Early news reports on today’s tap dance

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.

WWSB: Senate debates evolution bill

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.

Sun-Sentinel: Lawmakers: Free speech protection should extend to sex ed classes, too

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?

50 Responses to “Early news reports on today’s tap dance”

  1. Frank J Says:

    “What are some examples of critical analysis of evolution that have no religious connotations and are based on legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas?”

    First, a true critical analysis without misrepresentation (as I’m told is done at the college level, and what I did on my own ~10 years ago) would have evolution come out stronger than ever. So anti-evolution actvists advocate nothing of the sort.

    Second, there are candidate alternatives that are, arguably, based on legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas (Kauffman’s ideas come to mind) but they would have to be critically analyzed too. Again, activists are not interested in anything but their “Darwinism” caricature vs. whatever fairy tale the student has in mind – and that of course does *not* get critically analyzed.

    Third, there are some failed alternatives that don’t necessarily have religious implications. The ideas of Schwabe, Senapathy and Goldschmidt (the first two even deny common descent) come to mind. Again, the activists would especially not want them critically analyzed, because their mere existence dispels their false dichotomy, and their fatal weaknesses would drag down the students’ creationist fairy tales along with them.

  2. firemancarl Says:

    Just wait! Larry Farfaman will give you the answer :roll:

  3. Frank J Says:

    firemancarl:

    Make sure you ask Larry if he agrees with Michael Behe that humans share common ancestors with dogs and dogwoods, and that life on earth has a 3-4 billion year history. Since he seems eager to give his opinion on everything else, he should be able to offer at least a best guess at those simple questions.

  4. firemancarl Says:

    Frank,

    The problem is, that if Larry didn’t learn it in high school, it has to be wrong/false.

  5. S.Scott Says:

    Schools and learning counsel bills are streaming right now … I don’t know if I missed the HB that we are waiting to hear about

  6. S.Scott Says:

    “HB 1483″ … (sorry)

  7. firemancarl Says:

    Lets hope they give it the ‘heave-ho’

  8. S.Scott Says:

    Did we miss it? Sounds like “condominium law” now – I’ll listen for a little while longer just to make sure.

    I know a couple of bills got postponed because their sponsors were absent.

  9. S.Scott Says:

    LoL! This is off topic, sort of … Rep. Gellar lectured everyone about how it is a “Bad Day” today in legislature because they were strictly being held to 3 min. … etc. for debate… What a shame it was that important issues were being glossed over because of “procedure”…

    THEN he made a motion that all proposed ( from this moment forward ) laws be read out loud in their entirety. All of the reps got yelled at for “standing in crowds” “being loud and rude to the clerks that were reading this bill” thus were all seated and told to be quiet. Apparently, everyone is ready to go on holiday.

    It has been an hour since my last post. There have been 4 or 5 different clerks reading on this condominium law – non-stop.

    Lesson learned – Be careful what you ask for … you might just get it.

    LoL :-)

  10. S.Scott Says:

    I should mention that I think that this is the outcome that Rep. Gellar wanted. He was so annoyed that they were being held to the strict debate rules that he felt that strict rules be applied accross the board.

    But that’s just a guess.

  11. BTC Says:

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it, they put up yesterday’s senate meeting in the broadcast archives. It starts about 2 hours and 30 minutes in.

    http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/index.cfm?Mode=Video%20Broadcasts&Submenu=8&Tab=session

  12. Suzy Says:

    Yes lets not allow anything critical of what is taught in school. Let’s keep any dissent down. They must believe what we teach with no questions. We must control the kids mind and tell them what to think and absolutely let no critical thinking to take place. For others to even question our viewpoint then we should just make fun of them – let’s try and humiliate them. After all if we can’t have a fruitful discussion with them to see our way then we should persecute them with the law. Since we can come up with all kinds of evolutionary models we can stay one step ahead of them – even if they have some success in refuting some of our ideas. We must let them know that we don’t want their training of kids to interfere with our godless view. Just who do they think they are. We own the kids not them.

  13. S.Scott Says:

    What? Are you afraid of debate?

