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Polk County to include Intelligent Design

Published November 30th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

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The Ledger reports that the majority of Polk County, Florida, School Board members support teaching Intelligent Design in addition to evolution in public schools.

It’s unclear if they’re prepared to change the definition of science. Some people are concerned that a supernatural theory will not mesh with the study of the natural world.

Board member Kay Fields said last week she wants intelligent design, which is promoted by some Christian groups, taught in science classes in addition to evolution.

“If it ever comes to the board for a vote, I will vote against the teaching of evolution as part of the science curriculum,” Lofton said. “If (evolution) is taught, I would want to balance it with the fact that we may live in a universe created by a supreme being as well.”

The board’s majority opinion is at odds with many in Florida’s scientific community who strongly support the new, more rigorous science standards, and say intelligent design lacks scientific credibility.

Perhaps Florida’s scientific community has not realized the type of genius arguments they’re up against:

“My tendency would be to have both sides shared with students since neither side can be proven,” [School Board Member] Tim Harris said.

“I don’t have a conflict with intelligent design versus evolution,” [School Board Member] Sellers said. “The two go together.”

“It crosses the line with people who are Christians,” [School Board Member] Lofton said. “Evolution is offensive to a lot of people.”

Pastafarians are concerned that the Polk County School Board is endorsing Intelligent Design, but ignoring our theory, even though it is widely endorsed by the scientific community.

I will wager that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster can produce more academic endorsements for our theory than Intelligent Design proponents can for theirs.

My guess is that the Polk County School Board is just unaware of Pastafarianism. As a public service, I propose that we contact them, and let them know that there are other supernatural theories just as valid as Intelligent Design, primarily ours.

Contact info:

Those in favor of Intelligent Design:

Kay Fields (District 5)
Kay.Fields@polk-fl.net
863-802-5483

Tim Harris (District 7)
Tim.Harris@polk-fl.net
863-808-0005

Margaret Lofton (District 6, Chairman)
Margaret.Lofton@polk-fl.net
863-294-9076

Hazel Sellers (District 3)
Hazel.Sellers@polk-fl.net
863-533-7714

Lori Cunningham (District 2, Vice-Chairman) – undecided
Lori.Cunningham@polk-fl.net
863-512-1656

Those not in favor of Intelligent Design:

Frank O’Reilly (District 1)
Frank.Oreilly@polk-fl.net
863-647-1390

Brenda Reddout (District 4)
Brenda.Reddout@polk-fl.net
863-324-0127

You can use this link to email all 7 School board members.

Please be respectful – remember we are not criticizing their beliefs, merely pointing out that there is another, just as legitimate, theory that should be included into the curriculum. Please leave a comment and tell us about your conversations with the School Board. Thank you!

The Ledger article can be found here.

*update* 12/11/07 – Their local newspaper published a story about our campaign here.



216 Responses to “Polk County to include Intelligent Design”

  1. Agersomnia says:

    @davehead comment of May 2th 2008:

    davehead said:
    “one event i cant seem to embrace is the big bang. in my view for there to be a big bang there needs to be something there in the first place. maybe we are living in a universe that has always existed and doesnt have a starting point. the large explosion at the so called begining may have been just a large star big enough that we cannot comprehend.”

    There is a theory under development, quite radical but of simple mathematics. Depending on your formation (I haven’t quite read here a lot, so I don’t know if you’re a physist or a vet or what) it may be readable from the several articles being published. Search Scientific Commons for Montemayor-Aldrete et al. There are right now at least 4 articles for the Crystalline Vacuum Space Model.

    Now the following is far more Star Trek than what MrMiami said… but being a psychologist I’ll do my best to simplify. The model proposes a universe with crystaline properties in which matter is just a defect and Big Bangs work to release gravitational tension of the structure. So there is no single Big Bang, there is no need for something at the beginning of time, and there is not a single universe at a time.

  2. The Novice says:

    MrMiami.

    I am a Hindu by birth, not a Christian, but i see where you are coming from. I would understand my plight to be the same as yours. Whether we be Hindu, Christian, Atheist or Pastafarian, we did not assume that we “know”, either by strength of faith or that of science. While it is true that neither science nor religion can explain certain things and answer some questions like the existence of consciousness, the human spirit, faith itself etc., it cannot be assumed for sure that any one of them is correct. the answer might even be a common path between the two. For example, one of the statements that you had in your original article, struck me as true…

    “I don’t have a conflict with intelligent design versus evolution,” [School Board Member] Sellers said. “The two go together.”

    Why can’t this be true? Why couldn’t evolution be the process of design of a higher intelligence? And that higher intelligence does not necessarily have to wear a long white gown and have a flowing white beard and speak with a bass-heavy tone from the heavens with an echoed voice.. What if “God” (or Allah, Krishna, FSM, what-you-have) was actually a set of basic principles of Physics on which the universe ran? Does that possibility make our fellow Pastafarians queasy?

    I have been lurking around this website for some time now and I was very impressed by some of the brilliant articles around here. But I believed that Pastafarianism was a religion that supported the search for truth and not one which blindly refuted all other possible explanations of the existence of the universe. There does not need to be just two theories of God vs. No God. There can be other possibilities.

  3. Keldorn says:

    @The Novice

    You are right, outright refusing to consider the concept of a God, of creationism, intelligent design or some form of “guided” evolution because one doesn´t *want* to believe in a god is as unscientific as outright refusing to consider the theory of evolution because one doesn´t accept any thing that contradicts the holy book of one´s religion.

