Florida evolution showdown – part 2

Published January 20th, 2008 by Bobby Henderson


My Clay Sun has published a report on the recent Clay County School Board meeting:

Despite impassioned opposition from science experts, teachers and some clergy, Clay County School Board members unanimously resolved Tuesday night that evolution should be presented as a theory, and not fact, in the classroom.

The board passed a resolution, proposed by Superintendent David Owens, asking the Florida Department of Education to reword its newly proposed state standards, which presents evolution as “the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported in multiple forms of scientific evidence.”

The Baker County, Florida, School Board approved a similar resolution a month ago.

The Florida State Board of Education is scheduled to vote Feb. 19th on proposed changes to state science standards.

Creationists will likely continue their campaign that evolution is “just a theory”, and as such should not be presented as fact. Their argument is that unless a theory has been “proved”, it is no more valid than any other theory. They don’t realize – or choose not to acknowledge – that most theories in science have not been “proved”, and it’s not the purpose of science to provide dogmatic proof of anything.

Scientists will likely continue to get worked up and make compelling logical arguments that will go right over the Creationists’ heads. They’ll not accept that appeals to logic don’t work on those who have abandoned logic for faith.

Here are some links if you’d like to read more.

My Clay Sun report on the Clay County School Board resolution

Florida Today article on the upcoming State School Board vote

Florida Citizens for Science coverage of the issue

We need to decide how we’ll proceed …


170 Responses to “Florida evolution showdown – part 2”

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  1. MrMiami says:

    After listening to many of you and your remarks, I am now thinking of starting my own website. Perhaps I’ll call it ‘The Far Flung Poo Chapel’. There I’ll have a section that requires posters to submit verifiable photos and Cirricula Vitea’s. There I’ll establish veritable standards for conduct, knowledge, and intellectual exchange.
    In another section I’ll create products that are for purchase on the site and offer unmoderated posting then compare the moderated to the open posting. This will expose the incredible foolishness of those garage physicists and mathematicians.

  2. MV says:

    Evolutionist as you put it do not teach about coal. That would fall into the Geology.
    Your attempt to use your example came from an old website http://www.pacificrim.net/~nuanda/origins/CoalBeds.html [now defunct] and used misinformation about the process of coal beds. It even sited events from Mount St.Helen. Your example of 10 feet of bark is irrelevant without knowing the area, type of bark, temperature, pressure and a multitude of other factors. As for your “empirical observations”, please provide the text’s you are referring to that state this. Capitalizing EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE each time does not make it evidence without knowing the context, source, the methodology used in it’s gathering. It is sort of like gathering DNA evidence. If you collect it but it is contaminated in the process any results gathered is worthless.
    Your “braneworld universe” has five dimensions — four spatial dimensions plus time (not 10 as you claim). The braneworld theory predicts that relatively small “black holes” created in the early universe have survived to the present. The black holes, with mass similar to a tiny asteroid, would be part of the “dark matter” in the universe. As the name suggests, dark matter does not emit or reflect light, but does exert a gravitational force. String Theory deals with at least 10 Dimensions.
    In regards to your “must be a flood”: From http://www.talkorigins.org.
    A global flood would have produce evidence contrary to the evidence we see.
    How do you explain the relative ages of mountains? For example, why weren’t the Sierra Nevadas eroded as much as the Appalachians during the Flood?
    Why is there no evidence of a flood in ice core series? Ice cores from Greenland have been dated back more than 40,000 years by counting annual layers. [Johnsen et al, 1992,; Alley et al, 1993] A worldwide flood would be expected to leave a layer of sediments, noticeable changes in salinity and oxygen isotope ratios, fractures from buoyancy and thermal stresses, a hiatus in trapped air bubbles, and probably other evidence. Why doesn’t such evidence show up?
    How are the polar ice caps even possible? Such a mass of water as the Flood would have provided sufficient buoyancy to float the polar caps off their beds and break them up. They wouldn’t regrow quickly. In fact, the Greenland ice cap would not regrow under modern (last 10 ky) climatic conditions.
    Why did the Flood not leave traces on the sea floors? A year long flood should be recognizable in sea bottom cores by (1) an uncharacteristic amount of terrestrial detritus, (2) different grain size distributions in the sediment, (3) a shift in oxygen isotope ratios (rain has a different isotopic composition from seawater), (4) a massive extinction, and (n) other characters. Why do none of these show up?
    Why is there no evidence of a flood in tree ring dating? Tree ring records go back more than 10,000 years, with no evidence of a catastrophe during that time. [Becker & Kromer, 1993; Becker et al, 1991; Stuiver et al, 1986].
    Like Apprentice Frederic I think i will sit back for a while as well. No matter what anyone says or puts forth in response to your arguments you will continue to believe what you believe and nothing is going to change that. It is like talking to a deaf person, no matter how much you say they still won’t hear you.
    However, if something was put forth that could be validated, tested, validated again, myself and others could adapt to the new information. That is what science is about. Constantly changing and adapting as new information validates or nulls current understanding. It is like with God / Creator. If there was definitive proof I think anyone on here would then believe. However there is no proof so skepticism remains until there is such proof.

