Pharyngula

Texas is getting all this attention — they’ve got Don McLeroy! Reviews of curricula with creationists chipping away at them word by word! Insanity reigns, and everyone just acts as if it were standard operating procedure!

I think Florida was feeling neglected, so that state slipped in another creationist education bill. It’s like this is a competition for craziest, most ignorant state in the union.

It’s a good try, Florida, and you’ll always have a place in my heart as the home of so many wackaloons, but you’ve got a long ways to go to beat Crazy Ol’ Uncle Don. Don’t feel like you’ve got to try harder, though. You’ve got better things to which to aspire. Why, I’ll always remember sitting down at that beach in Miami when the lovely young brown-skinned lady stood up in front of me, unselfconsciously took her bikini off, and started oiling herself up all over…that’s the most Florida I want you to be, OK?

Comments

  1. #1 tsig
    March 27, 2009

    You will be attacked as sexist. Did the TW see this post?

  2. #2 Endor
    March 27, 2009

    tsig – grow up.

    They seem to get getting hip to the things that keep getting their crap bills defeated. The wording gets more and more subtle.

  3. #3 Kris
    March 27, 2009

    These comments by PZ are further proof to me that the institution that is “the blog” is in fact Zahavi’s handicap principle at work. —>look out for future posts on this topic. http://tompainesghost.com

  4. #4 Catalin Sandu
    March 27, 2009

    It seems to me there are more and more such legal attacks. So far all their legal actions were defeated in court, but all this reminds me of one of your comments when you came here in Toronto a while ago: what if we loose just one battle?

  5. #5 mikecbraun
    March 27, 2009

    I think it’s a good sign that they are getting so desperate, especially in their classic hotbed states of Florida and Texas. If the kooks in those states are feeling the heat, I think we’re in the driver’s seat. So long as they keep getting beaten back, we’ll be on the road to something approaching rationality and reason in this country.*

    *Fingers not crossed when typing this, because I don’t go for any of that crap, but…I guess tongue somewhat in cheek, but in a hopeful way!

  6. #6 Zifnab
    March 27, 2009

    “– Why, I’ll always remember sitting down at that beach in Miami when the lovely young brown-skinned lady stood up in front of me, unselfconsciously took her bikini off, and started oiling herself up all over?that’s the most Florida I want you to be, OK? –”

    Natural Selection ftw! Hot Bikini Chick, I choose you!

  7. #7 Glen Davidson
    March 27, 2009

    As usual, they want “critical analysis” from students who haven’t been taught the basics of the theory.

    It’s a good way to prevent them from ever becoming competent to critically analyze evolution. Which makes sense, because anyone who has the ability to critically analyze evolution recognizes that only it explains a myriad of facts about biology.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  8. #8 'Tis Himself
    March 27, 2009

    critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution.

    It’s the theory with the evidence.

    Okay, critical analysis over. Now learn how evolution works.

  9. #9 10channel
    March 27, 2009

    “I think Florida was feeling neglected, so that state slipped in another creationist education bill. It’s like this is a competition for craziest, most ignorant state in the union.”

    What about all the other bible belt states, like Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, & cetera?

  10. #10 CS
    March 27, 2009

    How about this idea:
    Let one large state (TX?) make whatever creationist science curriculum they want. The craziest the better. Just plain young earth creationism and no evolution at all.
    Then encourage creationists from elsewhere to move to TX and wise texans to move elsewhere.
    One condition though: those who choose to live in such State won’t be allowed to move back out in 30 years when their State becomes a Fourth World middle-age wasteland.

  11. #11 Randy Randy
    March 27, 2009

    To steal a page from Bush/Cheney’s playbook,
    “We are fighting these terrorists with our military in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond so we do not have to face them in the streets of our own cities.”

    Texas and Florida = Afghanistan and Iraq

    You can either help fight the creationist nutjobs here, or expect them to head to your states next.

  12. #12 Zifnab
    March 27, 2009

    “– Why, I’ll always remember sitting down at that beach in Miami when the lovely young brown-skinned lady stood up in front of me, unselfconsciously took her bikini off, and started oiling herself up all over?that’s the most Florida I want you to be, OK? –”

    Natural Selection ftw! Hot Bikini Chick, I choose you!

  13. #13 mikecbraun
    March 27, 2009

    CS, I think your idea is funny, but we need Texas for all of its oil, gas, beef, uh….borders for hard-working immigrants to sneak across and do the jobs that toothless white guys won’t do, but will complain about having “stolen” from them…did I forget anything?

  14. #14 Qwerty
    March 27, 2009

    CS – That’s a bad idea as Texas has the distinction of using the most textbooks in the nation; so, what Texas decides determines what is taught elsewhere.

