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”

  1. Wench Nikkiee says:

    MrMiami Feb 19th, 2008 at 11:35 am
    “I am for one skeptical that there is this finding so far away from our solar system that it is almost conveniently out of reach. I would like to review the data myself and repeat the experiment by other researchers. There needs to be a consensus.”
    Oh…so you think maybe these astronomers are involved in some massive conspiracy to promote awareness of His Noodlyness?

  2. Wench Nikkiee says:

    Starbuckaneer Feb 20th, 2008 at 7:14 am

    “Evolution will be taught as science but must be referred to as “The Scientific Theory of Evolution”
    By specifying it as “The Scientific Theory of Evolution”, students will no doubt be required to learn the correct definition for a Scientific Theory! Good show :) I noticed they also added the Scientific Theory term to : The Scientific Theory of Cells, The Scientific Theory of Atoms, The Scientific Theory of plate tectonics and the Theory of Electromagnetism.

  3. MrMiami says:

    Alot of responses. I’ll review and get back.

  4. MV says:

    David T Jones you are the one that is a fool. Darwin didn’t develop the Big Bang Theory. Actually it was based on the observations from Edwin Hubble that the universe was expanding and Fred Hoyle was the first to coin the phrase. Also, evolution has nothing to do with origin. Creationism as you put it is not fact. There is no proof. .
    It may be very easy for someone like you to say God must have done it because you don’t understand something. That is why scientist continue to look for answers, it is to easy to give up and say God did it. To say Darwin was one of Satan’s pawns just further supports that you come across as one of the Christian fundamentalist lunatics. So no one in their right mind could give any credence to the crap you put out since you don’t know what the Theory of Evolution is, you don’t know anything about the Big Bang Theory and you believe there is a Satan. No hypocrites here. We don’t pretend to follow one set of ideas then forget them when we feel like them, unlike most the Christian whack jobs that come here and act the opposite of what the Bible teaches.

  5. Elvish Pirate Monarch says:

    To David Jones,
    I would like to first inform you that Darwin had NOTHING to do with the “Big Bang Theory.” The Big Bang Theory was postulated by astronomers and physicists 50 to 100 years after Darwin’s theory of evolution was posted. The big bang theory does not say life was created by this explosion, in fact it deals with things going on several billion years before the earth was even formed. Now I am sorry if a book which didn’t see its final compilation determined till approximately 1500 years ago, had a huge number of texts rejected by the church, and which has been translated countless times over the millenia doesn’t really come off as evidence to me. You and others claim that the rational mind should reject science in favor of the “word of god” and yet the word of god has been interpreted by, had parts rejected by, and was written by people. Look up the history of the ecumenical councils where the Roman Catholic church debated and argued which texts should make it into the cannon, what you will find is a huge number of texts which were rejected. Why were these texts any less the word of god then the ones the councils decided to include? The fact is that every single word in the bible, or any other holy book for that matter, was written by a PERSON if not multiple PEOPLE. You can claim that they were divinely inspired but you can no more prove that then I can prove that they weren’t. Regardless they were written by mortal hands and, as you well know, humans are inperfect and can make mistakes. Is it not possible then that the writers misunderstood? A poem called “The Word of God” puts it best ” The truth has left its living word for anyone to read. So turn and look where best you think the story is unfurled. Humans wrote the bible; God wrote the world.”

  6. MrMiami says:

    I have nothing further given my responses are not being posted.

  7. Pope Murgatroyd says:

    @MrMiami, @all:
    Let me first apologize sincerely to you (MrMiami) personally and to the readership of the thread in general. My last post was petty and obnoxious, and, FWIW, I do apologize. Pastafarian ideals are at least as high as Christian ideals (except during piratical activities, such as raiding parties, carousing with Wenches, etc.) and my lapse was inexcusable and un-Pastafarian.

    However, lest I appear too abject, let me repeat my objection more quantitatively. I did search for EPA data and found two related sites:



    Both sites quote annual emission numbers of the order of 5000 Tg of CO2 for the US only. My arithmetic – and I will be happy to be corrected – is that 1000 Tg (10^15 g) is identical to 1 metric gigaton. Interestingly, the emission numbers are fairly close to what you would estimate by converting the annual US energy consumption of 10^20 J (equivalent to about 15 horsepower per capita) into chocolate eclairs at 10 food calories/gram. I think your EPA quote is an order of magnitude too low…..

    And I hate to argue much about your version of global warming dynamics anyway. I think I’d like to hear you debate someone who had actually looked hard at the details of energy transport (including radiation) in the ocean/atmosphere.

  8. MrMiami says:

    @Pope Murgatroyd:
    My Global warming discussion was an illustration to show that there are three sciences to the issues and two of them are incorrect sciences. The same problem plagues origin issues. There are incorrect sciences in order to promote a belief about origin. In the case of evolution, the early science is flawed (randomness among other phenomenon are not naturalistic) then buried in the other arguments built off of the incorrect understanding.
    In the case of Intelligent Design, the Christians often do not have a meaningful grasp of the science or are able to meaningfully reconcile it with the Bible. They throw out simplistic answers usually coupled with a verse. In their view God Created the science but cannot use the science effectively to argue their point. In the case, of ‘Answers in Genesis’ group they talk to the wrong audience which is the common problem. I reviewed their DvD set.
    I have that Chuck Missiler at http://www.Khouse.org is much better at discussing technical topics and reconciling it with the Bible.
    Creationist, who are not Intelligent Design proponents, act more like “Answers In Genesis” than they do as rational thinkers of ID.
    Clearly, at least in my mind ID is the middle ground but few people have a adequate grasp of math, science, and ID.

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