Florida Senator: schools need to teach ‘different worldviews’ on issues like evolution and climate change

Senator Dennis Baxley filed Senate Bill 330 recently, a piece of legislation that puts the teaching of evolution and climate change in Florida public schools directly in his line of fire.

Up until now, all we knew for sure was that he filed a bill that would allow school districts to create their own sets of academic standards instead of using the state’s standards, provided the new standards are equally or more rigorous. (Rigorous is left undefined in the bill, of course.) And if a district adopts their own standards, the bill requires in the new science standards that: “Controversial theories and concepts shall be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner.” We’re quite sure what is meant by controversial theories, but we hadn’t heard it directly from Baxley. Now we have.

An article in the Tampa Bay Times tells us what Baxley is thinking: Florida bill would have students learn alternatives to climate change, evolution

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said that schools need to teach “different worldviews” on issues like evolution and climate change. He asserts that textbooks now skew toward “uniformity” of thought.

“Nothing is ever settled if it’s science, because people are always questioning science,” Baxley said. “If you look at the history of human learning, for a long time the official worldview was that the world was flat. Anything you now accept as fact comes from a perspective and you learn from examining different schools of thought.”

To see the history and regular updates concerning this bill, please follow up on Facebook and Twitter and check our issues page on this bill (“Controversial Theories/Rigorous Standards” Bills 2019) regularly.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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