  15. #15 Randy Randy
    March 27, 2009

    mikecbraun #13

    did I forget anything?

    Austin. You forgot Austin.

    It’s not quite “Sodom on the Colorado” anymore, but we still have our fair share of liberal, tree hugging, hippy types. God bless ‘em.

  16. #16 Coyote
    March 27, 2009

    Urgh. And people wonder why I moved away.

  17. #17 Kitty'sBitch
    March 27, 2009

    PZ
    Tell us about the lovely young brown-skinned woman again, but say it with a low, husky voice.

  18. #18 mikecbraun
    March 27, 2009

    Randy Randy,
    Was that the same Austin that gave me the joy of watching a sweaty Stevie Ray Vaughan frantically mash his weathered, worn guitar while displaying his horrid teeth…yet produce some of the most glorious sounds to ever enter a human ear hole? Glaring omission on my part.

  19. #19 Prillotashekta
    March 27, 2009

    You know, I’m seriously considering getting teaching certification in Florida and trying to get a job there teaching secondary-level science.
    I figure if there’s going to be any hope for science in that state, they’re going to need people who actually know what the **** they’re talking about teaching the science classes.

  20. #20 Benny the Icepick
    March 27, 2009

    //I’ll always remember sitting down at that beach in Miami when the lovely young brown-skinned lady stood up in front of me, unselfconsciously took her bikini off, and started oiling herself up all over//

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

    Please, do go on.

  21. #21 Sperry
    March 27, 2009

    “The great mountain, Alburz, grew for 800 years until it touched the sky. The first animal, the white bull, lived on the bank of the river Veh Rod. However, the evil spirit, Angra Mainyu, killed it. Its seed was carried to the moon and purified, creating many animals and plants. Across the river lived the first man, Gayomard, bright as the sun. Angra Mainyu also killed him. After a very long time, two more twins were born, and from them came all humans.”

    And that, students, is the critical analysis of evolution.

    [That was the correct myth, wasn't it?]

  22. #22 Newfie
    March 27, 2009

    It’s the theory with the evidence.

    Okay, critical analysis over. Now learn how evolution works.

    Bravo. Now if only that type of thinking would work with these blockheads…

  23. #23 Flori-DUH Rob
    March 27, 2009

    “that’s the most Florida I want you to be, OK?”

    Your wish is my command.

    We better get our shit together before my kids start their science classes. Damn.

  24. #24 He11razor
    March 27, 2009

    Floriduh *IS* the craziest state in the union. It’s the only state that has its own Fark tag and without fail there’s at least 2 or 3 featured articles that hit the main page. Now that’s a barrel of crazy right there.

  25. #25 Shaden Freud
    March 27, 2009

    Dramatization.

    (I know, I know, we’re focusing on the bikini girl instead of the bill)

  26. #26 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    Aww not all of us in Florida are whackaloons nor do we all look hot sans bikini. :)

    And holy shit, I thought for a moment, Flori-DUH Rob was my husband. :) But I asked and it isn’t, so you are safe. :)

    toni

  27. #27 Flori-DUH Rob
    March 27, 2009

    ElectricBarbarella@26-

    Hmm…Wouldn’t mind my wife calling herself ElectricBarbarella. Or at least dressing the part.

    Fight the good fight!!

  28. #28 Steve
    March 27, 2009

    I want to visit the FL of PZ’s experience! All I can remember is the humidity and the orange groves. But that’s Winter Haven, FL, for ya! Yuck!

  29. #29 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    Rob–my own husband likes it too :)

    And Steve, should check out Ruskin some time–our mosquitoes are flippin’ ginormous!!

    Toni

  30. #30 Brandon
    March 27, 2009

    That story was prompted by our (Florida Citizens for Science) news release this morning http://www.flascience.org/wp/?p=973.

    The bill isn’t new. It was filed weeks ago and it wasn’t done quietly. What is new is that the Florida Academy of Sciences issued a statement against the bill.

  31. #31 Feynmaniac
    March 27, 2009

    Why, I’ll always remember sitting down at that beach in Miami when the lovely young brown-skinned lady stood up in front of me, unselfconsciously took her bikini off, and started oiling herself up all over?

  32. #32 Fernando Magyar
    March 27, 2009

    On the one hand we don’t have the critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution.

    On the other we do have lovely young brown-skinned ladies on the beach, unselfconsciously naked, and oiling themselves up all over?

    We’ll It’s tough, but someone’s gotta live here and put up the good fight.

  33. #33 Flori-DUH Rob
    March 27, 2009

    Toni- Can’t say I can vouch for the size of the mosquitoes in your neck of the woods, but what we on the east coast (may) lack in size, we make up for in quantity.

