Florida evolution showdown

Published January 17th, 2008 by Bobby Henderson

dinosaur1.jpgThe Florida Department of Education has proposed new standards for science education in which evolution is presented as “the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported in multiple forms of scientific evidence”.

The Clay County School Board would prefer that evolution was not presented as fact, and is today – January 17th – voting on a resolution which would direct the Florida Department of Education to revise the science standards. They’d prefer that all theories – including supernatural ones – are given an equal footing.

I, for one, am ready for science to hold all theories equally valid without basis on evidence. And why shouldn’t science include supernatural theories? So what if science is “the study of the natural world”.

I’m all for changing the fundamental definition and methodology of science. Let’s just be clear that that’s what we’re doing, ok?

Maybe in a world where science allows magic, we’ll finally get flying cars.


60 Responses to “Florida evolution showdown”

  1. Wench Nikkiee says:

    I posted this yesterday but my post still has a “AM” tag on it..

    Check out the “Florida Citizens for Science” website which is keeping a close vigil on all these school board resolutions and meetings.

    “Report from the field: Clay County school board meeting”
    Clay County school board meeting
    “The Clay County School Board just approved a modified form of the resolution by a vote of 5-0. 22 of the 27 speakers at the meeting opposed the resolution and they covered pretty much all the bases.”
    “He asked how many concepts in science changed over the years when the information changed? How did we know evolution wouldn’t do likewise. We shouldn’t be so dogmatic about this. We should pass this resolution because it reflects our beliefs. Beliefs equals experimental data.”
    “beliefs equals experimental data”
    How could they possible deny teaching the FSMs creation story when His Noodlyness has millions, if not thousands of believers. Happy Days :)

  2. MrLitigator says:

    I find it amazing that logic escapes one’s thinking when is comes to origins. 1. How does Nothing make something? How can an atheist logically say their is no God when, logically speaking, they have not been all over the universe, but may believe in an ET. Hmmm. I guess it is the atheistic view to also believe that truth is not absolute. Nevertheless, I thank you for the postings as it is very helpful to understand another’s way of thinking. I guess I also find it odd that if we are animals, having evolved from primates, why do we contradict our natural instinct? You may say, “What?” I’ll tell you. We honor bravery, we respect sacrifice, we do the very opposite of “survival of the fittest.” We fight to keep a species from becoming extinct, when that seems to be a fundamental foundation of evolution, one species dying away and a new one arising. I am sorry, it just doesn’t make much rational sense. I will stick with the understanding that there is a transcendent being that created all of this, for without such a being, none of it would make ANY sense.

  3. MV says:

    I really hope you don’t actually litigate because you must be very poor at creating / countering an argument. First, evolution has nothing to do with origin. That is Genesis. Evolution deals with how species change over time. Unlike other species, humans can change their environment so natural selection is not a prevalent and should be considered in terms of “pre-modern” human. In primitive times, they didn’t have heaters, stores to buy food, etc.. so back then it was survival of the fittest. A weak person would not survive in a harsh environment. Kill or be killed. Today, we change our environment to suit our needs. Additionally, modern medicine has altered the balance of nature and often allows us to rescue people who otherwise would die of their condition. A case in point is juvenile diabetes. Untreated, the disorder often is fatal in childhood. Modern medicine allows most people with juvenile diabetes to live essentially normal lives. Natural selection consequently is no longer an issue for most people with juvenile diabetes. The same is true for many other hereditary disorders. When we examine traits in the human population that rose to high frequency through natural selection, we are in effect peering through the looking glass at our distant past.
    Your understanding of “Survival of thee fittest” is flawed!
    So as I stated in the beginning your lack of knowledge and understanding of the subject shows you do not take the time to research a topic and just spout off what you believe is right. Who knows, the could be a GOD that created life(GENESIS) and uses evolution as its tool.

  4. Wench Nikkiee says:

    My previous posts still haven’t passed moderation…so testing?

  5. Stevo says:

    @MrLitigator: To say that bravery and sacrifice are virtues which go against your own “rational sense” of what natural selection permits is merely to say that you haven’t thought enough about it. There is plenty of research demonstrating the evolutionary benefits of altruistic behaviour; you can probably read about it in most first-year biology texts.

    @MV: Perhaps you’re right, that a supernatural being created life and uses evolution as a tool, but lets not confuse this view with Intelligent Design, which flies directly in the face of evolution.

  6. Guest says:

    @Mr, Litigator,
    If it makes you feel better to resort to the easy and very convenient answer of “God made it that way” for every tough question in life, fine. But don’t try and argue against something you obviously know very little about and with no evidence to back your claim. See “MV” post for your answer to Survival and Modern Medicine.

  7. nospacesallowed says:

    In response to your first question of something coming from nothing I would like to say that you have the same problem when it comes to God. How does something (God) come from nothing. Logically speaking the problem of beginnings can’t be solved, either way one has a problem with infinite regression. Either nothing came from something or God came from nothing. The only way out of the problem I have found is to look at science and then try to philosophize. First you have to understand that cause and effect is strictly a temporal (exists in time) event. Next according to prevailing theory when the big bang began it created space-time and matter. so if time and space were created at the big bang then nothing caused the universe because the “cause” would come before temporal events existed.

    As far as honoring bravery and sacrifice the answer becomes simple. It all has to do with the protecting those who may carry our genes and living in a society. As far as the first part Bravery usually comes when someone we recognize as close to us coming into danger. A mother would bravely fight a lion for there child. Also because we are a sociological creature early in human evolution we would run into the same humans over and over again and they were likely related to us.

    So Questions answered….. Anything else?

  8. Cap'n Ollie says:

    Argh!(and not like a pirate ARR)
    So many of you are completely missing the point!
    The whole point of Bobby’ preotest was to keep intelligent design and eligious theories out of school, by making the example of the Flying Spaghetti Monster- he knew this would put into perspective how ridiculous the idea of teaching intelligent design in schools is.
    Please don’t get caught up in fuck-witted fanfares of made-up shit when some of us are trying to make a point.

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