At first, I didn't want my first post of the new year to be about antiscience, but instead on something more uplifting. Still, we all know this holiday is arbitrary, and since evil never rests, we cannot either.
Florida is in serious trouble. People at all levels of education administration are making noises about downplaying evolution education in schools, promoting
Intelligent Design creationism, and generally destroying our children's future.
But others are fighting back. Brandon Haught from Florida Citizens for Science is taking up arms (I've mentioned him before). Alarmed at the rate at which Florida administrators are retreating from reality, he has created a Watch List to keep track of who is saying what. He has quotations from reality-deniers who want to push creationism, from parent activists to county education officials and up to the state level. He has added three new counties to that list: St. Lucie, Palm Beach, and Martin.
If you live in Florida, bookmark that list! When a newspaper editorial comes out, or someone is quoted as wanting to violate the First Amendment, Brandon will update his list. You can then write letters to the newspapers, or to the committee involved. It is up to you, Floridians, from having your state sink into an intellectual swamp, setting the clock back a thousand years.
And it works. For his Polk County entry, Brandon has this:
Polk County: Tim Harris, Margaret Lofton, Hazel Seller and Kay Fields, all school board members, told the Lakeland Ledger they support other theories in the science classroom,Nov. 20. Updated: Due to a flood of pro-science correspondence, the school board backed off of their anti-evolution push.
You see? Pressure from rational people can actually get the job done.
Don't let them define the terms. Don't let them erase reality. Don't let them get into positions of power where they can overturn centuries of scientific progress. And if they are already there, vote them out. Pay attention to any and all candidates' stand on this issue.
It is no exaggeration to say that the future of Florida and even this nation depends on our being able to push this sort of rot out of our schools and teach out kids about real science. And as Brandon has shown, pushing back works.
So maybe this first post of the new year is a bit uplifting. There's hope, and that's a good thing.