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12 Florida Schools Pass Anti-Evolution Resolutions

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the and-the-kids-still-lose dept.

Education 871

Several sources are reporting that twelve school districts in Florida have passed resolutions against the teaching of evolution. Out of all the arguments, however, one administrator seems to have gotten it right: "Then, the final speaker, Lisa Dizengoff, director of science curriculum at Pembroke Pines Charter School's east campus, angrily reminded the crowd that after all the carping over evolution, no one had gotten around to addressing the state's lackadaisical, last-century approach to science education. 'All I heard was this argument about evolution,' she said, disgusted that so many other problems had been preempted by a single controversy. 'The kids lost out again.''"

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871 comments

of course they did (5, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004854)

there was a rumor going around florida might lose their fark tag.

Re:of course they did (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004980)

I've been to Florida.

Believe me! Based on that sample, I'd disbelieve in evolution theory, too!

Re:of course they did (2)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005680)

if we dig a big trench across, will it sink?

Re:of course they did (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005790)

Not sure, but don't spit. You'll flood the place.

It figures! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005000)

The kids are getting screwed by America's wang...

This just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005684)

There are rednecks in Florida...

Fundies again (5, Insightful)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004862)

The 21st Century... The new Dark Ages, when religion is high and education is low.

-uso.

The Religious Mind (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005324)

I have studied theology in some depth. I am familiar with apologetics and all the classical defenses put forth to support the integrity of specific, popular, religious beliefs.

For all the philosophical rambling, none of them, absolutely none of them, escape this simple indisputable fact:

All religious teachings are provided to us by humans.

If God Himself appeared next to me and handed me a copy of the Bible, that would be one thing. But instead, a human handed to me. And, in fact, a human wrote every word that is in it. This notion of "divine inspiration" (which is supposed to remove the element of human fallibility from the Bible) was communicated to me by...wait for it....A HUMAN.

I can agree in principle with the presumption that faith in God is well-founded, and faith in human reason (i.e. the theory of evolution) is not so well-founded. However, to put faith in the teachings (or books) of any religion is to put faith in human reason.

There is no denial, only rationalization.

Re:The Religious Mind (3, Insightful)

Armakuni (1091299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006118)

As someone said: Destroy both religion and science. Science will rise again exactly the same. But no religion will.

Re:The Religious Mind (-1, Flamebait)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006138)

So you deny the doctrine of the Trinity then; that the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God are in fact the same being? If you do not deny this then you must admit that at lease some of the Bible is just quotations from God.

What really sucks is, this isn't really religion. (5, Insightful)

riseoftheindividual (1214958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005784)

I mean, this argument over evolution has religious roots, but I can't help but stare in disbelief at believers who waste their energy over this argument. What difference does it make if every school in the country teaches God created the earth when you look at most religious people and the only way you can tell they have religion is their loud harping on evolution and abortion and hatred of homosexuals, atheists, and people who don't share their faith? There's no compassion or any of the other virtues you occasionally hear touted as being part of religion coming from the people behind these movements. No love of truth. No love of others as they love themselves. Just know it all venom and a desperate need to defend dogmas no matter how silly they sound defending them or what new lows of deception they have to sink to in their defense.

I have to ask those believers, is this what Jesus would do and be about? I'm working my ass off to make sure my kids can go to the finest private non-religious schools available. They can raise their kids in 3rd world ignorance, but I can make sure my kids aren't.

So....... (5, Funny)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004880)

When do we start bombing the religious zealots in this country for oppressing their people?

Well, they're within driving distance of me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005048)

I may have to head down to that next meeting with a clue-by-four and lay down some science on their asses.

Re:So....... (5, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005402)

You know, to be honest, I'd really like to suggest a title change for the articles concerned - "12 Florida Schools Pass Anti-Science Resolutions."

That's really what's happening. The theory of Evolution is one of the most heavily supported things in the scientific world, and passing laws against it speaks exceptionally loudly about the given parties ability to discern fact from fiction, intelligence from hand-waving, and most importantly, critical thinking from anything else. They're not just rejecting evolution, they're rejecting the process of science as a whole.

Re:So....... (5, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005694)

If they can't teach evolution, then they shouldn't be able to teach about gravity or anything else. Almost everything in science that is relatively established (beyond hypothesis) is a theory. So why have science classes at all? And then these same religious idiots are the ones who will bash the education system for not staying competitive with the rest of the world. How can you stay competitive when you are preventing your children from receiving a valid, proper, progressive education with such important things as ... you know... math and science?

Re:So....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005468)

You've got it all wrong.

What we have here is an assault on the immortal souls of our innocent little ones by those evil godless atheist Scientists who don't believe that every single word (even the ones that contradict each other creating paradoxes beyond the wildest dreams of damned-to-hell SciFi writers) in the bible is absolute truth. We have to get rid of these "Scientist" cultists before they damn little Timmy and Susie to hell!

We have to oppress ourselves to save ourselves! We can't have our children having the ability to make well informed choices about what they believe! We have free will so we can blindly follow someone else's interpretation of the book!

Blasphemy (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004892)

This is going to going over as well as a fart in church...
In the end the kids always lose out when adults do things "in their best interests"

Re:Blasphemy (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005344)

You're right that it's going to end badly. It's only going to take a few pissed off parents and the ACLU will walk in and destroy all of this as completely as was done in Dover. The schools will end up owing millions, the kids will suffer, and the idiots who have fallen liars from the Discovery Institute will largely get off scot-free like they did in Dover.

Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (2, Insightful)

clonan (64380) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004896)

The comment that struck me is one board member stating that they were "Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact."

I suppose he should also be against teaching gravity or biology or even simple arithmetic...

All the above are based on theories that have been shown to be consistant but none are trully "facts."

When will we see an article talking about teaching alternate theories of Math?