  34. #34 Phoenix Woman
    March 27, 2009

    Florida: eeeeek!

    Meanwhile, over at Salon, to quote Curly Howard: A-WOOWooWooWooWOO!

    For a decade or so, brain studies have seemed on the brink of answering questions about the nature of consciousness, the self, thought and experience. But they never do, argues University of California at Berkeley philosopher Alva NoŽ, because these things are not found solely in the brain itself.

    In his new book, “Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons From the Biology of Consciousness,” NoŽ attacks the brave new world of neuroscience and its claims that brain mechanics can explain consciousness. Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Francis Crick wrote, “You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” While NoŽ credits Crick for drawing popular and scientific attention to the question of consciousness, he thinks Crick’s conclusions are dead wrong and dangerous.

    Noe’s conversational style is gentle, attentive and easygoing. But, in true philosopher fashion, he also picks his words deliberately, as if stepping off the path of right thinking would result in some tragic plummet into the abyss of illogic.

  35. #35 Thunderbird5
    March 27, 2009

    Florida. Fetid miasmatic concreted sweatbox. I spent 2002-4 living in WPB (my relocation was originally supposed to be to NYC and I was thoroughly gutted at the not-my-choice change…) and I hated hated hated it. I cannot understand why so many other Brits revere the place. Especially Orlando. That Street of The 1,000 Parking Lots (or whatever its called) is heaving with my compatriots pootling up and down in their rented-from-Hertz Geos.
    The Kennedy Space Centre was cool, though.

  36. #36 tsig
    March 27, 2009

    Endor | March 27, 2009 2:55 PM

    tsig – grow up.

    They seem to get getting hip to the things that keep getting their crap bills defeated. The wording gets more and more subtle.”

    I guess without smilies and lol’s you don’t get it.

  37. #37 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    Rob–too true, my friend.. too true..

    And, as someone who is about to return to school for her teaching degree in Biology, I do have one question to ask:

    Do you think that if we allowed them to place Creationism in our Science, and since the point of teaching evolution is because it is true and works, AND since the one main point of science is to prove WHY it is true and works–thus also proving why something is false and does not; that the Creationists will allow us to teach it as what is false and does not work?

    That is: Can I teach my students that Evolution is true and works and since Creationism is the “complement” to it, that would mean Creationism is not true and does not work?

    If the Creationists answer “no”, then we absolutely cannot have Creation in a science classroom. :)

    Makes sense to me.

    toni

  38. #38 alatham
    March 27, 2009

    Feynmaniac just made my day.

  39. #39 Flori-DUH Rob
    March 27, 2009

    Toni @37-

    Bottom line- Creationism has no place in any arena that deals with ‘hard science’ (I’m not a scientist or teacher)unless it is presented in a manner that illustrates WHY it is NOT science.

    While I agree with your logic, good luck convincing the fundies here that Creationism is NOT true and does not work- regardless of the mountains of evidence.

  40. #40 Alex
    March 27, 2009

    What the creationists have successfully done is to hide the fact that the 2 ideas of origins are not on equal footing scientifically. That’s why in Dove the ID proponents admitted their desire to redefine science.

    When these bill’s get introduced, why is it simply not asked why a Scientific Theory need compete with a non-Theory? Creationism is not a Scientific Theory. How can the 2 share the same classroom time?

    The remedy for the creationists is very straight forward. Do the work necessary to escalate your (feeble, inane, vacuous, childish, dogmatic) creationist assertions from Hypothesis to Theory.

  41. #41 Gmon
    March 27, 2009

    You had me at the bikini girl.

  42. #42 Alex
    March 27, 2009

    Corrections for #40:

    Dove = Dover;
    Bill’s = Bills;

    Friday afternoon carelessness.

  43. #43 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    Rob– I wholeheartedly agree with you that it does not belong in a science class at all. I, personally, don’t ever want to have to teach it. Which is why I asked my question. And yeah, our fundies are a special breed, aren’t they?

    toni

  44. #44 Bill Dauphin
    March 27, 2009

    Feynmaniac (@31):

    You didn’t mark that NSFW? ;^)

    I’m reminded of (but I couldn’t find an online copy to link to) the cartoon by the late B. Kliban (famous for cat cartoons) entitled Map Filth, which depicts the U.S. with a speech balloon somewhere near Boston (IIRC) saying “Hey Europe! Eat my Florida!”

  45. #45 tmaxPA
    March 27, 2009

    In reality, all science courses should cover the strengths and weaknesses of all historical theories. Any decent biology curriculum is going to cover creationism as “what we used to presume was true until we learned better.” Any law that can be interpreted to allow/require this, should be interpreted to do this.

