I was featured in an article in the Daytona Beach News-Journal today. I think the paper made too big a deal out of connecting my day job with my volunteer efforts here. However, in the newspaper world, the mantra is to localize whenever possible. Essentially, I am their local story hook. Since I don’t actually live in the paper’s target area, they pretty much had to use my job as their justification for writing about me. On top of that, my job is in the public eye there in Volusia County, so that’s another justification to bring my day job into the mix.
In any case, just skim through all that and head to the bottom of the story. The good news is that the school board in Volusia County has no issue with evolution, and while many on the Flagler County school board are silent on the issue, no one seized the opportunity to jump into the anti-evolution spotlight.
I particularly like this quote:
As a supporter of science education, Judy Conte, chairwoman of the Volusia County School Board, said she is worried about the upcoming vote on the science standards.
“I hope the state board doesn’t give Florida anything else to be embarrassed about,” she said.
On the other hand, the St. Petersburg Times education blog, The Gradebook, notes that Beverly Slough, who is a St. Johns County school board member, is not a big fan of evolution. She’s mentioned in the story written about last week’s science standards public meeting, but I somehow completely missed that. Sheesh, you folks need to rap my knuckles when I get absentminded. Right there in black and white it’s written that she is president-elect of the Florida School Boards Association. The Gradebook went back to talk with her again. She told reporter Ron Matus:
“Anybody with half a brain can see that natural selection takes place. But to make great leaps from a fish to a man … the fossil record doesn’t support all that.”
Interesting statement. I’m curious to know to what extent Slough is willing to accept natural selection. Where does Slough think it stops? Does Slough have any idea that the fossil record is but one line of evidence supporting evolution? The discovery of DNA could have completely toppled over the theory or evolution, but instead added yet another pillar of support. Research involving evolution didn’t stop with Darwin. It started. And it continues to grow at an amazing rate.
Why should we worry about what people like Slough have to say on the subject? Why do we keep a list of those education decision makers who have made public statements doubtful of or outright against evolution? Because of situations like this:
She also said she planned to raise the issue both with her school board and the Florida School Boards Association.
I would like to recommend that Slough and others who are doubtful concerning evolution take some time to read this new publication offered by the National Academy of Sciences: Science, Evolution and Creationism. It’s free to download the entire book. Or, if pressed for time, there is also a free eight-page summary available.