Dracil’s BlogJournal

April 30, 2008

Florida’s anti-evolution bill

Update: The bill has died

The NCSE has some news on Florida’s anti-evolution bill. It’s clear to anyone who’s looking at this that the proponents of the bill have ulterior motives. This isn’t about academic freedom at all. They claim that the bill will not allow the teaching of intelligent design, but their words betray them.

To begin with, their wording is rather suspicious:

“As passed by the council, the bill would require teachers to provide a ‘critical analysis’ of evolution, a phrase that the Associated Press (April 28, 2008) recognized as ‘one used by intelligent design advocates,’ although noting that its sponsor claimed that it would neither require nor allow teaching ‘intelligent design.'”

Also, as the Florida Citizens for Science put it:

“What are some examples of critical analysis of evolution that have no religious connotations and are based on legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas?”

I would certainly love to see the answers to that. But continuing with the original discussion, Representative Alan Hays also said this:

“Too many people are afraid to even mention the theory of intelligent design.”

Wait. What? Didn’t you guys just say this bill wouldn’t allow teaching intelligent design? Then why does that even matter? Also, intelligent design is not even a scientific theory. Finally, their silence to some questions is simply deafening:

“Opponents have voiced concerns that Storms’ bill will open the door to teaching religious-based theories, like intelligent design, in public school classrooms. But Storms, one of the Senate’s most conservative members, repeatedly refused to answer questions on whether that could happen.”

This whole thing stinks of “cdesign proponentsists“. But kudos to Senators Ted Deutch and Nan Rich for speaking out against the bill, in particular Deutch for the following:

“We’re talking about academic freedom … In an abstinence-only sex education program, a teacher may wish to answer a student’s question and provide additional information that may protect a life or stop an unwanted pregnancy.”

Not surprisingly, Senator Ronda Storms slippery sloped the argument:

“I’m concerned about prematurely deflowering kindergartners and first and second graders.”

Interesting, I had no idea Storms was interested in educating kindergartners, first, and second graders about sex! That certainly says a lot about her. ;)

But I think Deutch’s argument is a good one, and I’ll start employing it against the conservatives who still naively think this issue is really about “academic freedom”.

That said, all this may end up being a non-issue since they only have two more days to pass this (Senate and House versions of the bill must agree).

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2 Comments »

  1. “What are some examples of critical analysis of evolution that … are based on legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas?

    I would certainly love to see the answers to that.”

    You got it.

    A PARAGON OF SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENT!

    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 text begins simply enough, tracing the history of Darwin from an impressionable youth influenced by atheists and agnostics on every hand to a full-fledged agnostic in his own right. The matter may be summed up by the inclusion of Darwin’s sentiment regarding the Creator. In a bitter denial of Christianity, Darwin complained that he “could hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” Darwin charged his original belief in God to the “constant inculcation” (instruction or indoctrination) in a belief in God” during his childhood, which was as difficult to cast down as “for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake…. Darwin purposed in his heart that he would no longer retain God in his knowledge. And the scientific illiterate upstart sought to entrap the innocents in the classroom in his web of deceit.

    Once past the history of the Darwinist movement, the architecture of the quantum atom is explored in great detail. This is breathtakingly new!

    The atom has been compared to a miniature sun-earth system with one or more electrons darting about everywhere at once weaving an electronic shell around the nucleus. In order for this to occur, “Bohr calculated that the electron must move at a speed of no less than seven million billion rotations per second.” Ummmm, “numerous electrons darting about, dodging one another at breakneck speeds would necessarily require the supernatural. The Quest for Right will prove to your complete satisfaction that the electron is directly adhered to the perimeter of the nucleus. “How could it have been otherwise?” The exciting text is remarkably easy to follow even for a lay person. Read a review:

    “I am amazed at the breadth of the investigation – scientific history, biblical studies, geology, biology, geography, astronomy, chemistry, paleontology, and so forth – and find the style of writing to be quite lucid and aimed clearly at a general, lay audience.” ― Mark Roberts, former Editor of Biblical Reference Books, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

    The book is a virtual smorgasbord of good things to taste: a few of the entertaining subjects include: the earth was created from a watery nebula, the mechanism of gravity which was used to form the earth, the failed photoelectric effect, theory of antimatter, quantum creation (big bang theory), disappearing color, magical application of mathematics to explain certain rudimentary principles, Rayleigh scattering (sunsets), electricity, lightning, electrolyte, the browning of fruit, the mystery of fire, and the role of oxygen in the ignition of hydrocarbons. Then, there’s the desserts which are far too numerous to mention in this limited space; for example, the origin and dimise of the great dinosaurs. Moreover, you will marvel at the comprehensive law of fixed choice.

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    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, and Christians in general, 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.

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    Comment by C. David Parsons — May 1, 2008 @ 4:51 am

  2. I’m almost tempted to call Poe’s Law on this one.

    I took a look at the site and the sample content and…. I see lots of religion and rhetoric. But where’s the science?

    There’s a review of the first volume and it’s not favorable either.

    Comment by dracil — May 1, 2008 @ 8:37 am


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