  3. Fizzmick PaChee says:


    It is frightening how you think that you can distort a debateable question of how fossils were laid down into a false assumption that evolution is incorrect and get away with it. You know better! There are many solid geologic theories and other branches of science that support the dating. As to what would cause such massive amounts of debris, you state one yourself, volcanoes. There are others, among them glacier movements causing sudden water flows. Just because we see a swamp today, doesn’t mean that it was around for long enough to form coal. One reason that the fossil record is incomplete is that major events or perfect conditions rarely occur. I know you understand these concepts!
    String theory that you speak of (without naming it, – maybe to make yourself look smarter which is really wierd) does not predict walking on water or through walls on a regular basis. Many charlatans have claimed supernatural abilities using spurious explanations of magical or mystical powers. On examination all have been exposed as frauds. That’s why we need science, to keep people honest. There are laws to prevent frauds. I suggest they be applied to you. -Fizzmick PaChee

  4. Noodly Nation says:

    “In order to create fossils of this magnitude in a single geological layer it has to happen rapidly such as a sudden flood.”
    “The fewer fossil records in other geologic layers indicate that millions of years of evolution are not at work. In fact, it offers no record at all of evolution. All the major coal and fossil finds are in one geological period.”
    “Those Christians think that the EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE reconciles the Biblical account of the Great Flood in Genesis.”
    “those Christains say”
    “Those Christians also claim”
    This guy is hilarious :)
    Am I the only one reading YEC troll here?

  5. Ande says:

    @mr miami
    you do pose som facts, they do not fully support to your conclusions
    this site explains how coal are created
    this site explains how fossils are created
    it does not indicate any supernaturality

  6. Ubi Dubium says:

    @Mr. Miami
    You are contradicting yourself. You state that the type of large fossil deposit that we see as coal seams could not be formed by processes happening today. Then you cite Mt. St. Helens as proof that large flooding events can result in thick deposits. So the type of events that can cause thick deposits are indeed happening today. I think you simply do not have a real concept of the enormous amount of geologic time involved in the history of life. The processes we see happening now, multiplied by billions of years, can produce the fossil layers we see, and also the vast diversity of life forms we see today, which are only a small percentage of the life forms that have ever existed.
    EMPIRICALLY, we observe many fossil layers, with many different rates of deposition and preservation rates of fossils. There are coal seams building up under swamps today. The Carboniferous Period left especially thick layers because conditions were right for lush plant growth. But those layers are nowhere near the majority of the fossil-bearing sediments. Go take a look for yourself sometime. I have. I’ve seen lots of fossil-bearing sediments that are not part of any coal seam. I’ve been to the cliffs in Maryland and seen millions of years of buildup of marine molluscs. I’ve been to the tar pits in L.A. and seen many tens of thousands of years worth of Mammoths and Dire wolves trapped in the tar. (But suprisingly, only one human. If it were from a flood, there should be many humans in the deposit, but there are not.) I’ve seen road cuts through mountains, where the coal is a narrow layer sandwiched among many many others. GO LOOK for yourself, don’t just trust what some creationist tells you.
    As for Edward Witten, I spent four years majoring in physics. I stuffed my head with mathematics and quantum theory, and I finally learned enough to know that I was nowhere close to being able to begin to comprehend the mathematics of Witten’s work. Don’t try to twist his work to fit a narrow vision of the Cosmos. Unless you are at the Post-Doctoral level in Mathematics AND Physics, you just aren’t qualified to comment on it. I know I’m not. I don’t understand Brane Theory, but I’m sure it’s nothing like what you just described.
    Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorem applies to formal systems (such as mathematics), and says that they cannot be simultaneously both complete and consistent. Once a system is complete enough to express all the true statements we would like to say, it also becomes inevitable that self-contradicting statements can be produced as well. (Along the lines of “This statement is false.”) It does not mean that any particular mathematical model must be incomplete. (Perhaps it applies to religions though. If a religion has become complete enough to address all the questions mankind has, it will inevitably become internally inconsistent. But that’s just me musing. I’ve never found a religion to be that complete.)
    I think you are using lots of big words without really understanding what they actually mean. I encourage you to do lots more study. But not at a bible college please.

  7. MrMiami says:

    I gave a natural explanation not a supernatural one. I just so happens that the natural explanation coincides with what the supernatural had been telling us.
    Also your websites do not discuss the fact that nearly the entire collection of fossils and nearly the entire naturally occurring reserves of fossil fuels such as coal happened during one geological period. In natural geologic language that was pretty sudden.

  8. Wench Nikkiee says:

    MrMiami Feb 16th, 2008 at 3:00 pm
    “I am now thinking of starting my own website. Perhaps I’ll call it ‘The Far Flung Poo Chapel’.”
    Hahahahahaha….I think you should.
    Name suits :)

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