St. Petersburg Times columnist Howard Troxler does a decent job putting the so-called debate over evolution and intelligent design into perspective. The only thing I see that he leaves out is when people have a strict, very literal view of the Bible or other religious text. This comment left here at FCS illustrates one such view. Otherwise, Troxler hits the need to separate science and intelligent design on the head.
“Look, evolution does not have anything to do with what people believe about God. All this theory does is try to explain the changes that we have observed.”
The St. Petersburg Times is all over this issue. Another columnist, Robyn Blumner, talks about how insane it is to slip religion into science classes. The column focuses on politics, but still makes some valid points on the current issue. A trend that I’m seeing here is that it’s painfully obvious that complaints about evolution and attempts to insert intelligent design into the classroom are all religiously motivated, no matter how much the person doing the complaining claims it’s not. Every one of these columnists can see it.
Florida is also now in a dust-up due to the inclusion of evolution in its proposed science standards. Donna Callaway, who was appointed to the state Board of Education by former Gov. Jeb Bush, said she’ll oppose the new standards because of it.
Really folks, in this information age when scientific innovation is the key to our nation’s future, we don’t have the time to be mucking around in this tired debate. You don’t produce doctors and scientists by teaching science from the Bible. Period.
Miami Herald writer Fred Grimm reviews the history of what’s happened in this state science standards battle and warns that political meddling and creationist activism could set Florida back.
And the specter of political interference was resurrected last week. Republican House leader Rep. Will Weatherford of Wesley Chapel told the St. Pete Times, ”I’m not a scientist, but I will tell you in general, evolution is one of the theories,” said Weatherford, who added that portraying evolution as “more important or more accurate than the rest, I’m not so sure I’m in favor of that.”
”I just can’t see how Florida could reject these standards,” said Joe Wolf, president of Florida Citizens for Science, the citizens activists pushing the new science curriculum. “It would really look bad.”
But Wolf admitted that a major fight was coming. “Many, many Christians have no trouble with evolution. Science and God can co-exist. But the creationists can generate thousands and thousands of letters.”
All those thousands of letters could send Florida scrambling back to the know-nothing curriculum that politicians forced on science teachers back in 1996. Call it devolution.
It’s good to see all of this press in favor of sound science education. Please send these writers a note of thanks.