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22004938)

pi = 3. It's in the bible, it's the law. I for one do not welcome our divine overlords.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (4, Insightful)

aldousd666 (640240) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005202)

I don't either. And I'm not posting anonymously. This is bullshit, and deserves to be treated as such. If you'll pardon the metaphor, to hell with this "theory" bullshit. It's an observable phenomenon. The only 'Theory' part of it is whether or not the currently observable laws of nature also were holding true during the time that life as we can see it came about or not. It's like saying, 'Sure that gravity pulls books down to the ground NOW, but did it still do that 10,000 years ago? Until you can answer that positively then you only have a theory!!'

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005572)

The "it's only a theory" comment is a pretty classic example of an etymological fallacy; invoking an older or more looser usage of a word in an attempt to undermine a more narrow or professional usage. In this case, they attempt to equate the definition of theory as a "claim" or "guess" with the very narrow and strict definition of the word as it is applied by scientists. It's simply another variant of the older sticker trick that was tried, and every time it comes up, a court sees through the bullshit and lies (it's ironic how deceitful and immoral all these good Christian folks become) and rule that the Creationists/IDers have distinctly religious motives.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (1, Redundant)

omris (1211900) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005024)

that has always been my favorite fallback argument when someone explains to me that they don't believe in evolution. i ask them if they believe in gravity. after all, it's "only" a theory. sadly, this article points out evolution in progress. i have long held that intelligence is no longer a trait that the modern world is selecting for. the evidence is piling up all around us.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (0, Troll)

SonicTheDeadFrog (1155815) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005340)

I'm inviting a flame war here, but isn't math - at least in the sense that we teach it - an artificial construct that we invented to describe our observations? Math can contain theories, but I don't think it could ever be classified as one because we actually know what it is.

Isn't gravity demonstrable? If I understand correctly, there's still a lot of uncertainty in the scientific community about how gravity works exactly, but it's clearly an observable and demonstrable fact that it does.

Isn't biology something we can study that's in front of our faces? We can actually watch plants growing, babies forming in a womb, organs working, cells replicating etc...

Maybe I'm living under a rock here, but I've never really seen evolution demonstrated. I've heard plenty of explanations and leaps of logic attached to it, but I've never actually seen anything evolve. And even if I did, that still wouldn't demonstrate that evolution is the origin of life. That's why it's a theory, because we can only infer, we can't demonstrate, and unfortunately no one actually witnessed it.

This boils down to people arguing about things that they didn't observe, and can't really know. Creationism (at least the Christian kind) requires faith that something written thousands of years ago by people who also didn't witness the events is true. "Evolutionism" requires faith in the work of hundreds of scientists interpreting the present and making educated guesses about the past. No one saw man created out of dirt and breathed to life by God, but by the same token, no one saw a single-celled organism spring to life in the primordial soup and continue re-writing itself until it became a human.

Neither group actually "knows" how these things came to be, they've just adopted a view of it that they are comfortable with. What I don't understand is how the evolutionists, who are supposed to be the more objective and open minded of the two groups, can be so "holier than thou" as to suggest that the creationists' theory doesn't even deserve a place.

It's no wonder that creationists lash back with ill-conceived regulations prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution - this is really just balance when you look at how much flack the "intelligent design" group has been getting recently.

Science shouldn't worry so damn much about what people think, it should be about the truth, finding it and offering it, not making people believe it. Same goes for religion. The rest is just name calling and childishness.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (5, Funny)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005540)

but I've never actually seen anything evolve.
Funny, neither has anyone living in Florida.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (1)

SonicTheDeadFrog (1155815) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005710)

You're right, I should have more clearly stated that I've never seen a living organism evolve.

And why is that funny? Have you?

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (3, Insightful)

omris (1211900) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005796)

Isn't gravity demonstrable? If I understand correctly, there's still a lot of uncertainty in the scientific community about how gravity works exactly, but it's clearly an observable and demonstrable fact that it does.

Isn't biology something we can study that's in front of our faces? We can actually watch plants growing, babies forming in a womb, organs working, cells replicating etc...

Maybe I'm living under a rock here, but I've never really seen evolution demonstrated.

i don't know how long it's been since you've been in biology, but yes, you are sort of out of it. just like gravity, evolution is just a name we give to the system of observable facts that demonstrate how there are more than one kind of living thing. it can be demonstrated to be true, again and again, just like gravity. it is NOT a hypothesis, which is the word that most people mean when they say theory.

for the most part, i think that people simply do not know what the tenets of evolution are. in most basic terms, the theory of evolution states that over time, the genetic composition of a species as a whole will shift due to the environmental pressures placed on that species.

evolution goes on to explain the ways in which a species can change, be it through selective breeding (girl dogs think short tailed boy dogs are ugly... short tail dogs get less nookie...next generation contains fewer short tailed dogs), selective predation (white bunnies are easier to see in the woods than brown bunnies... white bunnies get eaten more...next generation there are less white bunnies), environmental adaptations (goats with larger lungs can get to good food way up on the mountain...big-lung goats eat better... next generation there are more big-lung goats).

it isn't magic. it's very simple math. so simple that when it is explained, it is so self-evident that the most fundamental crazy can't honestly refute it, in my experience. but we have this growing population of people who are so intolerant to changing their minds that they refuse to learn. anything. and they refuse to risk allowing their children to learn. and they vote. WTF.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (5, Informative)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005842)

Actually, you have seen evolution in action. You've seen evidence of it every time you hear a news story about bacteria developing resistance to new antibiotics, every time you hear about somebody who has cancer. You can go to a museum and see how living things have changed over time, or notice the fact that whales have arm bone structure that's not all that different from land-dwelling mammals.

