Monday, December 31, 2007


Special Educators

Uh, oh! Dust off the ol' dunce cap!

The Polk County, Florida school board just got finished dousing their flaming fingers when, lo and behold, another school board member pops her head up downrange. Chairwoman Carol Hilson of the St. Lucie County School Board delivered herself of this forehead slapper:

My children need to be exposed to everything, but taught as a theory. Science is, well, not an exact science. It's all so subjective. There are a lot of holes in the theory of evolution.

I can't imagine that we would teach science and not teach intelligent design.
One has to wonder what Ms. Hilson thinks counts as an "exact science" if "science" doesn't but I can certainly imagine the Florida ACLU coming into a considerable windfall if Ms. Hilson somehow gets her way.

Other boards are also being heard from. Martin County School Board member David Anderson wants evolution referenced only as a "theory that some people believe in."

I'm a Christian and I believe in the Creation. I'm the son of a minister. I am in no way endorsing the teaching of evolution.
That's kind of the reason for the standards in the first place, I suppose. To make sure that children don't get shortchanged in their education because people stuck in the Middle Ages happen to gain a majority on a school board. The stakes involved are also well stated:

The United States ranks behind 15 other industrialized countries, including China, Iran and Finland, in the percentage of college graduates with first degrees in science or engineering.

"There has been the growing realization that our Florida graduates are not competing with students in just ... Atlanta or New York," said Jim Warford, executive director of the Florida Association of School Administrators and former state public schools chancellor. "They're competing with students around the world."

The decisions about what is good science should be left to the scientific community, Warford said.
There's a lesson!

I guess David Anderson, the good Christian minister's son, has never gone to a doctor in his life, or taken an antibiotic or received any other medical care because all such developments over the past century or so have been derived from the theory of evolution. You know, the theory that merely "some" people believe in. Surely no good Creationist would have anything to do with accepting medical care from such a tainted source.

I must have missed the Bible's medical and health passages, except for the one in which the apostle Paul told Timothy to drink some wine for medicinal purposes. Since many evangelicals and fundies don't drink alcohol, they apparently don't derive their medical advice from their scriptures either.
The last thing a biblical literalist can afford to be is consistent.
A little more rope for David Anderson, please.

I wonder if the Disco Institute will ever find a school board dumb enough to buy "teach the controversy", yet smart enough to keep their mouths shut about their religious motivations.
I wonder if the Disco Institute will ever find a school board dumb enough to buy "teach the controversy", yet smart enough to keep their mouths shut about their religious motivations.

I doubt it. The problem is that the motivation for trying to inject religion into science education is unrealized unless the people dumb enough to buy it in the first place understand what is being done. Thus, like Bill Dembski's recent admission, the intent has to be signaled to the faithful if it is going to do any good. A school board member can't reap the benefits of such sops thrown to the unwashed unless its spelled out to them. Of course, sometimes the board members, like Mr. Anderson, may be the unwashed.
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How to Support Science Education