I told you about the interesting conversation about evolution at a recent Nassau County School Board meeting a few days ago (Meanwhile, in Nassau County: “I thought evolution was a bunch of baloney”). Now, the local weekly newspaper published a story about it: Science Education Discussed at NCSB. Unfortunately, it’s behind a paywall, but you can fork over 99 cents to get a digital copy of the paper if you want to.
The story is mostly just a recap of what happened at the meeting, similar to what I did in my previous post. Unfortunately, the story didn’t venture beyond what happened at the meeting. There were no interviews with school board members to get their opinions or with the superintendent for a deeper look at her thoughts on allowing students to opt out of evolution lessons.
On the positive side, the reporter did ask for a quote from me since there was no one at the meeting to speak up for science education. I happily obliged:
“(The Nassau County School Board) implied that evolution is merely a theory, which is a red flag that indicates the speaker doesn’t know the most basic science facts,” Haught told the News-Leader. “The word theory is used differently by scientists than by the general public. In science, a theory is not a guess. A theory in science is something that is well supported, having withstood constant testing and experimentation. Germ theory of disease, cell theory and gravitational theory are examples, and I doubt that school district officials brush them off as mere guesses. Evolution is on that same high level of scientific consensus and confidence.”
Haught called the discussion by School Board members “shenanigans” in which Florida Citizens for Science will become involved if he believes it to be necessary.
“The clear ignorance of science displayed at the recent meeting is … very concerning,” Haught said. “Dr. Burns stated that the science textbooks currently being used in the district will be replaced soon and said, ‘We’ll be addressing this again in the future.’ Florida Citizens for Science will definitely keep an eye on Nassau County and do everything we can to support and defend quality science education there.”
So, the locals now know that we’re keeping an eye on them.