Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Stealing Signals

While still holding out hope for its bill to allow the "full range of scientific views regarding chemical and biological evolution" in Florida schools, the legislative consultant for the Florida Baptist Convention:

... predicted a difficult road to passage. Noting the late start in filing legislation in the wake of the Florida Board of Education's Feb. 19 vote approving new science standards ... he said each chambers' rules committees will determine the number of committee assignments for the bills, which will play a factor in the bills' success or failure.
Bill Bunkley (sometimes you just can't make this stuff up) said that passage of the oxymoronic academic freedom bill "could happen, but we will have very, very heavy resistance of multiple interests and lobbyists." You know, like the sane people's union. Speaking of someone not in the union:

Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, has filed SB 2692, the "Academic Freedom Act," which provides public school teachers and students rights regarding scientific views about chemical and biological evolution. Storms is a member of First Baptist Church in Brandon.

"The purpose of education is to train our students how to think and to develop in our students higher level critical thinking skills," Storms told the Witness. "This bill is necessary in order to protect scientific inquiry and academic freedom for everyone. Every scientific theory should be subject to the full rigors of intellectual inquiry and critical thinking skills, and teachers should be fully protected in their presentation of legitimate debate to the student."
We all know how much vital scientific inquiry is going on in Florida K-12 schools right now, but why do I suspect that her idea of what a "scientific theory" is might not exactly track with what the scientific community's is? And, quelle surprise, her co-sponsor of the measure in the Senate and the sponsor of a companion bill in the Florida House both just also happen to be members of Baptist churches.

Evolution is only the tip of the iceberg, of course. They're also agin' gambling and agin' abortion ... which is a bit contradictory when you think about it. The rational members of Florida's electorate might want to study the Baptist game plan. It seems the only polite thing to do, since they went out of their way to reveal it*.

* Okay, the picture has nothing to do with the story or even the trope about stealing signals. I'm entitled once in a while!

Storms said: The purpose of education is to train our students how to think and to develop in our students higher level critical thinking skills.

Seems to me that one of the best ways to do that is to teach people how science actually works.
But ... but ... then they might not believe! "Critical thinking skills" means being critical of what I'm critical of!
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