Monday, February 04, 2008


There Are Some Vertebrates in Florida

The Florida Department of Education has published the final draft of the new science standards. Despite the uproar and the declarations of willful ignorance by a number of local school boards, evolution remains one of the "Big Ideas" to be taught in science classes. An example from the 6th grade standards:

BIG IDEA 15: Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms A. Evolution is the organizing principle of life science. B. Evolution is supported by multiple forms of evidence. C. Natural Selection is a primary mechanism leading to change over time in organisms.

And from the 9-12 grade standards:
Evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology ... Organisms are classified based on their evolutionary history. ...

Explain how evolution is supported by the fossil record, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology, biogeography, molecular biology, and observed evolutionary change. ...

Identify basic trends in hominid evolution from early ancestors six million years ago to modern humans, including brain size, jaw size, language, and manufacture of tools.
There will be one last public hearing before the Board's vote on February 19th, which will be held by Commissioner Eric J. Smith on Feb. 11, at the Hyatt hotel at the Orlando International Airport -- possibly to permit easy escape in the event torch and pitchfork mobs appear.

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