    Now about that brown-skinned lovely….

  46. #46 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    [quote]Any decent biology curriculum is going to cover creationism as “what we used to presume was true until we learned better.”[/quote]

    (hope the html is correct)

    tmax: I think the key words in your statement are “we learned better” and that was my point–can I teach it along side Evolution as “we now know better” (not to believe this) and if not, then it doesn’t have a place.

    It seems they want it taught as an *equal* amongst the sciences, when it is clearly not. It’s the *equal* part I’m going to have trouble with because I’ll refuse to teach it as such.

    toni

  47. #47 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    damn it, html sucks… I guess it’s all caps then?

    toni

  48. #48 Iason Ouabache
    March 27, 2009

    From the article I read this bill will more than likely die in committee (or even before that) because Rep. Wise didn’t leave them anytime to actually debate it and then send it to their Senate. This is more than likely a bone he is throwing to the Religious Right to drum up votes. I’m not going to worry about it yet.

  49. #49 Alex
    March 27, 2009

    Barbarella, instead of the braces [], you need to use the less-than (shift comma) and greater-than (shift period) symbols. Also, you should always initially click the Preview button instead of the Post button.

    Hope that helps.

  50. #50 Iason Ouabache
    March 27, 2009

    Oops, got those backwards. Wise is a state senator.

  51. #51 'Tis Himself
    March 27, 2009

    The problem with Florida is they’ve got this huge cockroaches. The natives are afraid they’ll evolve into something worse, so they try to pretend evolution doesn’t happen.

  52. #52 Endor
    March 27, 2009

    “I guess without smilies and lol’s you don’t get it.”

    You mean the nonexistent “humor” that you’re backpedaling for? No, I didn’t.

  53. #53 AF Comm Guy
    March 27, 2009

    Does anybody here know about Texas government and how one goes about getting on the Board of Education? I still have about 7 years to go in the military before I retire so this might be a good time for me to get more educated on our politics. I hear a lot of bitching and snark but few people are willing to step up and try to take back the BOE from from the nut jobs out there. I’ve considered going into politics after retiring and this might be a good place to do it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  54. #54 Alex
    March 27, 2009

    Endor, grow up yourself. You and PZ are pathetic because you allow your biology to cause you to treat women differently than men. If a man “unselfconsciously took his swimsuit of, and began oiling himself all over,” PZ probably wouldn’t have mentioned it, or if he did, he probably wouldn’t have been so happy about it. That’s because he is allowing his views to be based on his biological “need” to have children. When people allow not only themselves–but their beliefs and views–to be controlled by biological urges, it just pisses me off so much.

  55. #55 Bill Dauphin
    March 27, 2009

    Umm, PZ….

    I don’t mean to distract you from your fond memories of naked brown girls, nor from fighting the good fight against rampant cdesign proponentsists, but when you’ve got a spare minute, could you get some of your fellow Minnesotans together and do somefuckingthing about Michele Bachmann? Because she’s advocating the overthrow of the federal government and describing her job in the Congress as being “a foreign correspondent, reporting from enemy lines.” [emphasis mine]

    There’s no Constitutional provision for electoral recall of members of Congress (I have reason to know this owing to the intense frustration we Dems in Connecticut felt over the behavior of “our” junior senator during the recent campaign, so it was ironic that I found this discussion of recall on LIEberman’s Senate website)… but the House can expel a member. Is there any way for Minnesotans to organize an expulsion petition? Or is perhaps advocating revolution an impeachable offense? Honestly, this person scares the fuck out of me.

  56. #56 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    wrong type of brackets..okay, let’s try this:
    The problem with Florida is they’ve got this huge cockroaches. The natives are afraid they’ll evolve into something worse, so they try to pretend evolution doesn’t happen.

    While I don’t pretend evolution didn’t happen, we do have some fucking huge cockroaches that I do fear evolving into something very, very frightening. Like, Men in Black frightening.

    toni

  57. #57 Alex
    March 27, 2009

    Barbarella, I think the tag name is blockquote, not quote. Also, clicking the Preview button allows you to see how your post will render. In the preview area there is the opportunity to edit your post, and the tags, prior to submitting it to the thread.

