Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Falling in Line
You may remember Florida State Representative Marti Coley, who has been pushing to append "theory" to every mention of "evolution" in the proposed science standards there. Asked if it should be called the "theory of gravity" in the standards, Coley said: "Sure." She went on to say, however, that people aren't calling her about gravity.
She continues her relative honesty about the source of her concern in this article in The Jackson County Floridian:
It has suddenly become a hot topic. I have been contacted by many constituents.But this part is ... interesting:
There are many parts of the study of evolution that have been crucial in the progress of agriculture, the health arena in combating diseases ... and we certainly want our students to be equipped with the same information as other students. ...Um ... quite beyond the fact that the present standards don't use the word "evolution," with or without "theory" appended, it may be a good thing for Florida voters to know, since gravity is a theory where we do not presently have a good idea as to how it works, that means, as far as the Florida legislature is concerned at least, that there is uncertainty and debate about whether it occurs or not.
But also there are portions of the theory of evolution that can't be proven, and because there is uncertainty and areas that are debatable, I think it would be very appropriate to continuing using the word theory as we currently do.
Ms. Coley, may I suggest you keep away from cliff edges anyway?