Another lawmaker, the same old lawyer, and a theory

An Associated Press article popped up on the Orlando Sentinel website this evening. The state Board of Education was having a conference call with state legislators concerning class size stuff when a panhandle lawmaker couldn’t resist the urge to say a few words about evolution in the state science standards. And so yet another person goes on the record as not having any idea what a scientific theory is. Folks, please bombard Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, with our evolution fact sheet.

A Florida Panhandle lawmaker urged the State Board of Education on Monday to call evolution a “theory” in revised science standards the panel will consider later this month.

Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, asked if she could make a statement. Coley said constituents have flooded her office with calls, letters and petitions about the evolution standards.

“The Panhandle is a very conservative area and they’re adamant in their desire to see the word ‘theory’ that’s all they’re asking be in the new science standards along with evolution, not just saying ‘evolution’ but ‘the evolution theory.'”

Not only that, but the article says that David Gibbs’ law firm wants to meet with the state Board of Education. (Previous posts on Gibbs here and here.)

Board members also said they had been contacted by a law firm that opposes the new standards. Board member Akshay Desai asked for advice on how to respond to a request for a meeting from the firm of David C. Gibbs III, a lawyer who sent the board a memo last month arguing the proposed standards could face a legal challenge for violating constitutional church-state separation.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
This entry was posted in Alert, In the News, Our Science Standards. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Another lawmaker, the same old lawyer, and a theory

  1. Glenn says:

    If that’s really all Rep. Coley said, it sounds like she’s just doing her job – representing her constituents. I would be truly surprised, in fact, if the flood of communication she’s received was just asking that the word “theory” appear alongside “evolution”.

  2. Gustavo says:

    Calling Evolution a “theory” is not really wrong, as long as the students are also taught the meaning of the word “theory” for the scientific community. Of course, someone ought to explain that to Rep. Coley as well.

    Now, as for the law firm, aren’t they the ones trying to cross the line on church-state separation? The standards do not mention religious beliefs at any moment.

  3. Glenn Royer says:

    Haven’t you heard? Evolution is a religious dogma of Secular Humanism, which is classified as a religion in the US, according to:

    Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia
    Fellowship of Humanity v. County of Alameda
    Torcaso v. Watkins

    Or at least, that’s the argument Gibbs will make if he’s allowed to be alone in a room with the school board.

  4. PC-Bash says:

    Heh. That’s funny, that a scientific conclusion based on observation could be considered religious dogma.

    But, then again, these are the same sorts of folks who believe that atheism is a religion, because it is a belief that their god does not exist; they don’t seem to understand that it is possible to simply lack a belief in mythical beings.

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