Wednesday, February 20, 2008

There’s always a catch.

Maybe we should ask Matthew if he went to school in Florida. What? At this point in time, I think it's a perfectly legitimate question. Via ThinkProgress (emphasis all mine):

Today, Florida’s Board of Education voted 4-3 to change standards for teaching science in Florida’s public schools. The Miami Herald reports:

For the first time ever, evolution is to be taught clearly and explicitly in Florida classrooms now that the Florida Board of Education Tuesday approved a batch of new science standards that says the ”E” word.

But there’s a catch: Evolution will be taught as “the Scientific Theory of Evolution.”

Previously, Florida’s science standards referred to evolution as “biological changes over time.” The shift to evolution was widely embraced by Florida’s scientists, school teachers, and university professors.

Yet a successful lobbying campaign by a coalition of conservative groups, such as the Christian Coalition of Florida and the Florida Family Policy Council, managed to convince the board to insert the caveat. They said they were “vigorously opposed” to the evolution language because it “clashes with their religious convictions or their personal beliefs that evolution has not been proved.”

Unfortunately, however, the right’s tactics seemed to be mostly driven by ignorance. At a public hearing, one Florida Panhandle resident held up two oranges and mockingly said that “after reading all the material” on evolution, he has a “conviction” that one of the oranges “is the first cousin of somebody’s pet cat” and the other, “the parent of somebody’s pet dog.”

I got nothin’.


liberal supporter said...

This one is easy! Every course title should now be prefaced with "the Scientific Theory of", since absolutely nothing can be proven really, can it?

The Scientific Theory of Number Work
The Scientific Theory of Printing - two spaces high
The Scientific Theory of Printing - one space high (advanced level)
The Scientific Theory of Reading
The Scientific Theory of Science
The Scientific Theory of Art
The Scientific Theory of Phys Ed.
The Scientific Theory of Recess

E in MD said...

I have no problem with them presenting the 'Scientific Theory of Evolution' because that's precisely what it is.

But they should also spend about an hour a week going over the definition of Theory as well.

Hell I'd be supportive of a mention of ID in science class so long as the lecture is "How intelligence design is Christian religious claptrap and not science."

Nullig said...

The Fictional Belief of Intelligent Design.

Ti-Guy said...

"How intelligence design is Christian religious claptrap and not science."

I'd go for that. You can actually prove it's claptrap through science.

Which is one of things that really hocks the Christoids off, since the reverse isn't true.

liberal supporter said...

I recall a high school teacher telling us his theory for how rockets go to the moon. He said that Superman, moving faster than the human eye can follow, picks it up and throws it into space.

None of us could prove him wrong, thus illustrating the idea that different hypotheses exist, but some work better than others at explaining things. We kept coming up with reasons Superman couldn't be doing it, and he would simply expand the list of Superman's abilities.

ID might qualify as a hypothesis, but has insufficient rigor to be a theory. At some point in a big enough theory, you have to make appeals to the supernatural, which means you say "we haven't figured that out yet". But if the entire theory is an appeal to the supernatural, it is of little use for any practical purpose. A theory allows you to design experiments and predict the results.

¢rÄbG®äŠŠ said...

I love the logic. Because there exist things that we're not yet able to fully explain with the science, let's throw the whole thing out and just attribute everything to magic, none of which we can even begin to explain. That's, like, way more solid.

liberal supporter said...

Yes, all kinds of things can't be explained by science. On the other hand we have "Where did God come from?". That's only one question, and if you ignore that one unsolved mystery, everything else is explained!

I think it is the tendency to put all one's eggs in one basket. So science has all kinds of unexplained mysteries. Isn't it just so much easier to have only one big mystery?

Finances getting you down? Car payments, house payments, credit card payments and bookie payments. How can you keep track of them all? Just come into Sharks-R-Us and we'll fix you up right away! With just one convenient payment, you'll have peace of mind. One God, one payment! How hard is that? So much better than all those untidy loose ends!

KEvron said...

"Yes, all kinds of things can't be explained by science."

actually, all things can be explained by science, and, given the time and the opportunity, perhaps we'll one day evolve into beings which can understand the science behind all things. as it is, most of us cannot understand much of the current science used to explain some things.


Sheena said...

Here is the answer, somewhat approximating 42