  58. #58 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    okay, I give the fuck up. Damn HTML..I’ve previewed this message several times and edited it in various ways, why are the quotes not working?
    ************************
    The problem with Florida is they’ve got this huge cockroaches. The natives are afraid they’ll evolve into something worse, so they try to pretend evolution doesn’t happen.
    ************************
    Does not belong to me, it should have been quoted in my post above. And I previewed it last time too. grrrrr..

    toni

  59. #59 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    okay regular html just uses the quote tag, not blockquote.. now I know and knowing is more than these religious whackloons have. :)

    toni

  60. #60 Bill Dauphin
    March 27, 2009

    toni (@46, et seq.):

    The tags you used were correct… but they’re BBCode (which is used in some BBS and forum software), not HTML. I’ve participated in fora that use both, and sometimes forget and use the wrong scheme. Generally speaking, square brackets = BBCode; angle brackets (i.e., < and >) = HTML, and the simplest tags (e.g., for italics and bold) are otherwise the same. When you get to stuff like linking to a URL or embedding an image, they diverge. For quotes, the HTML I use is <blockquote>quoted text</blockquote>; I’m not sure if just quote instead of blockquote will work in the HTML version.

    Alex:

    If a man “unselfconsciously took his swimsuit of, and began oiling himself all over,” PZ probably wouldn’t have mentioned it, or if he did, he probably wouldn’t have been so happy about it.

    Grow up yourself: What you’re noticing is easily explained by the fact that PZ happens to be a hetero male, with no need to impute any sexism to him. If he were a gay male or a hetero female instead, he’d be equally likely to appreciate the scenario you posit.

    Jebus F. Christ on broken crutch!… can’t a fellow make a sexy comment without being accused of sexism?

  61. #61 Alex
    March 27, 2009

    Bill, I agree. However, hell hath no fury…

    But it does sound like someone might not look good in a bikini.

  62. #62 AVSN
    March 27, 2009

    Lots of innuendo in this thread. I suppose its just me but I had to see the Simpsons before I ever got the phallic reference to Florida. to me it always looked like the vacuum cleaner handle.

    That said, crazies are everywhere, Florida no exception. I live in Seattle, and we gots em here too.

  63. #63 bobxxxx
    March 27, 2009

    Our population is god-soaked and stupid, but at least we don’t have ice covered roads.

    – bobxxxx, Margate, FL

  64. #64 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    The tags you used were correct… but they’re BBCode

    And that is where I too, get confused. :) I mainly use BBCode and seriously thought that translated into HTML. But I see I got them correct this time.

    And I won’t accuse PZ of sexism. Hell, even *I* sit on the beach and make comments about both genders. :)

    (of course, the better one looks in their suit, the sweeter the comment.. hehe)

    toni

  65. #65 Alex
    March 27, 2009

    I see a blockquote in Barbarella’s post. Ah success. Sometimes it’s all about the small victories. WTG Barbarella.

  66. #66 John Atkeson
    March 27, 2009

    1. We are all expecting a Google satellite view to the location of this beach, please.

    2. Is it possible to introduce a bill in Texas requiring they teach evolution in churches? It doesn’t have to pass, it just has to waste creationist time and money playing the defense.

  67. #67 Helioprogenus
    March 27, 2009

    If there’s one thing, we here in Hawaii can learn from Florida, and I mean only one thing, it’s to allow toplessness. Why must we muck around like it’s the Victorian era, when all the beautiful women are just aching to expose themselves to the vibrant ultraviolet rays of the sun (and me of course)?

    Seriously though, as PZ pointed it, toplessness on Florida beaches might be the only redeeming quality to our armpit of a state. Texas on the other hand I’m trying really hard and I’m running a blank. Maybe if we make it a point to teach evolutionary theory to hispanic immigrants who wish to become naturalized citizens, progress might come sooner.

  68. #68 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    I see a blockquote in Barbarella’s post. Ah success. Sometimes it’s all about the small victories.

    (channels Homer) “stupid small victory”. :)

    And bob4x–I think I’d take ice covered over “god-soaked and stupid”. :)

    toni

  69. #69 Mark B.
    March 27, 2009

    Does anybody here know about Texas government and how one goes about getting on the Board of Education?

    The State Board of Election (SBOE) is elected from 15 districts in Texas. Because the districts are huge and very few people pay attention to races this far down on the ballot, it’s possible for people to get into office without really really talking about their philosophy beyond their small target audience. Most people don’t know which person on the ballot is an extremist who wants to take education back to the dark ages and unless you go to a church who tells you who to vote for, you aren’t going to care. Until your kids are taught a backwards agenda which dooms them to a life of uneducated ignorance.

    Do us a favor. DO run for the SBOE, and make your campaign based on teaching children real science instead of superstitious claptrap. I hope you succeed. Unfortunately, in a lot of areas in Texas, that doesn’t play well.

  70. #70 Fernando Magyar
    March 27, 2009

    ElectricBarbarella @ 56

    While I don’t pretend evolution didn’t happen, we do have some fucking huge cockroaches that I do fear evolving into something very, very frightening. Like, Men in Black frightening.