In short, there is no question--none whatsoever--that evolution takes place. The modern synthesis of evolutionary theory says that it happens because mutations provide a source of variation which natural forces can select for or against. This is observable as well: if you consider the gene for sickle cell anemia (which provides protection against malaria), it tends to be much more common in regions of the world that are rife with malaria, because those are the places where that gene can convey some benefit. This is pretty much as close as you get to bulletproof science. Now, admittedly, there are some areas of the theory which aren't as certain as others, but on the whole, you're talking about a very damn solid theory that's supported by interlocking scientific evidence from dozens of disciplines. Some of the best minds in science have been poking and prodding at this theory for over 150 years and it's still going strong--hell, Darwin's theory predicted some things that we've only recently found with molecular biology. How much better does a theory get?

Personally, I'd be happy to let the religious folks gather round their altars and sing Hosannahs to their invisbile sky daddy, but unfortunately, that's not enough for them. They need to inflict their beliefs, whether on abortion, or stem cell research, or contraception use, or whatever, on all of us. Why should I trust somebody who closes their eyes to basic scientific fact to make decisions rooted in science that might affect me?

The world will be a better place when we grow up enough, as a species, to put away childish things like religion.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006156)

Or, in other words:

Evolution is survival of the fittest when observed over many generations.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005844)

First of all, your arguing against inference. Have you ever seen an electron? Did you ever see your great-great-great-great-grandparents? Did you ever meet anybody that spoke Proto-Indo-European? No, but you can infer these things from the evidence.

As to evolution, of course you can observe it. We have nylon-digesting bacteria now when nylon didn't even exist before the 1930s. I was just reading about pupfish in Death Valley who have gone through a radical process of speciation since the valley dried up after 20,000 years ago.

If you wish to dip into some sort of solipsism or epistemological nihilism, be my guest, but what you're really doing is denying that any knowledge can be gathered that is reliable. You might as well deny that yesterday ever happened, and that the universe began at midnight, and everything is just fake memories. Just remember, if you want to deny or question evolution "because I've never seen it", then you have to be fair and basically call into question *all* knowledge, because everything is susceptible to such an argument.

If you actually want to learn something about evolution, then I recommend going to http://talkorigins.org/ [talkorigins.org] where there are dozens of articles dealing with all manner of evolutionary problems and explanations, with full citations so you can go to a library and check for yourself.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (5, Insightful)

Suicyco (88284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005864)

This boils down to people arguing about things that they didn't observe, and can't really know. Creationism (at least the Christian kind) requires faith that something written thousands of years ago by people who also didn't witness the events is true. "Evolutionism" requires faith in the work of hundreds of scientists interpreting the present and making educated guesses about the past. No one saw man created out of dirt and breathed to life by God, but by the same token, no one saw a single-celled organism spring to life in the primordial soup and continue re-writing itself until it became a human.


Of course we have seen it. Its all around us. Its in the fossil record. By your logic, nobody has actually seen galaxies evolve because they are looking into the past via the fossil record of the universe - radiation (light, xrays, etc.)

Evolution can be easily traced back to the earliest creatures capable of leaving imprints of themselves behind. The entire process of developing lungs, limbs, spines, etc. etc. is all right there. Each step of the way. It is not a mystery. Just because it doesn't happen in a timespan and a place you personally can witness doesn't make it not so. The sun didn't form before your eyes did it? Did the mountains spring up so you could witness? Is geology a supposition? An educated guess?

You can demonstrate evolution in the lab with bacteria. You can demonstrate complex hydrocarbons doing all sorts of magical stuff in the lab (how life came to be in the first place.)

Tracing the biology of animals of this planet is a well known, well documented science. It is FACT, because the facts are right there in front of the entire worlds eyes, should they choose to look. Fish moving onto land, developing lungs, etc.

We have broken down the DNA code very well at this point, and can trace our origins that way as well. We can see where we differ and what we share with trees, worms, bacteria, dogs and elephants. Natural selection (the mechanism behind evolution) is everywhere as well. Look at dog and cat breeds. Cattle. Plants. Insects. You name it, you can change the creature itself by breeding.

Evolution is science. It is what the facts tell us. This is not a philosophical debate. There are no two sides. It is not a guess. It is about stupidity and blind faith. You can't reject evolution any more than you can reject combustion, or gravity. If people DO reject it, they are simply being ignorant and stupid. Plain and simple.

Basing "science" on something written thousands of years ago by people who were so far from us in their knowledge of the world is ridiculous. It is absurd. Why not simply observe the world? Observe what is right in front of our faces, and learn from it.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005608)

All the above are based on theories that have been shown to be consistant but none are trully "facts."

In fact taking that line of thinking one step further: why teach anything at all? It could be argued that anything we take as fact is in fact an intepretation of a given view and experience.

When I was at school a learned both evolution and religious studies. Science has its point of view of how we came about and it is valid in that context. In religious studies we looked at all religions, and learned about what they had to say and their origins. I believe both have their place, since it helps give people different view points to consider. Without exposure to either view point you can't even start debate or decide for yourself.

Re:Opposed to teaching Evolution as a fact.... (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005906)

Science is based on repeatable observations. Religion is based on human whim. This difference should be pointed out in no uncertain terms when impressionable young minds are being indoctrinated.

Opposed to facts (5, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004912)

Oscar Howard Jr., superintendent of Taylor County's School District, and Danny Lundy, vice chairman of the School Board, spoke in accents from that other Florida. ''We're opposed to teaching evolution as a fact,'' Howard said, adding that his School Board and 11 others have passed resolutions against the imposition of evolution in the school curriculum.
Before the "It's just a theory" folks start up, I'll point out that a theory is a model to explain the facts.

Re:Opposed to facts (4, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005106)

Thank you. That is the part that always gets ignored. Theories can only attempt to explain something that already exists. They're not making something up. To wit:


Gravity is a fact. The theory(s) that explain it and its effects are not facts.

Here are two links which cover this topic:

Link 1 [wilstar.com]

Link 2 [fsteiger.com]

Re:Opposed to facts (2, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005304)

Indeed. Evolution is a fact. Punctuated Equilibrium (for example) is a theory.

