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.

i-645059a6a405d87f84259360353f370e-tb_evolutionpoll_graph300.jpg

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.”

Hmmm…

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.”

Nice trick….

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.

Comments

  1. #1 Lambert
    February 15, 2008

    Long live ignorance. Stupidity is King. Let’s hope that this opinion is not held in the other 49 states, but somehow I think it might be. ;-(

  2. #2 Salad Is Slaughter
    February 15, 2008

    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.”

    There’s more evidence for the health benefits of leaches than Baxley’s “an invisible man who lives in the sky made everything” ideas: Maggots and leeches: Good medicine

  3. #3 mark
    February 15, 2008

    So the engineer Kim Geiss says “Until we can say definitely, 100 percent…”
    Is this dimwit the only engineer unfamiliar with factor of safety?

  4. #4 Tom
    February 15, 2008

    Funny how they don’t need 100% certainty to tell all those impressionable young minds that God did it. Oh, that’s right: faith does not require certainty; that’s why they call it faith. In fact, faith all but abhors certainty.

    This starts making the case for homeschooling look more appealing every day. Better that these nitwits teach their kids — and only their kids — this tripe in the sanctity of their own kitchens than they get school boards to adopt it wholesale. (For that matter, what would you have to say about a science-based homeschooler in a Kansas-Board-of-Education-style school district?)

  5. #5 decrepitoldfool
    February 15, 2008

    I’d like to have the survey contain a section in which they try to explain what evolution is. (For most it would be the equivalent of saying that plumbing consists of “pipes and stuff” but that the Bible really had the last word on plumbing by mentioning the fountain at Siloam.)

    Then their answers about whether to teach evolution would be multiplied by a factor determined by their score on explaining what evolution is. Inability to explain even the most basic thing about evolution, would result in your answer being 0.01 times as important as the answer of someone who could explain fully.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    February 15, 2008

    Fool:

    Exactly. It’s been done, sort of. Have a look at this:

    http://tinyurl.com/24ytwv

  7. #7 sailor
    February 15, 2008

    “It has been suggested that with very little engineering, we could cut Florida off and watch it drift away.”
    No need for action. Just wait a hundred years or so and much of it will be covered in water thanks to global warming. See global warming is not all bad.

  8. #8 wrpd
    February 15, 2008

    sailor: 100 years is 100 more years of stupid. I bet if the same Floridians were asked if long division should be taught in school, 20% would say yes, 30% would say no because it’s not in the bible, 30% would say no because it hurts when they try, and 20% would say “What’s long division?”

  9. #9 David Syzdek
    February 18, 2008

    Maybe other states should stop accepting college applicants from Florida because the Florida science standards aren’t acceptable.

  10. #10 Tex Taylor
    March 10, 2008

    Well, I wish they would ask me because I have both a minor and biology and chemistry, am in medical school, and I think most of evolution is crock…it’s speculation at best; then it requires huge leaps that defy both mathematics, thermodynamics and logic.

    In fact, most of the medical school students I reside with believe as I do that evolution does a very poor job of explaining life. So this lie that only dummies believe that evolution is farce is mostly from evolutionists afraid to be challenged about their so-called “theories”.

    Scopes has now been turned on its head in our secular world.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    March 10, 2008

    Tex: I don’t get your last comment about Scopes.

  12. #12 Kevin Calhoun
    March 11, 2008

    Greg: Tex was referencing the Scopes trial. Scopes stood trial for teaching evolutionism where it was forbidden to do so. Now creationism has been banned in much the same way. Pointing out the many flaws (gaping holes, really) in evolutionary “theory” and proposing alternative hypotheses can get you black-balled in the scientific and educational communities. I know, I’ve seen it first-hand.

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    March 11, 2008

    Kevin,

    I know what the scopes trial is, of course, but I don’t get what “Scopes has now been turned on its head in our secular world.” … I’m probably just being thick.

  14. #14 Kevin Calhoun
    March 11, 2008

    Not at all.

    He’s just saying that in today’s more secular world (compared to the time of the Scopes trial) that the roles of evolutionism and creationism have been juxtaposed. Where teaching evolution was once heretical–and a proponent of same would suffer repercussions, now it’s the teaching of creation (or ID) that has been demonized and its proponents could face similar consequences.

    Tex, pipe up if I got this wrong.