It's been going on for weeks and it finally came to a vote today and now forida teachers will be adding the teaching of evolution to students. They are not allowed to teach other theories such as intelligent design. But clearly evolution is a real theory as this picture of my buddy Hugh shows! (a link from http://www.stuff.co.nz/ ).
The vote was 4-3 in favor when the State Board of Education approved new science standards for Florida's public schools that, for the first time, require teaching evolution.
There was heated debate but the board, by a 4-3 vote, adopted a last-minute alternative that inserted the phrase "scientific theory of" in front of evolution and other concepts.
The most vocal board members before the vote were Roberto Martinez, a Coral Gables attorney, and Donna Callaway, a retired Tallahassee principal. Both voted "No" -- but for very different reasons.
And this from the Orlando Sentinel:
Though she had previously told the Florida Baptist Witness she would vote "No," she said today that she did not think her religious views colored her decision.
Callaway said she was not advocating creationism or intelligent design be taught but that students "know what we know," that is there may be other theories.
Martinez then asked, "What is the alternative theory?"
Callaway said, "You're saying there is only one theory."
Martinez: "I say that evolution is a fact and it is a fundamental fact."
Callaway: "There is a great difference of opinion in the world...There may be other theories ... This is a point of debate."
Martinez: "Its not a point of debate or controversy in the mainstream scientific community."
Both voted no in the end. Board members Phoebe Raulerson, Kathleen Shanahan and Linda Taylor along with Chairman Willard Fair voted "Yes."
Fair did not share his views. Raulerson said adding the phrase "scientific theory" in front of evolution made the standards more consistent, as a similar phrase was already in some places, such as in the descriptions of cell theory.
MEANWHILE - the US Government seems to be in agreement.
The US National Academy of Sciences issued a spirited defence of evolution as the bedrock principle of modern biology, arguing that it, not creationism, must be taught in public school science classes.
The academy, which operates under a mandate from Congress to advise the government on science and technology matters, issued the report at a time when the theory of evolution, first offered in the 19th century, faces renewed attack by some religious conservatives.
Creationism, based on the explanation offered in the Bible, and the related idea of "intelligent design" are not science and, as such, should not be taught in public school science classrooms, according to the report.
Finally I want to make it clear. Personally, I believe in the theory of evolution. I also however believe that kids should be taught EVERYTHING.
(Copyright © 2008 By Simon L Conway All Rights Reserved.)
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