Let there be light: Evolution is finally here

In the Orlando Sentinel, Mike Thomas reports on some good news in the state of Florida

We are moving toward intelligently designed science curriculum in public schools.

And by that I mean we are leaving intelligent design out of classrooms.

By golly, Florida is evolving.

After receiving failing marks in teaching evolution, Florida is revising its curriculum.

The standards are based in part on those used in countries that excel in science, such as Singapore and Finland. Massachusetts is another role model. The National Science Education Standards and National Assessment of Educational Progress also are cited.

“These new benchmarks are based on research,” says Mary Jane Tappen, executive director of math and science for the Department of Education. “What research says should be in the standards.”

And the research says evolution.

Evolution seems to be a recurring theme.

Most feedback has been supportive and those who propose alternative views will have to meet the scientific standard of research backed arguments.

The Department of Education published the new standards on its Web site Friday. You can check them out and even comment on them at etc.usf.edu/flstandards/index.html.

Of 1,400 respondents to date, more than 80 percent support evolution.

Tappen welcomes alternative views. But she says nothing will be deleted from the standards without research-backed arguments backing up the removal.