    I live in south Florida and while our roaches (Palmetto bugs) are bigger than the ones I lived with in NYC they still can’t hold a candle to the ones I saw in Amazon region near Belem Brazil.

    If you tried to step on one it would hang out on either side of your foot. Next your foot would start to slowly move as it squirmed out from under it. Then it would get up on it’s hind legs an let out an angry hiss and call it’s mother and big brothers and sisters…

  71. #71 John C. Welch
    March 27, 2009

    The problem is, y’all keep seeing FL as one state. It’s not. more like 5-6 loosely coupled geographic regions:

    Key West, where I plan to retire one day

    Middle/Upper Keys, which is SCARY REDNECK ISLAND CHAIN

    Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, where I grew up. I can’t describe it, you have to live there a few decades

    Orlando/Kissmee, home of Disney and THE HOLY LAND EXPERIENCE

    Tampa/St. Pete.

    The rest of the state, SCARY REDNECK LAND.

    Remember this is the state where the KKK had its own “Adopt a Highway” section on Highway 19 in Pasco County. The brothers from Tampa/St. Pete used to drive up when the Kloons were out there picking up trash in their robes and play “Ping the 40 of the racist asshole’s skull” at 50-60 MPH. All good fun.

    It’s not that FL is backwards. It’s that this is the craziest-ass state in the union, and works its ass off to prove it every day. TX is out there, but on every level. FL is Shithouse-Rat crazier than everyone.

    But then I drive to Key West, and watch an entire city stop and watch the sun set…and think that I can live with that.

  72. #72 tmaxPA
    March 27, 2009

    EB@46 – I know where you’re coming from, I’m trying to help. The problem I’m seeing is that your (entirely appropriate) exclusion of creationism is what looks like “intolerance of ideas” to the ignorant. The only-subtly different approach I’m looking for is a more constant awareness of the ‘alternative theory’. And yes I know that sounds heretical the way I said it.

    Instead of believing that because competent scientists concluded that evolution by natural selection is indisputable fact almost a century ago, evolution can be taught as a confirmed phenomena like plate tectonics or astronomy, we need to recognize that it isn’t like that at all. Because it involves us humans, it truly does need to pass a higher test than scientific validity before it can be taught to children. Every one of the common arguments used by religionists have strong parallels in the scientific history of the theory.

    Darwin himself is the first to bring up the question of ‘transitional forms’, and there are several ways that Darwin has been satisfied. Most obviously by the discovery of transitional forms decades later showing how birds and dinosaurs are related. Religionists don’t argue against Mendelian inheritance. Our children need to be taught how profound the support for ‘Darwinism’ was when the mechanism of DNA was discovered.

    And of course I’m sure they are, some of them at least. I learned all these things in school, though without having these factoids re-enforced by decades of reading on the subjects I’m sure I’d have forgotten them. But PEOPLE still argue against evolution, even if competent scientists do, so we have to teach about tictalic, and the fact that the truth of common descent is proven by genetics, not fossils. And that speciation on “geologically sudden” time scales does not refute natural selection even a little, as that amounts to thousands of generations or more.

    So I meant more than one sentence at the beginning of the curriculum addressing creationism. I meant treating creationism as the null hypothesis every time it comes up, and teaching how it is refuted, and not just that it is refuted. For a while, until we get a generation or two comfortable with the real world and capable of thinking rationally about scientific things, even when they pertain to our internal narrative.

  73. #73 PZ Myers
    March 27, 2009

    You don’t understand. She wasn’t just topless. She took everything off, and then she spent about ten minutes making sure every spot was glistening with oil. The experience has colored my impression of Florida ever since.

  74. #74 puseaus
    March 27, 2009

    What is so frightening with the idea of a world of sanity, rationality and humanism? Seems like a win-win to me.

  75. #75 ElectricBarbarella
    March 27, 2009

    @Fernando
    Thanks for the visual. :) Yeah, I know all about those giant hissing cockroaches and wish them a fiery death a thousand times over. Evil little shits.

    @John C. Welch
    Born and raised here (sadly) and I agree 100% with every flipping word you said. I hate it here. I absolutely hate it. Although, I’m in the Tampa/St. Pete area and you forgot that it has its own label–Redneck Mexican Land. That’s Ruskin right now.
    (for the record, I am not racist, I’m frickin’ Cuban for pete’s sake. I can make fun of my “brother/sisters”).

    Although, I thought that stretch of road had adoption removed because of the outcry that followed due to the KKK adopting it?

    toni

  76. #76 Alex
    March 27, 2009

    Interesting PZ, but I’m still not quite getting the picture. What do you mean “every spot” was glistening? Forgive me, sometimes I can be a bit dense.