    Science is not about how things *should* be or what would be the most “pleasant” reality.
    It is simply about looking at the world, observating, constructing theories to explain it and testing them. And the best way to prove, or rather, support a theory is by earnestly trying to disprove it and failing.

    Technically, it might be the case that a higher being simply made up the “laws” and “rules” of our universe. ( Personally, I always consider terms like “laws of nature” somehow misleading. They aren´t laws. They simply describe the way things have – as far as we can tell – always happened. But if the universe at some point *doesn´t* behave according to our “laws” we can´t really sue the universe for not adhering to them ).
    But even then, the scientific approach is not to assume the existence of a god. But rather looking at the evidence and produce theories to it´s explanation that are as complicated as necessary and as simple as possible.
    Science can´t touch the possibility of a higher being designing the universe by giving it certain rules. Science is caught *within* these rules. We can´t really tell *why* gravity exist, we can only describe it. Does it exist because it was necessary for our universe to become what it is now, our is our universe the way we see it now because gravity exists?

    In the end, we, as humans, are an inseparable part of the universe. We can´t look at it from the “outside” just as the man in Plato´s cave can not see the “real” objects, only their shadows.

    But neither can religions. They just claim they can. If a god interacted with this world, it would be verifiable somehow. That means it could be proven by scientific means. But if this god is content to act not directly but through the “law”s and “rules” of nature he created… than there is no sense in “bothering” with speculations about his existence. All we needed to learn about him – and all we *could* really learn – we could learn by observating the workings of His naturla laws. Just what science is doing.

    Did a god design the concept of evolution as a tool to bring forth life and sentient beings?
    It doesn´t matter *a single bit* as far as describing how evolution works is concerned.
    Just as Newton´s Theory of Gravity is correct in describing how gravity works *regardless of what ( or whose ) origin gravity is*, so Darwin´s Theory of Evolution is the, so far, best way to describe how it came that earth is inhabited by so many and so different forms of life.

    A god is simply *unnecessary* for the concept of evolution, as long as it works in line with the laws of nature. Claiming there “had” to be one involved is little more than human arrogance, which cannot deal with the thought that humanity is neither the center nor the purpose of the universe.

  4. The Novice says:

    @Keldorn

    My personal theory (currently at a nascent stage of analysis) deals with the possibility that the “laws” and “rules” that the world run on ARE God/higher intelligence. I am not talking about mundane laws of gravity or action/reaction which change at different levels of matter. We might be yet to find a universal law, which adjusts, bends in exact proportion, but never breaks. one possibility is the Divine Proportion/Golden Ratio. Science has yet to come up with an explanation for the same. But again, i do not say that when it does, that it disproves the existence of a higher intelligence. The question is, why did 1:1.618 have to be true everywhere? what if the ratio had been 1:2? could science have explained it too? If it could, then science is at a loss to explain why 1:1.618 exists and not 1:2 as the “default” universal ratio. That brings in the higher intelligence argument.

    Everybody, please keep in mind that I am not defending a God in the classic sense. I do not believe that a big old man is running the universe or that something is true because it is written in a book considered to be holy (take “Atlas Shrugged” for example…).

    My theory is that we might be a very small part of a very large framework of events.

    I get disturbed when I see people turn into atheists just because of famines, floods and other unfortunate events happening to undeserving people. That is not a logical reason to disbelieve in the existence of god. No, i am not going to give you crap like “HE gives you problems to make you strong”. My point is, who said that there was a deal that “you pray, i keep you happy” or “be good, get good”? then the relation isn’t religious or spiritual, its business.

    And as to not believing in what you don’t see, you know they have these miraculous invisible angels in the heavens which perform magical acts. They were called Infrared rays, UV rays, X-rays, Oxygen, Sperms, Black Holes. What are you talking about when you are “not able to see”? you mean “if i cannot see it with naked eye, microscope, telescope and an infrared/UV light detector, it doesn’t exist.”? I believe that you need to open our mind more.

  5. Keldorn says:

    @The Novice

    Again, science is limited to operate within our universe. It can describe the what and how, but not the why.
    Probabilites or improbabilities themselves do not postulate the existence of a guiding force.
    Smash a plate on the ground and look at the pieces. The chance for them to lie in that *exact* shape and order is infinitesimally small. If you we´re trying to achive that specific pattern by chance you wouldn´t be able to, even when smashing plates on the floor for your entire life.
    And yet there it is.
    The chance for our universe to be just the way it is, of course, far, far smaller yet. But *Every* single possible universe capable of bringing forth sentient life would have it´s inhabitants wonder, at some point: “Wow, if the characteristics of our universe were even a tiny bit different… we wouldn´t be here!”

    A guided universe is not a necessity for our existence or to explain the way the universe is now.
    In fact, instead of giving an answer it only makes things even *more* complicated. Because we now wouldn´t need an explanation for a universe, but for a being capable of *creating* a universe.
    Such a being or force would be even more difficult to explain, and even more unlikely than our universe itself.

  6. davehead says:

    I think everyone needs to let go of the thought that there is a reason we are here, to stop asking ‘why’. We are here by accident, and if things went slightly differnet billions of years ago we wouldnt be here at all.

  7. BigGator93 says:

    @ davehead (206)

    Can you prove the second sentence of your statement… or is it a result of your system of belief… hence unproven and not scientific. Your assertion is lacking in my opinion.

  8. davehead says:

    So you think being here at the moment hasnt come down to chance at all? I’m guessing your not athiest, and talking about being scientificaly unproven you musnt be part of a religion. Are you confused?

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