A survey conducted by the St. Petersburg Times shows that half of the respondents want “only faith-based theories such as creationism or intelligent design” taught in public school classrooms, and only 22 percent want evolution-only life science curriculum.
The Florida State Board of Education will decide next Tuesday to adopt … or not … new standards that would make a subtle but important change in the wording of life science standards. The change would place evolutionary biology (also known as “evolutionary theory”) clearly at the center of the life science curriculum.
The survey queried 702 registered voters between February 6 and 10, and has a margin of error of about 4 percentage points.
While the vast majority of scientists consider evolution to be backed by strong evidence, nearly two-thirds of those polled were skeptical.
Twenty-nine percent said evolution is one of several valid theories. Another 16 percent said evolution is not backed up by enough evidence. And 19 percent said evolution is not valid because it is at odds with the Bible.
[A piece on poll, summarized in the graphic shown on the right from the St. Petersburg Times, can be found here. ]
Now, here’s what I’d like to do. I’d like to find a sample of the registered voters who claim that there is insufficient evidence for evolution. Then I want to ask them what they do for a living. Then I want to tell them that what they know about … their profession … is a crock of hooey. If the person is a union plumber, I want to say “Union plumbers! Ha! I can do plumbing myself, it’s easy. There is nothing to it. I can get one of those books a home depot and that’s all I need. This whole professional plumber thing is a crock!”
If the person is an airplane pilot, I would say, “I’ve spent plenty of time on a wide range of computer games in which I’ve learned pretty much everything about flying airplanes. Any passenger on the plane you fly could take the controls, no problem. You are a fraud. I can’t believe they pay you to do that.”
… and so on…
Let’s see what some of the Floridians say. Sue Sams, a retired English Teacher, is said to believe that the schools should teach “creationism only.” She says, “”I don’t disagree with the theory of evolution, I’m just not sure it’s 100 percent right.” Interesting.
Dennis Baxley, director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, says “At one time, the scientific community thought that for good health, you should attach leaches to your body, … We’re just asking them to leave the door open a little bit” for other evidence to be considered.”
Engineer Kim Geiss says, “Until we can say definitely, 100 percent that this is the way it happened, we can’t tell our children evolution is the only way, … We don’t know that. I don’t think we ever will know that.”
It has been suggested that with very little engineering, we could cut Florida off and watch it drift away. Good idea. We could at the same time admit Puerto Rico to the union, to avoid having to change all the flags.