Re:Opposed to facts (3, Informative)

rossifer (581396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006108)

I don't know who moderated the parent a troll, but you need to inform yourself. Evolution is an observed fact [skeptictank.org] . Natural selection is a scientific theory that provides a comprehensive explanation for the observed facts of evolution.

What most people are doing when they say "Evolution is just a theory" is confusing hypothesis with theory. Or, they are confusing the word theory in common parlance (conjecture) with scientific theory.

A scientific hypothesis is defined as: "A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation."

A scientific theory, on the other hand is defined as: "A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena."

Re:Opposed to facts (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005792)

Before the "It's just a theory" folks start up

Be it through ignorance or malice, they're taking advantage of a nuance of the English language - that the same word often means different things to different people.

To the scientist, a theory is something which explains all the known facts and has no known problems but hard proof for which doesn't exist. It's important to note that even when there is a century or more worth of evidence which suggests that a theory is almost certainly correct, it is still a theory unless and until cold, hard proof can be found.

To the lay person, a theory is just an idea to explain something which may or may not be correct - we don't really know, we'd have to look a lot deeper to have any degree of certainty. It most certainly isn't backed up by any form of evidence to either prove or disprove it. In science, we'd call this a hypothesis.

They're within driving distance for me (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004914)

I think I'm going to have to head down to that next meeting with a clue-by-four and lay down some science on their asses.

Re:They're within driving distance for me (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005398)

Now here we go dropping science dropping it all over
Like bumping around the town like when you're driving a Range Rover
Expanding the horizons and expanding the parameters
Expanding the rhymes of sucker M.C. amateurs
Naugels, Isaac Newton Scientific E.Z.
Ben Franklin with the kite getting over with the key
Rock shocking the mic as many times times the times tables
Rock well to tell dispel all of the old fables
I've been dropping the new science and kicking the new knowledge
An M.C. to a degree that you can't get in college
The dregs of the earth and the eggs that I eat
I've got pegs through my hands and one through my feet
Shea Stadium the radium E M D squared
Got kicked out of the Palladium you think that I cared
It's the sound of science
Public service announcement time and money for girls covered with honey
You lie and aspire to be as cunning
Reeling and rockin' and rollin' B size D cup
Order the quarter deluxe why don't you wake up
My mind is kinda flowin like an oil projector
Had to get up to get the Jimmy protector
Went berserk and worked and exploded
She woke up in the morning and her face was coated
Buddy you study the man on the mic
D. do what you like
Drunk a skunk am I from the celebration
To peep that freak unique penetration
I figured out who makes the crack
It's the suckers with the badges and the blue jackets
A professor of science cause I keep droppin' it
I smell weak cause you keep poppin' it
People always asking what's the phenomenon
Yo what's up know what's going on
No one really knows what I'm talking about
Yeah that's right my name's Yauch
Ponce De Leon constantly on
The fountain of youth not Robotron
Peace is a word I've heard before
So move and move and move upon the dance floor
I'm gonna die gonna die one day
Cause I'm goin and goin and goin this way
Not like a roach or a piece of toast
I'm going out first class not going out coach
Rock my Adidas never rock Fila
*I do not sniff the coke I only smoke sinsemilla*
With my nose I knows and with my scopes I scope
What I live I write and that is strictly rope
I've got science for any occasion
Postulating theorems formulating equations
Cheech wizard in a snow blizzard
Eating chicken gizzards with a girl named Lizzy
Dropping science like when Galileo dropped his orange

Re:They're within driving distance for me (0, Redundant)

tbannist (230135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005524)

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet my friend, the Clue-By-Four. He and I have arranged a little demonstration on physics for your appreciation tonight. Please stand very still during the demonstration for maximum effect.

Hah! (1)

escher (3402) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004922)

Evolution. I has it. [molybdenum-platypus.net]

Only two options now avaliable (4, Insightful)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004930)

1. Brace self for usual massive troll reaction to this, 2. Go outside, and do something else.

Re:Only two options now avaliable (4, Insightful)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005704)

Thank you! This is a seductive game the first thirty times, but all it makes me want to do now is close my /. tab. After I post this comment, that is. Seriously, here's how it always goes:
1. Article posted that makes fundies look like idiots.
2. Anti-fundie flaming.
3. Anti-religion flaming.
4. Sideshow discussions about reconciliation of theology and science in one's personal life, usually reasonably posited and humbly submitted; drowned out by the by now raging flame war.
5. Sideshow flame war about the observability of evolution.
6. ...
7. Profit? No, everyone loses (except the trolls), the smartest stay away completely, the next tier down leaves feeling drawn in and sheepish (c'mon we've all been there), and the trolls emerge stupid as ever, feeling victorious.
8. Ugh.
9. It's Friday, everyone drink a beer or something.

Figures (2, Funny)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004964)

The kids are getting screwed by America's wang.

Re:Figures (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005258)

Fortunately I can safely say that while the board members who make these decisions are people with a distorted view of the world (ok: bigots), I know that many of the teachers I had in high school would rather be fired than stop teaching evolution. I forsee many lawsuits...

So it continues.. (1)

Medenus (1189293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22004968)

And now we see the continued dumbing down of the school system. What will they be teaching in place of evolution? ID? Is there empirical evidence behind ID that i'm not aware of? I dont see how they can justify this. If they're not teaching evolution they shouldn't be allowed to teach anything on the origin of species, because neither popular argument (ID/evolution) is proven (although evolution makes FAR more sense, dont you think?)

Re:So it continues.. (3, Insightful)

thsths (31372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005284)

> because neither popular argument (ID/evolution) is proven (although evolution makes FAR more sense, dont you think?)

Where did you get that idea from? Evolution has been proven time after time, from Darwin's finches over selective breeding, resistant strains of diseases all the way to artificial intelligence programs. Evolution is no fact, but it is a good explanations for fact we can see all around us.

Whereas intelligent design does not explain anything, very much like the Homunculus argument.

