The jewel of the South: Florida

south

I like to keep up to date on my favorite state of the union, Florida, and I thought I would pass some news. Plus I was just talking about Carl Hiaasen on Corey’s recent post, but here is an article he wrote for the Miami Herald about his home state. More specifically it is about how the state might be making the wrong move by adding evolution to their public school’s science curriculum.

In a move that could endanger Florida’s flaky backwater reputation, the state Board of Education is poised to endorse the teaching of evolution as a science. By accepting evolution as a proven science, our top educators would be sending a loud message to the rest of the nation: Stop making fun of us.

He goes on to say…

Nice try, pinheads, but there’s no sin in being a slightly backward state with extremely modest expectations for its young people. That’s been the guiding philosophy of our tightwad lawmakers for years… If snubbing is to be done, Florida should be the snubber, not the snubee. Keep your elite biotech payrolls up North and out West — we’ve got hundreds of thousands of low-paying, go-nowhere jobs that require little training and minimal education.

Low and behold, this Tuesday, Florida’s State Board of Education finally added the term “evolution” to their science curriculum, but not without requiring the term “theory” attached to it. A Reuter’s article on the decision read:

Bending to pressure from religious conservatives, the State Board of Education on a 4-3 vote included the “theory” language as part of a retooling of the state’s science standards for public school education. The panel includes the word “evolution” in state science standards for the first time, but it is relegated to a place among a host of ideas, including Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. By contrast Isaac Newton’s law of gravity is taught as undisputed fact.

Some religious groups believe that evolution conflicts with the Biblical account of creation, though others contend there is no conflict. These contentions have driven debates in several states, including Kansas and Pennsylvania, as to how the subject should be taught in public schools.

The language in Florida was changed to refer to “The scientific theory of evolution.”

“Why are we even considering this?” said board member Roberto Martinez, who voted against the watered-down measure. “Sooner or later we’ll get there,” Martinez said. Backers of stronger evolutionary language called the vote a regrettable compromise that would nonetheless boost the instruction of evolution as a basic tenet of modern biology

So congratulations to Florida, I guess, on finally getting evolution in your classroom. The problem now, and with the article above, is that there is a difference between the observation that we see life evolve (a proven fact, see the entire field of biology) and the super scary Theory of Evolution which predicts, by natural selection, that all life came from one common ancestor. Unfortunately for the advancement of science, the religious fanatics have decided the latter Theory much too clever an idea for even an omnipotent God to have thought of. They then decide to use the layman’s use of the word theory – a speculation and not the scientific meaning – a testable model, capable of predicting future occurrence and being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through observation.

Unless you are purposefully complicating the matter, it doesn’t have to be so hard. Look at the number of different types of dogs we have. Wolves were the first species of animal domesticated by humans over 15,000 years ago. We have documented their entire breeding history. Many dogs had many different uses and we bred them to range from Huskies to Chihuahuas. Case closed, no more confusion on that one. Of course, once you learn how it works and look at the evidence that stacks up in favor of the entire Theory of Evolution, the bible thumpers get worried that it disproves their entire religion. It must not be told to the children!

So these crazy southerner baptists or protestants or who ever they are have slaughtered on debates about this in the past (see Kansas) because they take advantage of how people confuse the definitions of words like theoretical, hypothesis, theory, theorem, laws, and fact. I have no problem with people wanting more evidence to prove that natural selection was the sole cause of humans developing from molecules in a puddle billions of years ago, that is why we have science, to answer questions and learn more about the world. But I just don’t understand why we let these people try to push their rhetoric to children in public schools. At this point even Catholics agree. George Coyne, the Vatican’s chief astronomer from 1978 – 2006, said “Intelligent design isn’t science even though it pretends to be. If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science.”

I guess what it comes down to is politics as usual. These people have such a vested interest in making sure their religion stays relevant that they will try anything. I just don’t know why they have had such success in pushing their views in public schools. Could that happen in the Northwest? I doubt it, but why have these people taken such a stronghold in the South? I guess the simple answer is because no one there is stopping them. My point is, if I ever have kids and someone tries to get Intelligent Design taught in their science class I am going to the only reasonable thing I can think of… freak out and burn the school down.

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7 Responses to “The jewel of the South: Florida”

  1. -My first thought is that I really do not understand why contrary data is so incredibly scary to Religion. If you really truly believe something why do you have shun any disenting information on a subject. I am not saying you have to believe it, but why are you afraid to hear it.

