Sunday, November 05, 2006


Ahead By a Nose?

Here is an election contest I overlooked yesterday:

Jim Rex versus Karen Floyd for South Carolina State Superintendent of Education

The interest of this one is that, as reported by Steve Reuland at The Panda's Thumb, Floyd apparently never got the Discovery Institute's nudge-nudge, wink-wink memo that "critical analysis" is not an attempt to inject ID (and, therefore, religion) into the public school curricula.
South Carolina's Education Oversight Committee approved biology standards in June that held that evolution is the only scientifically accepted theory that explains the diversity of living things. But in what was, no doubt, a compromise to end the wrangling over the standards, students were also required to be able to "summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory." Floyd understands the intent of the ploy but hasn't quite figured out that it is supposed to be a secret:

I support the Education Oversight (Committee)'s premise that we should have critical analysis so that the discussion of intelligent design is not prohibited and could be part of the classroom discussion.
Nor is she willing to stop there. If Floyd wins, science teachers in South Carolina had better brush up on their Biblical hermeneutics, since she apparently expects the school science departments to be ready to answer some tough questions:

Students are smart, [Floyd] said, and they connect the dots: Some will wonder "how many dinosaurs boarded Noah's Ark."
Revealing, intentionally or not, the lie behind the "critical analysis" scam is enough community service for anyone of Floyd's abilities. The voters of South Carolina should send her home for a good rest.
Update: As of November 11, 2006, in what may be the closest statewide election in South Carolina's history, Jim Rex is leading Karen Floyd by only 507 votes, or .05 percent, out of more than a million votes cast. The winner won't be declared until Wednesday, because a recount is required whenever the gap is less than 1 percent.

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