Florida: Dissent with Modification

Florida: Dissent with Modification

Florida: Dissent with Modification

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Feb. 19 2008 3:02 PM

Florida: Dissent with Modification

Today, the Florida state Board of Education voted on new science standards for teaching evolution. By a 4-3 margin, the word evolution (gasp! horror!) is now included in the biology standards for the first time ever.

Hooray!

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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However, there are a bunch of caveats. First, it's great that the word has been used instead of weaselly phrases like "change over time". Creationists hate the word evolution, and love to try to water it down. While "change over time" is technically correct, it avoids mentioning the principle scientific basis of that change.

So that's a plus. However, the word evolution is preceded by "the scientific theory of" which again is technically correct, but we all know how creationists love to dissemble over the word theory. So in effect, this is a win for them; they get to continue to lie over what the word theory means.

I'll also note that "evolution" was included only by a 4-3 vote, which means that 43% of the board are at least creationist sympathizers (while members of the majority may also be, but were satisfied with the compromise wording). That in turn is a guarantee that this issue won't go away. Lawsuits have been threatened, by both sides. Strap yourselves in, folks, because this will never end.

And, of course, there's the elephant in the room: the breathtaking inanity of people trying to vote on reality.

Sigh. Well, at least Florida performed a bit of microevolution today (and even the creationists agree that happens)... but it sure would be nice to welcome them to Club Reality with a lifetime membership.

Note: Florida Citizens for Science live-blogged the debate, and will no doubt have more info on this as time goes on.