Florida: Reliving the Past

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State senator Stephen Wise plans to introduce a bill requiring balanced treatment for “intelligent design” whenever evolutionary science is taught in Florida’s science classrooms.

Of course, “balanced treatment” and “equal time” bills for “creation science” led to the 1987 SCOTUS decision in Edwards v. Aguillard that ruled “creation science” as unconstitutional. Wise’s bill, if worded as stated in the article, is likely to provide a complementary court case for “intelligent design”.

(See the Florida Citizens for Science post on this, and the original post at the Austringer)

Wise said that if the Legislature passes the bill, he wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a legal challenge.

“You just never know. They use the courts all the time. I guess if they have enough money they can get it in the courts,” he said. “Someplace along the line you’ve got to be able to make a value judgment of what it is you think is the appropriate thing.”

Sen. Wise, just a note… if “intelligent design” creationism were able to make a convincing case to the scientific community, there wouldn’t be any issue about it being suitable as accountable science content for the public school science classrooms. But IDC is clearly religious antievolution, a narrow sectarian viewpoint without scientific standing or accountability, that you are inappropriately trying to insert by the political process rather than having it demonstrate its merit. People end up using the courts because of the bad behavior of people like you. It is where they can get redress for what you’ve done. It is not unseemly behavior on their part to take up the only route for redress that you have left open to them.

And if it comes to it, I hope to render my assistance to those who will oppose you in court, much as I did in 2005 for the Kitzmiller v. DASD case in Pennsylvania.

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I seriously doubt Wise thinks ID has any scientific merit. His problem, conversely, is that evolutionary science has no religious merit by the lights of his personal faith. In his mind, the controversy hinges on whether or not his religious doctrines are correct, and science alone (normally presented as “fact” at the 9th grade level) is clearly biased from his viewpoint unless it is countered with God’s Word Itself.

There’s only one side of the science story, but there are two sides of the religious story, and he wants both of those sides presented, preferably in as religious a context as possible. In the view of a great many people, the purpose of the public education system isn’t to produce graduates packed with knowledge who have mastered the art of thinking. It’s to produce moral, upstanding, God-fearing Christian citizens.

(From the article) “State Sen. Stephen Wise, a Jacksonville Republican, said he plans to introduce a bill to require teachers who teach evolution to also discuss the idea of intelligent design.”

Wouldn’t it be great if the “discussion” consisted of biology teachers all over Florida simply telling the truth; “I want to discuss Intelligent Design. This is the idea that evolution is wrong and man was divinely created. It is sheer fantasy, and in the entire history of humanity, not only has no evidence ever been found to back the idea, but all of the evidence points in the other direction. There - discussion over”.

Seriously? Wonderful! I wanna see ID in court again! I mean, the ID people have somehow, in the four years since the last defeat, convinced themselves that evil atheist lawyers pulled some trick on them (try asking them what ‘cdesign proponentsists’ means! They just ignore it.) They need reminding again that they’re the bad guys.

Introducing sectarian legislation designed to undermine science education makes Jesus cry.

It’s kind of hard to imagine him not knowing that this would invite a court case that he would lose, and that would use up money during a time when money is tight.

One speculates there could be only two motives for this–one, to grandstand in front of politico-religionist voters (who have managed to disenfranchise themselves by being insufferable twatwaffles), or two, because he really is a slavish ideolog to the notion that the government’s proper role is to act as a proxy for the church.

Venus Mousetrap said: …(try asking them what ‘cdesign proponentsists’ means! They just ignore it.) They need reminding again that they’re the bad guys.

They need reminding again and again and again. We all need to keep repeating ‘cdesign proponentsists’ and inviting people to Google the term. Keep pointing out Judge Jones’ ruling “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.” Keep reminding them that Lying For Jesus™ is lying. Keep using the term ‘Dishonesty Institute.’ The intelligent design creationists know they are the bad guys and we need to keep them on the defensive. As General Nathan Bedford Forrest said, “Keep up the skeer.”

From the newspaper report

He said its intent is simple: “If you’re going to teach evolution, then you have to teach the other side so you can have critical thinking.”

It would make more sense to teach critical thinking by using an issue which genuinely has two sides. An example: should marijuana be illegal considering it has medical uses?

Richard Simons said:

From the newspaper report

He said its intent is simple: “If you’re going to teach evolution, then you have to teach the other side so you can have critical thinking.”

It would make more sense to teach critical thinking by using an issue which genuinely has two sides. An example: should marijuana be illegal considering it has medical uses?

Or, to further stimulate critical thinking, would the Senator be willing to support teaching children about evolution in Sunday School, as well as all of the various Christian heresies, including the one suggesting that the world was created by Satan in order to trap souls and promote suffering and misery?

Or, to further stimulate critical thinking, would the Senator be willing to support teaching children about evolution in Sunday School

But of course, the Senator sees this as a question of teaching Truth (his beliefs) or falsehood (whatever conflicts with them). And according, he’s not willing to see falsehood taught anywhere, to anyone. Being a politician, he recognizes that falsehood IS going to be taught, he can’t prevent it. All he can hope for at this time is to teach Truth in addition to falsehood (under whatever pretext is currently in vogue, whether it be “the controversy” or “fairness” or “academic freedom” or “critical thinking” or whatever buzzword enables teaching Truth in the schools.)

Once enough Truth is presented, the idea goes, those so enlightened will be tomorrow’s decision makers, and falsehood can be eradicated entirely.

To get there from here, in today’s secular world where falsehood is so rampant, it’s often necessary to dissemble a bit. Martin Luther himself explicitly endorsed Lying for Jesus, saying that ANY lies that bring people to Christ are not only forgiven, but encouraged. The Dover people lied to cover their tracks not because they wanted to lie, but because today’s sin-soaked acceptance of falsehood has permeated the law, and forced them to lie.

No real surprise. Florida - and I say this as an ex-Floridian - has always been pretty ass backwards in terms of educational policy. My high school banned Chaucer. In fact, your title could be the state’s official motto.

Venus Mousetrap said:

Seriously? Wonderful! I wanna see ID in court again!

Me too! I wish the proceedings would involve putting Sen. Wise on the stand and asking him what he knows about evolution that makes him feel that “equal time” is necessary for other ideas. My guess is that what he knows about evolution would fit inside a thimble.

Richard Simons said:

From the newspaper report

He said its intent is simple: “If you’re going to teach evolution, then you have to teach the other side so you can have critical thinking.”

It would make more sense to teach critical thinking by using an issue which genuinely has two sides. An example: should marijuana be illegal considering it has medical uses?

You make a good point, but your example needs some work. Morphine and cocaine both have legitimate medical use but both are illegal to possess otherwise.

DeeKay: it could just be simplified to ‘Should any drugs be made illegal to possess and use? If so, on what criteria?’ Plenty of scope for critical thinking there, although I suspect it is rarely applied.

Both theory should be exposed, schools is not here to create formated mind but to create open mind…

Scrabble Cheat

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on February 9, 2009 8:43 AM.

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