  77. #77 mas528
    March 27, 2009

    Voting on what is science is an abdication of every educational ideal.

    If they want to teach a competing theory, they need to put up or shut up.

    Show me a real positive theory of creation with real explanatory power. I say positive because it must not resort to a refutation of evolution.

    I do not have to refute phlogiston to explain fire.

    I will even give them a pass on the very beginning of life.

    Show timelines. Explain fossil evidence.

    Explain why it seems that the intelligence doing the designing had its head up its ass.

    If they decide to explain life and use the bible as evidence they will have to select a single one of the creation stories.

    If they actually crafted a reasonable theory it would set the scientific world abuzz with excitement as the hypothesis of hidden matter in the universe and the competing string theories for physics.

    And I do think that the 10 questions and answers should be taught. It is a good demonstration of the failures and lies of I.

  78. #78 Rose
    March 27, 2009

    That’s how I remember Florida..and I spent my first 20 years there. But you have to realize that South Florida is like a different country than North Florida.

    Thanks for the link and it inspired a rant– http://jewmanist.com/2009/03/27/stupid-florida

  79. #79 Bill Dauphin
    March 27, 2009

    PZ:

    You don’t understand. She wasn’t just topless. She took everything off,

    Yah, that’s what I thought you meant (i.e., “bikini” seemed likely to refer to the bottoms, or the whole suit; if you’d meant “top” you’d have said “top”), and I thank you for the delightful mental wallpaper. That said…

    Oy! On the God, abortionist thread I can’t get people to talk about sex and on this thread I can’t get y’all to stop! One more try:

    WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

    Michele Bachmann is handing out warpaint, teabags, and AK-47s!! She’s referring to Congress as the “enemy” and calling for revolution!!

    [deep, shuddering breath]

    I know, I know: Y’all’ll probably tell me she’s so hopelessly stupid that she poses no threat to anyone. But we all thought that about W, too, and about Sarah Palin (who came as close as anyone could have to getting McSame elected). I’m not really worried that she’s going to lead a revolution from her House offices… but I am worried that the reason she’s giving all these insane quotes is that she’s building a constituency for bigger things. The fact that the batshit-crazy wing of the Republican party has been rendered largely irrelevant nationally at the ballot box makes them, I’m terribly afraid, more dangerous rather than less.

  80. #80 tmaxPA
    March 27, 2009

    mas528;

    I do not have to refute phlogiston to explain fire.

    You’re right. Because we’re not made of fire. Phlogiston was never an explanation for our very existence as self-aware entitites.

    So, no, you can’t just teach that evolution is correct. You must, if you expect to get the job done (once and for all) teach that evolution keeps getting proven correct over and over and over again.

  81. #82 Helioprogenus
    March 27, 2009

    PZ, although I appreciate the fact that you got eye candy worth your whole life time, but for us in Hawaii, I can do with one step at a time. First, the tops, then, after intense debates, probably when marijuana finally becomes legalized, the bottoms may also thankfully be removed. Sadly, few of us will be around to appreciate it. Although I hear it’s going to be a spectacular view of Haley’s comet.

  82. #83 Bill Dauphin
    March 27, 2009

    Suave (Rico?):

    Zomg, indeed! BTW, not only may we have to completely review physics, we might also have to completely review this discussion of Florida:

    “…Jacobo Konigsberg of the University of Florida…” [emphasis added]

    Jus’ sayin’…

  83. #84 AlanC
    March 27, 2009

    In addition to Brandon @30 and as another Fl Citizens for Science, Sen. Wise’s bill is much subdued over what he originally talked about doing. He first announced that he was going to introduce a bill to “mandate the teaching of intelligent design” in FL public schools! This was reported in several FL newspapers, which to my everlasting giggles considering this state’s religious fundies, was met with howls of derision, even in the Jacksonville newspaper’s on-line feedback where it was published (Wise is the state senator from the district that includes JAX as its largest urban center). That response gave me hope for the future of our FL kids.

    Of course, Sen. Wise is now using the S&W argument of the DI. Apparently, someone whispered in his ear the monetarily terrifying word “Dover!”, perhaps Casey? (Nothing seems to scare a fundie in office more than getting blamed for a useless loss of money from a lost lawsuit), and he mollified his attack on science to this half-assed change to the standards.

    He must still be fought, and we rational Floridians will do just that. Please people, don’t think that all Floridians countenance this dishonest travesty. We are fighting on …!

  84. #85 tsig
    March 27, 2009

    ” Endor | March 27, 2009 5:05 PM

    “I guess without smilies and lol’s you don’t get it.”

