Donna Callaway, a member of the Florida Board of Education, has an editorial that has to be read to be believed. This is a woman who has drunk deep of the Kool-Aid.
First, she’s babbles about how surprised she was that the revision of the science standards included major elements, such as evolution, of which she disapproved. This seems to be hard for many people to grasp, especially some of those who are appointed to education boards, but the board members are administrators, not scientists. To write the science standards, they actually recruit knowledgeable, qualified people to put together a document that reflects the current state of science: it doesn’t matter if the bureaucrat in charge of implementing the standards doesn’t know the science. Problems arise when one of these paper pushers decides to impose her brand of ignorance and attempt to override the efforts of the standards writing team (a situation that arose right here in Minnesota several years ago, with Cheri Yecke’s efforts to sabotage our state science standards.)
Callaway is alarmed at one of the Florida standards: “Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms. A. Evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology.” Your alarm is irrelevant, Donna. You aren’t a biologist. That standard is accurate and properly represents the opinion of the scientific community. If instruction in the state of Florida is to prepare students for understanding the reality of biology rather than the errors of your ideology, then that is what should be taught.
Not only does she not have a clue about what her job entails, but she’s swaddled in meters-thick layers of delusion.
If there is a victory for those who oppose the evolution standard as written or amended, it is that they stood shoulder to shoulder, not in a fanatical, demanding way as many may have expected. Rather, they stood kindly with a sense of calm assurance, with open and transparent reasoning that confused their opponents who expected a religious battle. This was never that battle; it was a battle over student rights. Those rights were not recognized.
Well, they might have confused their opponents, but it wasn’t because they were open and transparent and reasonable — it was because they were batshit insane. Have they already forgotten the orange man?
As for whether there was no religious battle, note that this editorial was published in the Florida Baptist Witness and, well, read on.
I left the SBOE meeting emotionally drained but reaffirmed by the love for children and the respect for others that I saw in those who hold beliefs with which I can identify. And, speaking of identity, I began my comments to the SBOE with an acknowledgement that I have a religious identity. That identity urges me to use the Master Teacher as my example.
(Trust me, I don’t think she’s talking about Richard Feynman here.)
The model He set for us 2,000 years ago is so appropriate for today. He allowed Himself to be questioned. He never thrust his belief on anyone. He allowed both Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman to question Him, each from an opposite end of the human spectrum. It was as if He said, “Ask me questions. I will answer. It may not be what you want to hear, but there is more. I invite you to come and see. Decide for yourself.” Learning took place under those circumstances.
We very much want that kind of learning experience to occur for our children. When they are not just allowed, but encouraged to debate issues, they explore them, search for evidence, think critically, and then have an ownership of the knowledge they gain. Adults have a right to do this. How can we deny that to our children?
In the immortal words of that masterful tactician, Bill Buckingham, “Two thousand years ago someone died on a cross. Can’t someone take a stand for him?” Oh, right, we’re supposed to believe these bozos are promoting Intelligent Design with purely secular intent. If there is a god, why does he keep promoting his most stupid followers to school boards?