Senator Storms’ tap dancing has made the news here and there. (edited to add the Palm Beach Post editorial.)
Palm Beach Post editorial: Fraudulent evolution bill
Translated, the bill wants creationism – disguised as “intelligent design” – to have equal billing in classrooms. The bill is a fraud. The staff analysis notes that “there has never been a case in Florida where a public school teacher or … student has claimed that they have been discriminated against based on their science teaching or science course work.” The bill claims not to “promote any religious doctrine,” but of course it does. It attempts to promote the fundamentalist Protestant view of how life developed.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The sponsor of a bill that would prohibit school officials from punishing teachers for presenting “scientific information” that challenges evolution dodged opponents’ questions today in Senate debate over her measure.
Opponents have voiced concerns that Storms’ bill will open the door to teaching religious-based theories, like intelligent design, in public school classrooms. But Storms, one of the Senate’s most conservative members, repeatedly refused to answer questions on whether that could happen.
Her only reply: teachers could discuss a “full range of scientific views.”
Senate Democratic Leader Steve Geller of Cooper City, frustrated at her answers, later said: “We could have stuck bamboo shoots under her fingernails and she wouldn’t have answered.”
Miami Herald: ‘Academic freedom’ for evolution, not sex-ed
Storms said her bill was designed to counteract the ”dogmatic” new state science standards requiring for the first time evolution to be and that “people are afraid. Teachers are afraid. And students, by the way, are afraid.”
Geller objected, noting her bill says the ”Legislature finds that in many instances” teachers and students have feared or been disciplined for teaching the full range of scientific information about evolution.
When Geller asked her for names, Storms didn’t have any but said six educators who planned to talk on the topic recently weren’t given the time to address a recent Senate committee.
I definitely would love to know who these six unnamed teachers are. Even better, I want to know what they want to teach. This revealing question has yet to be asked or answered: What are some examples of critical analysis of evolution that have no religious connotations and are based on legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas? A fuller explanation of this question is here. I want to hear Senator Storms or Rep. Hays or these six phantom teachers answer this question. Gaps in the fossil record is not an answer as it doesn’t fit the “legitimate, up-to-date scientific idea” requirement. Trying to use the Cambrian Explosion against evolution is also idiotic and doesn’t fit the requirement either. As a matter of fact, these and many others are actually old creationist distortions of real science, so it’s not a good idea to use these examples as part of the “critical analysis” in the classroom. Using them would just reveal the religious motivation behind these Trojan horse bills.
And the answer is?