Re:So it continues.. (1)

Medenus (1189293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005426)

I was specifically referring to human evolution, and that no definitive proof has been produced that we have evolved from apes. I agree that evolution is an extremely good explanation and I firmly believe that it is fact, we just dont have the supporting evidence yet :)

Re:So it continues.. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005580)

What do you mean "evolution is no fact"?

Evolution is both fact AND theory. Otherwise, I agree with your post :)

Re:So it continues.. (1)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005910)

Would you say that quantum theory is a fact? What about relativity?

Plenty of evidence for those, too. Are they facts?

Re:So it continues.. (1)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005832)

This is basically what you said, but a more general point is that any explanation involving a non-naturalistic cause isn't a scientific hypothesis. Therefore, even if intelligent design was supported by heaps of excellent evidence, it still wouldn't be science. Creationists see this as a problem with science, [answersingenesis.org] but in fact, it is a feature. Without it, almost anything would qualify as science [newscientist.com] .

So what are the other places? (1)

SciBrad (1119589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005046)

As a Florida resident, I am now alarmed. Any idea what the other 11 ones are?

Re:So what are the other places? (1)

SAU! (228983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005590)

It may not matter. These are just resolutions from school boards. The actual state curriculum gurus are going to vote on the new standards (which include evolution) next month (mid-February, IIRC). If the accept the proposed new standards, things will be looking up here in Florida. If they reject the proposal, then things will remain exactly as they are, as far as I am aware. And "exactly as they are" is not particularly good -- Florida received an "F" rating for its science curriculum recently, though from a group whose pedigree I don't entirely recall. The current lack of coverage of evolution was one of the reasons for the "F".
What I find particularly annoying is that the state was apparently prepared to accept the new curriculum, when *parents* started complaining about the teaching of evolution, and may as a result get the whole thing canned. I guess that's what I get for moving to the deep South....

Re:So what are the other places? (1)

nothing now (1062628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005750)

Pinellas, my home county, might be one of the twelve. Our school board favored it 4 to 1 with 2 uncertain last I heard. I'll check and then call my lawyer and the ACLU.

A perfect argument for school vouchers (1, Troll)

compumike (454538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005092)

If people weren't forced into a single public school system, competing schools could emerge and fill the need for a competent education system. However, as it is, everyone is forced to pay into the failing public system. With vouchers, at least, they could take those education dollars and go elsewhere. And yes, I realize that this is not an easy step to take -- emerging competing schools would require lots of investment. But the point of a free market for just about anything is that people with different needs can find (or create!) different solutions.

Schools aren't like sewers -- there are no physical requirements that there be only one system.

--
Our microcontroller kit. Your code. Learn digital electronics today. [nerdkits.com]

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (1, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005142)


But the point of a free market for just about anything is that people with different needs can find (or create!) different solutions.

I wasn't aware science and the scientific method bent to the whims of the free market. A science classroom should teach science, it shouldn't matter where it is. If the bible thumpers want their kids to wallow in ignorance they can send them to a private religious school for indoctrination into their cult.

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005272)

Oddly enough, private religious schools are often better academically than the failed public schools. Probably less dogmatic too.

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (1)

Smackheid (1217632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005662)

Oddly enough, private religious schools are often better academically than the failed public schools. Probably less dogmatic too.

One reasons for that: More discipline. Nuns and brothers will happily resort to strict punishments for the slightest thing.

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005718)

Some are very good, but those ones don't teach creationism in Biology class either.

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005926)

By "some private religious schools" you likely mean Catholic schools. Catholicism long ago, due to its largely sticking to Augustine principles, rejected theological attacks on evolution. In the past, it hasn't always been like that, but in large part, for virtually all the Church's history, it has not advocated any sort of Biblical literalism. I'd say that most modern Creationists and IDers are Biblical literalists (IDers like to pretend that they are allied with theistic evolutionists, but you won't find to many TErs who agree to that), and the Roman Catholic Church has never advocated Sola Scriptura.

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (2, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005298)

You forgot to mention "and pay for it themselves."

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005270)

I don't have any kids and my tax dollars go to public schools. If I have to help pay for them, then parents with kids in private school have to help pay for them.

If you want to send your kids to private school, that's your right. That doesn't mean that you get to take funds away from public schools.

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006034)

You're not funding 'public schools'. You're funding the education of children. Vouchers do not give parents all their education tax dollars back. They give parents choice where some of those dollars are spent: specifically, the dollars that would be spent on their children.

Yes, public schools lose out to some degree on economies of scale when children go to private schools, but vouchers do not 'take funds away from public schools' in a literal sense. They keep the funds with the student - where they belong.

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005326)

Well, yes and no. Physically, there is no reason that multiple school systems can't be opened. Practically there are some arguments against. The biggest one is the question of what standards the schools are held to. What counts as an 'education'? When someone says they have graduated High School, what does that mean? Does it mean that they have a piece of paper or does it mean that they have attained at least a minimum amount of knowledge in a variety of areas? If anyone that calls themselves a school can set all their own guidelines, then all a graduation becomes is a piece of paper like the ones you can buy from the diploma mills on the internet. And if outside guidelines are going to be imposed on curriculum and testing, then we are back to the original issue and nothing has changed.

Please note, this is very different from having schools provide specialty education. Lots of schools are known for their additional academic programs, or their sports focus, or the amount of technology they integrate. That isn't the same as an educational free-for-all.

Re:A perfect argument for school vouchers (2, Insightful)

Punko (784684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005390)

Schools are funded from the public purse. They should exclude any religious teachings. If you want your kid to go to a religious-based school, go ahead. But, you pay for it yourself AND you should stil fund the public system. Religious indoctrination should be separate from education, just as knowledge is separate from belief. The two can peacefully coexist, once you are intelligent enough to differentiate between the two.

Believe in what ever you wish, but don't expect an education system to put forth any opinion that has no basis in fact. Its bad enough with the one-sided view of history that is currently taught . . .

