Skip to comments.Florida will teach evolution but only as theory
Posted on 02/19/2008 5:54:12 PM PST by DaveLoneRanger
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - Florida education officials voted on Tuesday to add evolution to required course work in public schools but only after a last-minute change depicting Charles Darwin's seminal work as merely a theory.
Bending to pressure from religious conservatives, the State Board of Education on a 4-3 vote included the "theory" language as part of a retooling of the state's science standards for public school education.
The compromise would require teaching that Darwin's proposal -- that natural selection has driven the evolution of many species from a few common ancestors over billions of years -- has yet to be conclusively proven.
"To say there is no debate is ridiculous," said board member Phoebe Raulerson. "Then why are we here today?"
The panel includes the word "evolution" in state science standards for the first time, but it is relegated to a place among a host of ideas, including Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. By contrast Isaac Newton's law of gravity is taught as undisputed fact.
During more than two hours of testimony, scientists and religious representatives argued over whether teaching that humans evolved from a single-celled species over hundreds of millions of years should be taken as gospel.
Some religious groups believe that evolution conflicts with the Biblical account of creation, though others contend there is no conflict. These contentions have driven debates in several states, including Kansas and Pennsylvania, as to how the subject should be taught in public schools.
Proponents say the body of research is replete with data backing up evolution as the major driving force in biology, noting that the prestigious National Academy of Sciences approved the original language that said "Evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology."
The language in Florida was changed to refer to "The scientific theory of evolution."
"Why are we even considering this?" said board member Roberto Martinez, who voted against the watered-down measure.
Some religious groups called on the board to endorse "academic freedom" in the new guidelines.
"I'm not saying it's a fact or not a fact," Raulerson said of Darwin's theory. "I'm saying that it is open to further discussion."
The topic will not appear on Florida's standardized tests until 2012, but school districts will be required to adjust their lessons by next year.
The new standards followed a series of international reviews that berated the state's science curriculum as inadequate.
Backers of stronger evolutionary language called the vote a regrettable compromise that would nonetheless boost the instruction of evolution as a basic tenet of modern biology.
"Sooner or later we'll get there," Martinez said.
Thanks. Now, was that so difficult?
Gravity is only a theory.
Let’s drop your computer and test it.
What is your hypothesis?
Which creation myth do you prefer?
They also teach that God is only a theory, along with gravity.
The one where I get back to you after the FR Canteen, come on over!! :)
The Creos got whacked.
The bogus victory over inclusion of “theory” provides a fig leaf for to cover a major defeat.
The student won an education
That it will sustain cosmetic, structural or electronic damage, the severity of which is a variable of the height (h) at which we drop it.
Those wacky school board officials!
Absent scientific *proof,* a theory is what it is!
That’s what “theory” means.
Why is it so hard to believe that God caused evolution?
Not hard for me. Just another tool in the toolbag.
What audacity. Holding science to it’s own standards.
*Intellectually honest scientist* “But evolution is, after all, only a theory and...no! NO! Don’t TAZE me, bro!”
*Scientist’s body convulses as his other cohorts dispense the proper punishment for questioning his education*
Oh Coopster, don’t you think He would have told US that?
Newton’s “Law” is descriptive — it describes the nature of the “force” of gravity; but, it doesn’t actually explain gravity. It also only works within a framework of “Newtonian” physics. Ever since Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity; we’ve known that Newton’s “Law” is wrong — or at least that it’s only true for “most practical purposes”.
So, if you drop your computer it falls — but, it falls in curved space-time.
how utterly ridiculous, the language of struggle! bending, pressure, 4-3 vote, ohmygawd...such...a...struggle...so...say....something we can't freaking PROVE is a THEORY!
Then why are the private Christian school and homeschool students who get both creation and evolution taught in their curriculum consistently outperforming public school kids in all areas of education, science included?
But you’re right, having the ToE properly taught as a theory, ensures that the kids come out ahead. No more of this *It’s a fact* garbage.
Gen 2:7... the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Clearly stated as a separate act of creation, just as with the other kinds of animals mentioned previously.
I wasn’t aware that He sent a memo out for every turn of events/scientific advancement.
Ah...so there’s nothing allegorical in the Bible?
Maybe that’s just the 2000 year-old layman’s explanation for something they didn’t yet understand.
Ok, what’s fair is fair, and I’m going to teach my grandkids that the State of Florida is a theory, not a fact. This is pure idiocy.
Gravity we can reproduce and get consistent results every time. Evolution is a story that we know very little about.
Mayhap, because HE declared in HIS word that HE created the whole thing in six days and rested on the seventh? The time line given is somewhat less than that required by evolution. ;-)
And, maybe a “God day” is actually thousands of years.
I don’t know - I don’t presume to know His ways.
“Which creation myth do you prefer?”
Which evolution myth do you prefer, Darwin’s or the Cambrian Explosion ?
On the other side, arguments in favor of evolution are fraught with negative theological appeals ("God wouldn't have done it this way, therefore God didn't do it"). Which hinge on a host of other philosophical beliefs that are extra-scientific. The fact that creation--of which the majority is extra-scientific--is argued as not "science" based on other extra-scientific philosophical beliefs means that we have gone well outside of science in the creation-evolution debate and tread well into a carefully concealed philosophical jungle.
Here's a special theory about dinosaurs.
It’s not even a good theory.
This will be a great opportunity for Science teachers to explain the exact meaning of “theory” as a term of science.
Or maybe it is only a day!
As a firm believer in the literal Bible a day is a day. Believe what you will, eternity is your reward and your reward is going to be based on your beliefs. ;-)
How about: "Evolution is a story that you know very little about." Started learning about the subject when my Dad pointed out how the rabbit I had just shot had similar organs as ourselves, and why.
Oh, and "Yes, my Nomex flight suit is hanging right around the corner." Flying CAP these last few days. Flame away! "Aramid fiber is my friend; in theory, as I've never tested it."
On the scheme of things, we don’t even know 10% about evolution.
He kind of spelled it out in His word.
Atomic Theory, Theory of Gravity, Theory of Evolution should all be taught in high school.
Because his word says that he didn't in more than 100 places.
Never said that, but it’s no surprise that there’s yet another attempt to discredit someone by implying Biblical literalism.
Here’s a clue about how to read any kind of literature, the Bible included.
Read poetry as poetry, a song as a song.
Read it as a simile when “like” or “as” are used.
When it states something is a parable, it can be taken that way.
When it states something as a fact, it makes sense to take it as a fact.
So when it says, *God did,... God said,... God created,...* then there’s no reason to read more into it and assume allegory.
Looking for hidden meaning when the obvious is plain to read is just because someone doesn’t want to accept the truth of what’s being said. So they look for more so they can have a reason to ignore the truth.
Here is proof that man and dinosaur walked on earth at the same time.
Evolution fails to be a proven theory in that well-stated view of a theory. There is NO proof of evolution that approaches anywhere close to the near-perfect fit of orbital positions observed over centuries and Sir Isaac’s formulae.