We now know what another state Board of Education member thinks about evolution in the science standards. But first, let’s see what led up to that revelation.
The St. Petersburg Times education blog The Gradebook is hot on the trail of a group of activist moms who are working overtime to be heard. They want to water down evolution’s mention in the state science standards. A post from this morning reported that concerned mom Kim Kendall has friends in high places.
The state’s proposed new science standards aren’t on today’s Board of Education agenda, as we far can tell. But a handful of influential Northeast Florida moms who are active in their PTOs and the Republican Party say that with the help of state Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, they’ve been given the green light to come to Tampa to tell the board they don’t like what they consider to be a dogmatic, all-or-nothing take on evolution.
They apparently also shipped out a press release to anyone who would listen, referring concerned folks “to the Florida Coalition for Academic Freedom, which credits the Center for Science and Culture, which is part of the Discovery Institute, which is the nation’s leading think tank for intelligent design.”
But then the moms got a rude awakening when they were told they wouldn’t get a chance to speak. A later posting reports that the moms were told ahead of time they wouldn’t get to talk, but they showed up anyway only to be told again that there was no time available for them to talk. I wonder what arrangement Sen. Wise thought he had.
That post then gives us a look into the thinking of one of the BoE members, and it doesn’t sound good. Apparently, Linda Taylor is fuzzy about the whole concept of theories:
The Gradebook caught up with board member Linda Taylor, who had so far been silent on the topic of the standards, and found her generally supportive of the “choices” philosophy, so long as it falls within what the state can do legally.
“With the evolution, there’s a bigger topic called theories of origin. I think kids should have the opportunity to compare different theories,” Taylor (left) said. “If we are focused on evolution I am OK with that. But they should at least know there are other theories out there and that they could themselves compare them or that they be presented to them.”
She continued: “I would support teaching evolution, but with all its warts. I think that some of the facts have been questioned by evolutionists themselves. I would want them taught as theories. That’s important. They could be challenged by others and the kids could then be taught critical thinking and they can make their own choices.”
So, Ms. Taylor, what are these supposed warts? What are these other theories? What do “theories of origin” have to do with evolution, which doesn’t touch on how life began, but rather how it has changed over time?
Ladies and Gentlemen, please ship Ms. Taylor a few special Christmas cards! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Then head over to our website that explains our “call to action” project: All I Want for Christmas is a Good Science Education. We’re running out of time to teach the BoE members some basic science. Send those Christmas cards now!