Listen, and understand! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005100)

"I understand there are people who believe (evolution), but I would be happier to see them at least present both sides and teach it as theory, as opposed to a fact," Stilson said. "It is just as scientific to believe in intelligent design as it is to believe in evolution."

Listen, and understand! Those creationists are out there. They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!

Scientific? (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005198)

I do not think it means what I think he thinks it means.

Re:Listen, and understand! (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005448)

All that needs to be done at this point is to start collecting quotes from those that are bringing in this policy. They're religious nuts, and they'll constantly reveal that. That's what wiped them out in Dover (well, that and that blowhard Behe who made a fool of himself during the trial). These religious fanatics can't help it, it's the way their brain is designed.

So when it goes to court, the ACLU lawyers can throw down a ton of quotes showing that the justification for this move was religious, the First Amendment rights of the children were violated, and the books are shut. Of course, it'll screw the kids over because all that money wasted by religious fanatics trying to force a public school system into becoming an organ of religious indoctrination.

Re:Listen, and understand! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005586)

These religious fanatics can't help it, it's the way their brain is designed.
Or is it the way their brain has "evolved". (Couldn't help myself, sorry)

Re:Listen, and understand! (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005618)

These religious fanatics can't help it, it's the way their brain is designed.
Hee hee.

Re:Listen, and understand! (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006110)

Oh man, I had Behe as a professor when I was in college (physical biochemistry, so there wasn't much room for the hand of god to reach in and disturb things) and he was a nice guy, and I actually felt kind of bad reading the court transcripts and seeing Ken Miller do a dance on his face. I mean, it was just such a decisive beating at all levels that it made me feel woozy.

Incidentally, if you go to the Lehigh University bio department's homepage, there used to be (and likely still is) a big link right in front that takes you to a disclaimer wherein the entire bio faculty disavows him. It makes me wonder why he doesn't just go work at the Discovery Institute or someplace a bit less hostile.

La la la la, I can't hear you! (5, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005260)

... seems to be the sum total of evidence against evolution.

http://xkcd.com/54/ [xkcd.com] is appropriate right now.

What's sad is.. (1)

Cyraan (840132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005266)

It might still be an incredibly small step up from our current curriculum (IIRC, this is the first change to it since I finished school) which doesn't even mention the word evolution, instead using the term changes over time .

Just being Floridian makes you the butt of a near-endless supply of jokes (the 2000 election, old people, our pathetic intolerance for temperatures below 50 F... ok, that one has some basis in fact) I guess some of us just like it.

All of a sudden parents are concerned? (2, Insightful)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005288)

What makes me so mad about things like this are, these parents seem to be concerned about their kids education when it's convenient. Our education system here is in shambles and this is what they bicker about? How about being concerned about failing schools THEN robble about silly shit. Hypocrites...

Well not exactly anti-evolution. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005342)

When I was in school we did learn that they where other theories about how life started on earth. We learned that some people believed in spontaneous generation like that maggots came from rotting meat. We learned how these where shown to be incorrect or lacking in any evidence.
I would have no problem with them teaching intelligent design if they just followed the rules of science when teaching it.
Simply that some people think this is how life got started but there is no proof or experiments that prove it out and many of their claims have been disproven or at least had a lot of doubt about them.

Science should be open to different ideas even if they are wrong. They must all be looked at using the scientific method. I doubt many creationist would like the way it was being taught but that is just too bad. If they can get some good science to back them up then let's see it.
All that I have seen was really bad.

Re:Well not exactly anti-evolution. (1)

TheWizardTim (599546) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005810)

I have been trying to prove that if you don't think gravity is real, and you step off a building, you will not fall. So far every time I have tried this I have failed, but I keep trying to teach it to anyone who will listen (mostly doctors and nurses due to all the injuries).

Re:Well not exactly anti-evolution. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006008)

"I have been trying to prove that if you don't think gravity is real, and you step off a building, you will not fall. So far every time I have tried this I have failed, but I keep trying to teach it to anyone who will listen (mostly doctors and nurses due to all the injuries)."

You do realize that you are just making a silly comment that brings nothing of value to the discussion. But if you wish then so be it.
Again if you read my post your theory would be mentioned in school. They would be shown how there is no proof of the theory and how it has failed time and time again in experiments. In other words you sir would be held up as an example of a nutcase.

Re:Well not exactly anti-evolution. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005830)

At my public high school, we were taught both religion (mostly Christianity) and evolution. It was nice to know both. I am a Christian who went to public schools during later childhood years and teenager years.

Re:Well not exactly anti-evolution. (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005880)

I agree. Anything's possible really. I'm personally a fairly hardcore atheist, and the thing that always gripes me about intelligent design isn't the idea in itself...I don't see it as impossible. But there's literally no reason whatsoever to think that its what happens. Once there is, I'll change my ideas about in in 5 minutes. But there isn't.

As opposed to evolution that has a tons. But that still doesn't mean its what happened. I -think- its what happened. But I can see so many possibilities that could someday invalidate it...including hybrids... I mean, what if we were actually designed...but by aliens, not a god? What if a god did create life...but all he did was create the first mono-cellular stuff and let it go, so technically we did evolve by "chance", but a god still created life...

Or my personal favorite. What if the laws of physics and biology were NOT made from a god...but a god used them to create us? Which means we COULD have been made from evolution, it just so happens that we weren't (and maybe some civilisation on another planet actually came purely from evolution, even though a god somewhere could have just created them).

In short, it indeed is definately good to show many theories... else we'll look damn stupid the day that BOTH evolution AND god are proven wrong :) I personally welcome our Alien Creator overlords.

Re:Well not exactly anti-evolution. (2)

TappedOut (1185315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005888)

Science is about natural explanations to natural phenomena. ID basically punts, and invokes the supernatural. It's not that ID is a false/flawed scientific theory, it's that ID is not science. Indeed science should be open to different ideas, different scientific ideas. ID doesn't count.

