More positive evolution opinions. Is anyone listening?

An opinion column in the Daytona Beach News-Journal points out how silly Florida looks when state leaders advocate science but then turn right around and denigrate science. Talk about a love-hate relationship!

And once more the state is in a fight over evolution, creationism and its big-city cousin, “intelligent design.”

Florida is in the process of approving new science standards, so expect this divide to be pronounced in 2008.

The current standards don’t mention the word “evolution.” They talk about “biological changes over time.”

This was a rather too-clever attempt to head off controversy. It’s not Yahooville because you can still discuss the concept generally. But it’s not Tomorrowland, because you’re talking about the central organizing concept of modern biology in a whisper, as though it were a relative who ran off with the circus.

Most legislators understand that laws mandating creationism, intelligent design, or “teaching the controversy” make our economic Tomorrowland sales pitch sound silly. And that’s bad for business.

Florida already gets enough ridicule without hosting a monkey trial. I’ll be anxious to see if we’ve evolved.

A “reader views” column in the Orlando Sentinel does a good job of highlighting how important revising the state science standards is, and how important keeping religion, yes that means intelligent design and other such “theories”, out of the science classroom.

This is a long overdue and well-reasoned initiative by science education subject-matter experts to include basic training in the fundamental principles of evolution and natural selection in science textbooks and science classroom instruction. This is not an attempt by government to exclude the teaching of concepts such as intelligent design or creationism from public-school classes in religion, history, art, literature or any other humanities discipline.

2 Responses to “More positive evolution opinions. Is anyone listening?”

  1. firemancarl Says:

    Well brandon, i read your comments on Pharyngula. I agree with you. I will be writing an op-ed piece and sending it to the Daytona Beach news Journal. I hope the publish it. I will send yo a copy of it. I live in Port orange, so I am curious to hear what the VCSB will think about these changes. My hope is they will be all for new standards that require evolution to be taught and they dismiss ID out of hand.

  2. Brandon Haught Says:

    Thanks, firemancarl. Yes, it would be interesting to hear what the Volusia school board … and all school boards … have to say on the issue.

    Definitely hook me up with a copy of what you send to the paper. Best of luck in getting it published!