest.”

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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8 Responses to Florida Science Standards opposition

  1. Pastor Bill says:

    We are certainly encouraged by the inclusion of the term evolution within the body of the Florida Science Standards.

    It is our church mission to encourage the continued teachings of the imaginary evolutionary process. The Prophet Charles Darwin who first declared his imaginations as religion has inspired the evolution of the First Church of Evolution.

    The church members here will be rooting for your success. Keep the faith and may Natural Selection shine on you.

  2. Christensen says:

    Just keep in mind that it as unconstitutional to denigrate religion in public schools as it is to promote it.

  3. jonboy says:

    The new science standards will most certainly not dengirate religion,
    religion is quite capable of doing that to itself without any help from
    science.Many main stream religions (Jewish Catholic )readily accept
    evolution within their faith structure.It is mainly a small minority of
    religious zelots who wish to impose their narrow minded,out dated religious ideologies on the rest of the country. Saying”Goddidit” is not science and does not belong in a science class
    room unless of course we can show scientific evidence that a God
    was responsible,and we can not.
    Pastor Bill go and read some other real science books rather than have
    your head stuck in the bible and then perhaps you could offer some
    worth while comments

  4. Pingback: Florida Citizens for Science » Blog Archive » Teach the Wedge

  5. Christensen says:

    Thats fine, Jonboy.

    Just don’t use our money to denigrate religion.

    Its unconstitutional like, uh, whether you like it or not.

  6. jonboy says:

    Christensen,If you think teaching the facts about science is unconstitutonal
    you need to read the constitution.I will tell you what IS unconstitutional, using tax money to support faith baesd organizations.
    I am sure you will feel just as strongly about that issue and would have
    posted your concerns on a religious web site?

  7. DC says:

    Lucky Florida, now I see that we are going to go through the Evolution has “debate’ and the “teach the alternatives’ cycle. Go read the Dover Decision. What a waste of time.
    How does teaching evolutionary biology denigrate religion? It has nothing to do with it. Does the Theory of Gravity require supernatural explanations as well? (yes it ‘just a theory”)

    ID and Creationism, by very definition, are not science. There no falsifiable test, and, moreover, no actual research is conducted by places like the Discovery Institute to PROVE the processes of Creationism. Supernatural explanations are simply not science.

    Hey , why don’t we ever include the other creation myths Hindu creation story while were at it? After all a billion Hindus can’t be wrong.

  8. whodunit? says:

    If “natural selection” is the adopted “theory” then we better watch out! Humans are deeply flawed and it is time for the next mutation cycle.

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