Sunday, May 4, 2008

Science 1, Superstition 0

National Center for Science Education:

Antievolution bills dead in Florida
When the Florida legislature ended its session on May 2, 2008, legislative attempts to open the door to creationism died in the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 2692, as originally introduced, purported to protect the right of teachers to "objectively present scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific views regarding biological and chemical evolution." The bill resembled a string of similar bills in Alabama as well as a model bill that the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, the institutional home of "intelligent design" creationism, recently began to promote, and was widely viewed as a backlash against the treatment of evolution in Florida's new state science standards.

As NCSE reported, SB 2692's originally identical House counterpart, HB 1483, was substantially altered, requiring public schools to provide "[a] thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution." The phrase "critical analysis" is commonly used by "intelligent design" advocates in their campaign to undermine the teaching of evolution. The sponsor of SB 2692, Senator Ronda Storms (R-District 10), then sought to smooth the bill's passage by revising it to match HB 1483, but was unsuccessful. On receiving SB 2692 from the Senate, the House substituted the text of HB 1483 and returned it to the Senate, which then restored the text of the bill and sent it back to the House, where it died. HB 1483 was already tabled, and is now dead, too.

I don't care if a voodoo doctor is a college-educated jerk wearing a three piece suit (Hello, Mr. Stein), because once he starts babbling about "intelligent design", he has negated whatever fragile opportunity he had to be taken seriously. Science, not superstition, is the only means we have to fix the problems that are facing every single passenger on Spaceship Earth, and we've already wasted too much time.