    You mean the nonexistent “humor” that you’re backpedaling for? No, I didn’t.”

    Glad you can read minds because you sure can’t read English.
    Look at #54 and you will see what I was referring to.

  85. #86 Bill Dauphin
    March 27, 2009

    Wise is the state senator from the district that includes JAX as its largest urban center

    In keeping with the up-thread taxonomy of Florida’s regions, I’ll note that that part of the state is actually South South Georgia.

  86. #87 AlanC
    March 27, 2009

    For BillD @86, we in the panhandle consider ourselves in LA, no, not Los Angeles, but Lower Alabama. Notwithstanding our geographic association with fervent “Bush” country (with all that implies ;-), there are rational people that live here … we’re just separated by miles of country populated with people that are into woo.

  87. #88 He11razor
    March 27, 2009

    Miami != Florida

  88. #89 Jenny Ashford
    March 27, 2009

    Florida, my reviled birthplace. Every day it makes me want to cry, between the humidity and the giant cockroaches and the hurricanes and the NASCAR fans and now this very special bill. It’s just EVERYTHING! Waaaah! There, it’s made me cry again. Happy, Florida?

    Does anyone want to “loan” me a big huge pile of cash so I can get the hell out of this…hell? Pretty please?

  89. #90 No BS
    March 28, 2009

    Just a couple of thoughts…

    1) Take a moment and read the entire bill;

    http://www.flsenate.gov/data/session/2009/Senate/bills/billtext/pdf/s2396.pdf

    It’s well….funny. A series of conservative bullet points. Not just about the teaching of evolution.

    2) I live in the Tampa bay area. Beats scraping ice off my windshield any day.

    3) To those concerned with our roaches. Yep they are big. But they also don’t infest houses like the little German roaches you have up north. They tend to stay outside. Now if you want to talk nasty lets do alligators, snakes, bufo marinas, and wingless wasps. Oh and walking sticks (the insect variety) that shoot tear gas out of their ass.

  90. #91 Rick Schauer
    March 28, 2009

    PZ, where exactly is this beach? …next time I’m there I’ll definitely have to scope it out.

    John C. Welch @71
    Nice description of Florida life and very accurate. The only other nuance is that almost everyone is armed to the teeth. Florida is the most pistol-packing place I’ve ever been.

    AF Comm Guy @53
    Running for the BOE is a worthy objective. Keep us posted when you do it and we’ll pass the hat and rig the polls.

    My best wishes for your every success!

  91. #92 Gene
    March 28, 2009

    For ElectricBarbarella and all others challenged by html…

    This link takes you to the w3schools web site. You can learn about all sorts of web technology there in easy, interactive, online tutorials.

    http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp

  92. #93 Gene
    March 28, 2009

    Do us a favor. DO run for the SBOE, and make your campaign based on teaching children real science instead of superstitious claptrap. I hope you succeed. Unfortunately, in a lot of areas in Texas, that doesn’t play well.

    Or you could do what many politicians do (especially the right-wing) and LIE. Tell them that you’re going to push the right-wing agenda, get elected, and once there, you’ve got your platform. Then you can *vote your conscience* and do the correct thing: support evolution and shut down the creationists.

    Is that unethical and manipulative? Yes. But this is war, and, as they say, all’s fair in love and war. Future generations of children will thank you. And if you are vilified for “unethical” behavior and your reputation trashed, you can wear your martyrdom with pride, knowing in your mind and your heart that you really did do what’s best for the children.

    Either way, good luck to you…

  93. #94 ElectricBarbarella
    March 28, 2009

    The link that No BS posted is pretty much standard in all of our schools. I don’t understand why they need a bill teaching things already taught. And unless I read it too fast, I saw nothing in that bill about Creationism, only evolution.

    Did they change it or something?

    toni

  94. #95 Michael
    March 28, 2009

    PZ was almost certainly on Haulover Beach, just N of Miami. I would just point out to you red blooded hetero males that you will also be expected to take your clothes of, because Haulover is nude.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haulover_Beach

  95. #96 Rick
    March 28, 2009

    Michael #95

    …Sweet!

  96. #97 mas528
    March 28, 2009

    TmaxPA said stupidly

    You’re right. Because we’re not made of fire. Phlogiston was never an explanation for our very existence as self-aware entitites.

    So, no, you can’t just teach that evolution is correct

    Would you please read?
    Anyone else would have put that sentence in line with the previous paragraph about theories standing on their own.

    There is no id theory, there is no creationist theory. Period, next case!
    Talk to me about teaching when they have a theory of any sort.

    Fuck the dumbass Texans that will allow this and fuck their dumb ass children.
    I guess we need to get cheap hookers from somewhere!

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