    -My personal belief is that Science and Religion are just two sides of the same coin. They are both simply our feabile attempts as humans to try to explain the unexplainable, which is what life is. I don’t think science gets us any closer to actual truth than religion does, in some ways I think it might even more delusional. In my opinion everyone need to just step back and stop taking “life” (or more aptly the mockery we’ve made out of it) so serious and realize you don’t have any fucking idea what you are talking about, neither does the Preacher, the Rabi, the politician, or the astrophysicist. Enjoy the confusion and subsequent adventure life has to offer.

    – Glad to see something up

  2. THERE IS A NEW DISCIPLINE:

    The Quest for Right, a series of 7 textbooks created for the public schools, represents the ultimate marriage between an in-depth knowledge of biblical phenomena and natural and physical sciences. The several volumes have accomplished that which, heretofore, was deemed impossible: to level the playing field between those who desire a return to physical science in the classroom and those who embrace the theory of evolution. The Quest for Right turns the tide by providing an authoritative and enlightening scientific explanation of natural phenomena which will ultimately dethrone the unprofitable Darwinian view.

    The backbone of Darwinism is not biological evolution per se, but electronic interpretation, the tenet that all physical, chemical, and biological processes result from a change in the electron structure of the atom which, in turn, may be deciphered through the orderly application of mathematics, as outlined in quantum mechanics. A few of the supporting theories are: degrading stars, neutron stars, black holes, extraterrestrial water, antimatter, the absolute dating systems, and the big bang, the explosion of a singularity infinitely smaller than the dot of an “i” from which space, time, and the massive stellar bodies supposedly sprang into being.

    The philosophy rejects any divine intervention. Therefore, let the philosophy of Darwinism be judged on these specifics: electron interpretation and quantum mechanics. Conversely, the view that God is both responsible for and rules all the phenomena of the universe will stand or fall when the facts are applied. The view will not hinge on faith alone, but will be tested by the weightier principle of verifiable truths – the new discipline.

    The Quest for Right is not only better at explaining natural phenomena, but also may be verified through testing. As a consequence, the material in the several volumes will not violate the so-called constitutional separation of church and state. Physical science, the old science of cause and effect, will have a long-term sustainability, replacing irresponsible doctrines based on whim. Teachers and students will rejoice in the simplicity of earthly phenomena when entertained by the new discipline.

    The Quest for Right is not only an academic resource designed for the public schools, but also contains a wealth of information on pertinent subjects that seminarians need to know to be effective: geology, biology, geography, astronomy, chemistry, paleontology, and in-depth Biblical studies. The nuggets from the pages of Biblical history alone will give seminarians literally hundreds of fresh ideas for sermons and teachings. The ministry resources contained in The Quest for Right serve as invaluable aids that will enrich graduates beyond their highest expectations.

    You will not want to miss the adventure of a lifetime which awaits you in Volume 1 of The Quest for Right.

    Visit the official website for additional information and to purchase a copy: http://questforright.com/

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  3. Excellent information Mr. Parsons

  4. Peddling those 7 books at $40 a pop, I bet Mr Parsons is a thousandaire by now. Even his editor is delusional if he thinks its a book that will “change the world”.

    Corey – I completely agree that our attempts to comprehend the our place in the world is barely scraping at the surface of what is probably really going on. Our brains and 6 senses developed for the purpose to scrape enough nutrients out of the earth to get by, hardly useful for discovering the underlying fabric of the cosmos. However saying religion is the same as science in trying to explain these isn’t fair. Science says prove me wrong and you’ll have a new explanation for reality, religion says prove me wrong and you’re going to burn in hell.

  5. No I completely agree that Religion (also religions should not be lumped together, Eastern Religions work in connection with and in a very similiarly manner to Science) so Western Religion is much more retarded in the way it impliments it’s idea. Science has good intentions and a noble cause. I just think that so often Science has a sense of arrogance that it is actually accomplishing some form of real truth, Religion obviously has that too, but people dont challenge Science on it. There are very few nonbelievers in Science. Besides the most the most retarded Southern Babtist every seems to just assume because something is Scientific that it is True. I would be willing to go on record that if our society ever really evolves past the primitive stage we will have a completely different outlook on what is true.

  6. C. David Parsons – are any public schools currently useing that textbook? It sounds horrible.

    Parker – your link at the weightlifting blog is driving our blogstats this week – nice job.

    The south is an interesting place. I mean, yeah, there are a bunch of ignorant assholes there. But when I listen to Kenny Chesney’s “Back Where I Come From”, it sounds pretty nice. Living in the South sounds like you get to enjoy the simpler times of childhood your entire life (as long as your are a white dude).

  7. H. Klinton vs. Obama. How you consider, who will win elections in Unated States of America?

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