Re:Well not exactly anti-evolution. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006168)

"Science is about natural explanations to natural phenomena. ID basically punts, and invokes the supernatural." As I said I have seen no good science to back up ID and that fact would have to be taught.
But you are just punting as well.
If life on earth created by a creator then that would be part of nature. In science nothing is "supernatural". Science should be the search for truth.
As I said I don't think ID is good science but if it is not taught then people that hear it might fall for it. Frankly they use a lot of heavy but bad science that sounds totally reasonable if you don't have a really good grasp on a lot of different sciences. To not teach ID and how ID is flawed in schools will make it all the more likely for people to fall for it.
Some people will not fall for it just because they have blind faith in Evolution. But in this case ignorance plus a healthy does of wonder will confuse people.
I do go to church every Sunday. I got invited to an ID lecture at different church. If I hadn't had a good grip on physics and chemistry it might have been believable.
Ignorance is NEVER a benefit.

Burn the schools? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005422)

Maybe Southerners will stop burning down churches and switch to burning down schools that teach evolution instead?

Not about education (4, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005474)

This isn't about education at all. It is about power. And the worst power mongers are people are these low-level politicians on school boards and local councils who have more direct control over the people immediately around them.

They are no doubt congratulating themselves about bringing 17th century thinking to the 21st century.

Sad. I doubt most people in Florida, or even these schools agree with this result. Hopefully, like in Kansas, it will be overturned.

I tend to think it's a good thing (1)

JavaRob (28971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005486)

Yes, in the short term it's not a good thing for the kids affected -- but the quality of their education is already a crying shame.

For the longer term, I think it's a good thing to have these issues blow up. Let them get global press. Let well-known people all over the world make snide comments about Florida and America. Let them think most Americans are frothing Bible wavers. Won't it start to sting after a while?

Maybe Americans will eventually be forced to re-evaluate their silly notions, either:
1) there's anything remotely "factual" in a literal interpretation of the Bible, or
2) that the people who currently believe (1) are going to keep to themselves and not screw things up for the rest of Americans and their children.

The US govt is pouring money into the "terrorist threat" -- the Congressional Budget Offices estimates the Afghanistan & Iraq wars will cost a total of $2.4 trillion (approx. the US population x 8,000) -- just imagine if they used friggin *any* of that for something that actually affected US residents, like, uh, education.

I'm hoping that enough slaps in the face like this and people will start to wake up.

So, yeah -- all you anti-evolutionists out there, make some noise! May your impassioned shouts echo grandly in the empty void of space.

Wow, education going the way of the government? (2, Insightful)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005494)

Although Darwinism is just a theory, there is a large amount of evidence to support Darwinism. I accept Darwinism as an explanation for how we evolved. I though the federal government is flawed, now it's spreading to even the smallest so called Democratic system, schools. Look at all the principals acting like politicians. Making pointless and stupid laws in their dictatorship to carry out their own agenda, which hurts the students more than anything. Take the middle school my sister goes to. The principal just banned any form of hugging. In many Spanish and Hispanic cultures, hugging is the proper way of greeting each other. My high school principal recently gave everyone a speech about the expulsion process. He said, and I quote "Another thing I need to tell you about is suspicion of action. If I suspect you are about to do something to harm anyone, I am authorized, and will use the authorization, to conduct a search of a student's personal belongings, without a warrant." I actually got in trouble because I asked him about how my best friend was _almost_ expelled from school for having a simple money clipper on it, which the school decided was a weapon because it had a 2.4cm dull blade on it. Why did he search this excellent, positive, and all advanced placement classes honer student? Because his brother, whose in my class, expressed a political statement that the school though was a threat to blow up London! WTF??? He was escorted out of school in HANDCUFFS like a criminal, booked, and healed in a holding cell for 4 hours. Now he might not be able to get into MIT or Harvard, because, despite having perfect grades, has a suspension on his record. The good news though is he got the ACLU to sue the school and demand anything about the incident removed from all public and private records. The case is pending. I never thought this would happen in _MY_ high school. Sure, I've read the headlines screaming "Hundreds of kindergarten suspended this year for sexual harassment", "Gifted boy scout expelled for accidentally bringing his Boy Scouts pocketknife to school", the list goes on and on. Education these days is just like the government: Principals have all the power, and will use that power as a dictatorship. In my friends case, he is yet another victim of the system. Just like many people in the United States. These idiots who have power think they can do whatever they want, and think it will "make the world a better place". What does taking away habius corpus do for the legal system? What does illegal wiretapping on EVERY American in the country do? The government, like the schools, want a faults sense of security.

Re:Wow, education going the way of the government? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005868)

You make good, interesting points, but please, please learn to spell better, and people will take those good points more seriously.

Not suprising...read the studies... (1)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005496)

This not surprising considering the number of studies that have shown that people in the U.S. are not as accepting of evolution as in other Western countries. Check out this article: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060810-evolution.html [nationalgeographic.com] .

From the article (the second paragraph pretty much explains it):

"People in the United States are much less likely to accept Darwin's idea that humans and apes share a common ancestor than adults in other Western nations, a number of surveys show. A new study of those surveys suggests that the main reason for this lies in a unique confluence of religion, politics, and the public understanding of biological science in the United States."

This type of thing will continue in the U.S. as long as parents have this type of power over public education.

Enganeer from Forida (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005548)

I be and Enganeer from Florida and can all most even spel it. The skools in Florida has always been rated in the bottom of the nation in funding per capita so this should be no surperise. With out funds the skools cant get good teachers and cant teach what is needed like speling and sceince.

You should not be surperised that evolution is being treated like this.

Of course all know that ID (or is it ED) is very common in areas where edumcation is weak.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. (0)

DigitalReverend (901909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005622)

I'll probably get flamed for this, but is this really so bad? In each field of science there is so much that can be covered, that evolution never need come up. Geology, chemistry and even biology has so much depth that can be covered empirically that theoretical science could be left out entirely from primary education, and the kids would never be at a loss. Evolution is a controversial subject and could be covered much more in depth and less interference at a university level, and with the massive amount of science material that can be covered in the primary system, I don't understand why administrators and educators keep feeling the need to fuel the controversy.