  14. S.Scott Says:

    I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to post this .

    I think the standards the BoE approved are great. I don’t know why the state legislature is getting involved in the first place. I wonder how the BoE feels after they worked for YEARS on these standards that the legislature is trying to over rule their hard work.

    The standards already provide for inquisition and arguement. Read for yourself …

    Benchmark Number: SC.912.N.1.3
    Benchmark Description: Recognize that the strength or usefulness of a scientific claim is evaluated through scientific argumentation, which depends on critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain the data presented.
    Subject Area: Science
    Grade Level: 912
    BODY OF KNOWLEDGE: Nature of Science
    Standard: The Practice of Science –
    A: Scientific inquiry is a multifaceted activity; The processes of science include the formulation of scientifically investigable questions, construction of investigations into those questions, the collection of appropriate data, the evaluation of the meaning of those data, and the communication of this evaluation.

    B: The processes of science frequently do not correspond to the traditional portrayal of “the scientific method.”

    C: Scientific argumentation is a necessary part of scientific inquiry and plays an important role in the generation and validation of scientific knowledge.

    D: Scientific knowledge is based on observation and inference; it is important to recognize that these are very different things. Not only does science require creativity in its methods and processes, but also in its questions and explanations.

  15. S.Scott Says:

    I guess that’s not good enough, huh?

  16. James F Says:

    Thanks, S.S.! And this is to address the “godless view”:

    http://www.evolutionsunday.com/

  17. Ivy Mike Says:

    Suzy, get back with us if you come out in support of eliminating “abstinence ONLY” sex education in Florida. Until then, any “academic freedom” squeaks and beeps from your side are hypocritical Bravo Sierra. Oh, and support libraries that carry the “Harry Potter” books, among others. “Freedom”, right?

    Besides, Suzy, your comment about “godlessness” makes it pretty clear that you care nothing for science education, and everything about preaching religion instead of science.

  18. S.Scott Says:

    I honestly don’t think that most of the people argueing have actually read the standards OR the proposed bill.

  19. S.Scott Says:

    Oh, and I have been mispelling Rep. Gelber’s name. My bad :-(

  20. S.Scott Says:

    Brandon, if you read this at some point, I have a request …

    Can you put the Nature of Science section of the standards somewhere on this site?

  21. Tom Says:

    The site that shows evolutionary sunday is a gas. A list of godless clergy that do not believe in the Bible.

  22. Suzy Says:

    No I think that only science should be taught and nothing else.

  23. S.Scott Says:

    Well, then go tell the legislature about it Suzy – you have 3 minutes to convince them.

  24. Green Earth Says:

    BTC- thanks for posting that link- I about went mad listening to her (not just b/c she has an annoying voice!) NOT answer the question. I wish one of the Senators would have said “we can all read, please answer the question, not re-read the bill.” She’s an English teacher and lawyer, what the hell is she doing submitting a bill about evolution? Could it be pushing her own religious right-wing agenda? Hmmmm…..

  25. PatrickHenry Says:

    If anyone is still writing to legislators, you might want to bring to their attention this statement about that Ben Stein movie they saw. It’s from the American Association for the Advancement of Science:
    Regarding the Importance of the Integrity of Science as Depicted in Film.

  26. S.Scott Says:

    Thank you Patrick :-)

  27. Noodlicious Says:

    A sequel documentary in support of the amended “Academic Freedom” Bill.

    “Sexpelled: No Intercourse Allowed”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ThQQuHtzHM

    Special “private”screenings to be shown in your legislature soon!

  28. Tom Says:

    Wow ! Just saw Expelled what a great perspective ! I’ve always thought that Hitler had the same thinking as Darwin. You have to see this movie.

  29. Green Earth Says:

    Tom, are you kidding??? I’m sure the movie does not show Darwin or evolution in a favorable light. I have read On the Origin of Species, (not just quote-mined or misquoted or mindlessly repeated religious propaganda) as many evolutionary opponents do.

    Eugenics is an interesting concept, but as obvious by history’s examples, has been used for evil purposes.

