I have a love-hate relationship with Florida. The “hate” part of the equation comes from their shameful treatment of the manatee issue, their conservative Republican politics, their wanton destruction of the Everglades, and now, giving consideration to putting intelligent design in schools. As a product of the Florida public school system, I’m intensely grateful to the excellent teachers I had who instilled in me wonder for the natural world.
Polk County is close to where my entire family lives (Highland County) and close to where I went to undergrad (New College in Sarasota). A majority of Polk County School Board members want intelligent design in addition to evolution taught in public schools. People, do you realize how long it took for me to shrug off the trappings of anti-evolutionist mystical nonsense? And I wasn’t even formally “educated” to that effect.
Board member Kay Fields said last week she wants intelligent design, which is promoted by some Christian groups, taught in science classes in addition to evolution.
“If it ever comes to the board for a vote, I will vote against the teaching of evolution as part of the science curriculum,” Lofton said. “If (evolution) is taught, I would want to balance it with the fact that we may live in a universe created by a supreme being as well.”
Picture me, mouth agape, filled with shame over my former state of residence. Even worse is that currently, Florida doesn’t require the teaching of evolution at all, only that students are made known that biological organisms change over time. Yeeech. The new science standards, which Ms. Lofton takes such exception to, would require the proper teaching of the theory of evolution. The horror.
I’ll continue to quote mine from the article, as I am a glutton for punishment.
“My tendency would be to have both sides shared with students since neither side can be proven,” Tim Harris said.
“I don’t have a conflict with intelligent design versus evolution,” Sellers said. “The two go together.”
“It crosses the line with people who are Christians,” Lofton said. “Evolution is offensive to a lot of people.”
There are two pro-evolutionites on the Board, though.
“The standards seem to be supported by many of our science teachers,” Reddout said. “It doesn’t make any difference what our personal opinions are.”
“You’re talking about separation of church and state,” O’Reilly said. “I believe in intelligent design personally, but the court has ruled against it. We cannot break the law if it is set down before us.”
Now excuse me while I steel myself against the international ridicule of my peers.