"Mommy, teacher says we came from fish."
"Well honey, we don't believe that, tell me have they ever taught you about mitosis, or the golgi aparatus?"
"No"
"What about covalent bonds and valence electrons?"
"No"
Mendelian Tables?"
"No"
"So what class is this teacher teaching?"
"Science"

Re:This is not necessarily a bad thing. (1)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005908)

Not a flame...I would like to know which part(s) of geology or chemistry that you take as entirely non-theoretical and empirical as opposed to evolution which you indicate is entirely theoretical. Many biologist would argue that evolution is entirely empirical... I'm just curious...

Re:This is not necessarily a bad thing. (2, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005978)

"Many biologists"? I'd say the overwhelming majority do. Even ID proponent Michael Behe doesn't deny evolution and common descent, he just wants to find some way to emperically insert God into the equation.

Pretty much every biologist I've ever read or talked to agrees with this maxim:

"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky

Re:This is not necessarily a bad thing. (3, Interesting)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005940)

Evolution isn't theoretical science. It is the underpinning of all of modern biology. That's why it's important.

Not a binary outcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005692)

When I see these evolution versus creation debates, I'm like "Dude, it's not a coin toss!"

People who think that there are only two possible outcomes really just don't understand science (or religion, for that matter).

Science is like a huge puzzle. With monumental effort, the scientific community has managed to put together a bit of the puzzle here and a bit of the puzzle there - but there are still huge gaps and it's really not clear how it all fits together (e.g. how to reconcile the general relativity view of gravity with the quantum field theory view of fundamental forces). Just as there are things that are true in mathematics that can't be proved to be true, it is likely that there are questions in science that will be impossible to answer (e.g. whether "we" are inside of a virtual reality simulation).

With this in mind, the job of a science teacher is not to provide the ultimate answers to the ultimate questions. The job of a science teacher is to help the students understand those regions of the puzzle that scientists have been able to assemble. Now, having said that, one of the regions of the puzzle that scientists have started to assemble is the question of how a population of organisms changes as they make copies of themselves (i.e. evolution). There's a lot that's known about evolution and there is a lot that isn't. There are also a lot of factual observations that are consistent with a particular history of life on the planet - but there are a lot of gaps in the history, as well.

At some level, science can't be wrong because science hasn't yet answered the question - but, by the same argument, science can't yet be right either.

So what about religion? Could "creation" be correct? Well, that's kind of a moving target. Given that we humans exist in the universe and are self-aware it's certainly plausible that there's other stuff out there (in our universe or in other universes) that's self-aware. It's not even out of the question that some self-aware entity or other at some point or another did something that affected life on planet earth. If that were the case, would "creation" then be correct? You'd have to talk to the creationists because I really don't know what those dudes believe.

Bottom line, this whole evolution versus creation thing fails to understand the basic nature of science. As far as what to teach where, if it deals with patterns in factual observation then teach it in science class and if it deals with religion then teach it in religion class. Note that there may be some overlap - for example, some forms of prayer are observable and some things that people pray for are observable so, in a limited sense, science could address the question of whether praying for something makes it more likely to occur.

Re:Not a binary outcome (1)

omris (1211900) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006050)

actually, i did read a study, which i am too lazy to source, about the influence of prayer on disease recovery. the recovery rates were lower for those who had prayer helping them along, but not enough lower to be statistically signifigant. it would seem that all evidence points to religion being psychosomatic. and that's really all the attention it need be given IN A SCIENCE CLASS. i have never understood why there should be a gap between science and religion in the first place, as they address completely separate things. if you can muster the faith to believe that there is a god, why is it difficult to muster the faith to think that maybe the evolution we can see in action was god's way of creating man. he's a deity. he gets the BIG powertools.

Evolution doesn't belong in primary education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005878)

It's a theoretical science, leave that to the colleges. Let the grade schools and high schools teach the stuff that can be proven using the scientific method such as chemical reactions, cellular structure etc. Leave the theoretical science to higher education where the kids heads aren't as full of mush.

Oblig H2G2 reference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22005950)

"The Babel fish," said The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy quietly, "is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy not from its carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish. "Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindboggingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. "The argument goes something like this: 'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.' "'But,' says Man, 'The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.' "'Oh dear,' says God, 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic. "'Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

The Round Earth Theory (4, Insightful)

srobert (4099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005954)

Maybe now that they've had some success on this front, they can pursue suppressing the "round-earth theory" in Earth Science, and Geography classes.

Irony... (1)

Duffy13 (1135411) | more than 6 years ago | (#22005990)

I find it incredibly ironic that these debates exist in public school forums. Especially when I and several other people I know were taught Evolution in several different Catholic Schools.

Is it any wonder? (2, Insightful)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22006004)

Can Floridian school boards really claim to not understand why 40% of their 8th grade students lack even just a "basic" understanding of science? [sptimes.com] Or why they can't retain/get enough qualified science teachers? [accessmylibrary.com]
They know science education is important, they know that without it, the won't be competitive in the global economy. With evolution framing all of our knowledge of biology, do you really expect these kids to be taken seriously when they enter the job market? How the hell are they going to get through an evolutionary biology class in college if they are taught to believe the mumbo jumbo ID BS?
On a related topic, does anyone have any thoughts on how the US in general can start to retain more of the science talent that we have? Any thoughts from those of you in other countries as to how you retain teachers?
As much as I would like to say the problem is just located on America's Wang, its not, we have a science education brain drain all over this country. There isn't nearly enough emphasis on science/engineering throughout our school system, and adding to the problem, we wont give work visas to the foreign students who get graduate degrees here.
We know the whole US cant just switch to a service economy with everyone ironing each others shirts for money, we have to drive/design new tech to maintain our leadership.
How can we reverse this trend?
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