    Did you know Tom, that eugenics used to be practiced here in the US? There was for a time mandatory sterilization of mentally ill persons and others deemed by the government/doctors as burdens to society?

  30. Tom Says:

    “Did you know Tom, that eugenics used to be practiced here in the US? There was for a time mandatory sterilization of mentally ill persons and others deemed by the government/doctors as burdens to society?”

    Yes and what a shame !!

  31. Tom Says:

    All human life has value.

  32. Green Earth Says:

    BTW I’m not advocating that we put eugenics into practice, but I do question plenty of the people who are eligible as part of the “breeding population”

  33. Tom Says:

    Evolution de-humanizes man – gives no value to man except for those that are of a “higher” value. Not because a moral goodness but because of a perceived superiority of a “type” of mankind.

  34. Tom Says:

    “BTW I’m not advocating that we put eugenics into practice, but I do question plenty of the people who are eligible as part of the “breeding population””

    Wow that is a scary thought Green ! You don’t believe that do you ?

  35. Tom Says:

    Would you rule out religous people or morally unfit or even maybe physical handicapped ?

  36. Green Earth Says:

    I wouldn’t “rule out” anyone, I just question some people’s abilities as parents.

    On a different note, I am all for people who have genetic problems not having children (as a CHOICE they themselves make) in order to not chance having a child who has lots of problems

  37. Tom Says:

    What type of “genetic problem” ?

  38. Green Earth Says:

    Such as CF or Tay-Sachs

  39. Tom Says:

    Why not those that have had a historical type of cancer in the family ?

  40. PC-Bash Says:

    Evolution de-humanizes man – gives no value to man except for those that are of a “higher” value. Not because a moral goodness but because of a perceived superiority of a “type” of mankind.

    Speak for yourself, in your own ignorance.

    I find that evolution empowers us, by showing how precious and unique life truly is. Only someone without a proper appreciation of nature would believe as you do.

  41. firemancarl Says:

    And yet, there were moral codes loooooong before the bible. What does that mean for xtianity and the bible?

  42. Tom Says:

    Yes the moral code was written into man’s heart. The bible confirms this.

  43. firemancarl Says:

    BZZZZZTTTTT Wrong there Thommo! Guess again. Long before xtianity was in play, there were moral codes.

  44. PC-Bash Says:

    Not to mention that there are moral codes today that have been derived without relying on any religion.

    As for morality in the Christian bible, I think Tom needs to re-read his bible. Most of the morals that he follows are not Christian.

  45. Tom Says:

    [post deleted by mod in accordance with previous policy statement: I will repeat here what I’ve said in a previous thread of this nature. Some mention of religion does crop up in these discussions in relation to the subject of evolution education. That is OK. But constant blatant preaching does not contribute to the discussion of science or science education. Any future posts of that nature will be deleted.]

  46. PC-Bash Says:

    [post deleted by mod in accordance with previous policy statement: I will repeat here what I’ve said in a previous thread of this nature. Some mention of religion does crop up in these discussions in relation to the subject of evolution education. That is OK. But constant blatant preaching does not contribute to the discussion of science or science education. Any future posts of that nature will be deleted.]

  47. Green Earth Says:

    I think this would have fit more appropriately in the other thread, but posting was off when I came home from work-

    And now a quote from Jon Stewart:
    “The Christian Right always throws around this term ‘the liberal elite.’ I keep thinking to myself- What’s more elite than believing that only YOU will go to heaven?”

  48. PC-Bash Says:

    Brandon –

    Since you are choosing to delete my comments, which were merely in response to a troll, I’ll stop posting here all together.

    Thanks for the past few months, this will be my last comment here.

  49. Captdave Says:

    C’m’on PC:

    We’ll miss you. :cry: Don’t take it personally, it was all Troll Tom’s fault, :mad: everybody knows that. I get placed under mouse arrest all the time (on other sites, I try to behave here). I consider it to be a badge of honor.

    Larry will be here any minute and have a good gloat. We can’t have that.   :evil:

  50. firemancarl Says:

    Hey, wait a sec. PC don’t go. The voices of reason are few and far between and losing one will make the fundies think they’re winning!