Gallucci, Cook, O’Shea and Bostock

Those are the four incompetents the residents of Pinellas County, Florida need to vote against in the next school board election: they favor corrupting science education with creationist nonsense. They all claim that students should be taught multiple “theories” in science classes, where they mangle the word “theory” to mean any ol’ crap someone wants to babble about, without regard for the evidence.


  1. Neil Vickers says

    Perhaps we should all just start demanding that the Theory of Evolution receive equal teaching time in all Sunday School classes?

  2. says

    No, then it makes it sound like religion, and that is the last can of worms we want opened to religious nuts.

    Is there any sort of thing others can do to help in this issue? any thoughts?

  3. David Wilford says

    If the comments on the blog linked to are any indication, the word is very much out about the trial in Dover, PA and the local newspaper (The St. Petersburg Times) will surely note that in print as well. If there’s one thing that gets the attention of elderly voters, it’s the prospect of their property taxes going up and I doubt the eventual outcome of a trial judgment against the Pinellas school board costing them millions (should the majority of four be so stupid as to pursue this) will go over well.

  4. says

    I love this quote:

    O’Shea suggested that parents who object to evolution being taught to their children might be able to opt them out of that day’s lesson. “I’d probably ideally like to keep it all out of the classroom,” she said. “If it’s going to create this much controversy, how important is it?”

    Maybe we should just get rid of schools completely, what with all the controversy they create. Amazed at how these people have been given the lines to read, but there’s no real understanding. Though I suppose I shouldn’t really expect anything different from anyone that believes in the bible.

  5. zer0 says

    Cook: “To teach one as if nothing else existed, I think we’re doing our students a disservice.”

    So is teaching them anything that isn’t science, in a SCIENCE class.

    Bostock: “The entire theory of evolution is not scientific fact. Intelligent design balances it out.”

    How exactly does throwing your hands up and saying “goddidit” balance out a scientific theory.

    O’Shea suggested that parents who object to evolution being taught to their children might be able to opt them out of that day’s lesson. “I’d probably ideally like to keep it all out of the classroom,” she said. “If it’s going to create this much controversy, how important is it?”

    Well, that would be a huge mistake. That right there is setting the bar very low indeed. What kind of lesson are you teaching kids, if you’re teaching them that it is ok to not learn or listen to something/someone if you don’t happen to agree with them? You’re teaching them that it is ok to live their lives in ignorance of the world around them.

    Bostock: “I think there is room there to teach intelligent design. We can call it a different name if that makes a difference to critics.”

    Too bad they already did that once. You see Nancy, it used to be called Creationism. ID is its new name sweetheart. What would you have them call it next? Skydaddy make the world go round-ism?

    O’Shea: “What are they saying about evolution? Are they posing it as a theory or as a fact?”

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh… go read a science textbook.

  6. waldteufel says

    Slightly off topic . . .but a quick look at the DI website shows that the Egnorant One is at it again . . .this time advocatiog that scientifically illiterate school board members should be able to promote any old bit of crap they want as science.

  7. Alex says

    This is one time I lay fault with educators, researches, scientists – anyone with a voice involved with science. The superstitionists stole the meaning of that word from right under the scientific establishment. Either the meaning of scientific theory needs to be broadcast loud and clear at every opportunity (and even what it is NOT), or a new term needs to be adopted – one that makes clear that a theory is not a mere suggestion or ad hoc guesstimate. I hear the word being incorrectly used in reference to scientific endeavors 9 times out of 10 in the casual media. This must stop. I’m going to puke the next time I hear ID referred to as a theory on some news website or media segment. I guess I’ll have to carry a plastic bag around whenever I surf the web or watch TV.

  8. Uber says

    I have just about had enough of this stupid shit. How dumb does a school board member have to be to even say some of what is attributed to them in this article?

    I hate toget angry about this but it IS supposed to be a science class. How many times do they have to be beaten over the head and how many millions have to lost on this ridiculous nonsense?

    Sometimes I wonder if we all just exist in a comedy program except it’s jumped the shark some time ago.

  9. Mithrandir says

    Maybe we should just get rid of schools completely, what with all the controversy they create.

    Careful there. A lot of the close ideological allies of the creationists want to do exactly that.

  10. ennui says

    I honestly believe that the most productive approach to this ‘teach the controversy’ issue is to endorse all ID candidates, everywhere. Let them get comfortable enough to implement their wishes, then sue!

    This strategy forces them to squander resources on legal costs, not theme parks or free copies of ‘Pandas’. It keeps the issue in the public eye, as defeat after defeat deflate their morale, money, and membership.

    Let’s keep this a hot issue! It will afford more scientists the chance to explicate the real meaning of the word ‘theory’. It will reinforce the concepts of evidence, peer review, and testable hypothesis. It will rally more people to the cause of rationality.

    So please, bite the bullet, take one for the team, and vote an ID muppet nutjob fucktard into office! (My name is ennui, and I approved this message)

  11. Rachel I. says

    Will they be offering alternate “theories” for other classes, too? I’m curious what they’d like taught alongside gravity, momentum, electron orbitals, entropy, trig… I think they may actually have tried challenging entropy at some point, or was that someone else like L. Ron’s crowd?

  12. AlanWCan says

    thadd #3 above: any thoughts?
    Wasn’t that the whole point of the flying spaghetti monster? See, if they want to teach alternative theories (happily manglingthe meaning of the word in the process…) without admitting they’re talking about fundie xtian cretinism (because the courts have already said they can’t do that), then they really have to either (a) allow teaching that the whole thing is the outcome of being touched by his noodly appendage (as well as non-Abrahamic creation myths — Navaho anyone? Hindu? Some random crap I justmade up?) or (b) explain why that particular story is not valid but some other one (say, goddit) is.
    The sad thing is we’ve all been through this already innumerable times. We’re playing creationist whackamole and the new crop just pops up without even remembering the history of the game…that whole “we can call it another name if you like” thing as pointed out by zero above.
    Mind you, as a non-USAian I do just keep thinking this means more jobs for the rest of us once your lot slips into full throttle theocracy and falls by the wayside the same way the Islamic world did.

  13. Helioprogenus says

    [[O’Shea suggested that parents who object to evolution being taught to their children might be able to opt them out of that day’s lesson. “I’d probably ideally like to keep it all out of the classroom,” she said. “If it’s going to create this much controversy, how important is it?”]]

    Is this mindless, self-diluted nitwit serious? Somebody should kick the living shit out of her for this depraved lunacy. These are the kinds of mindless dolts that run school boards? How can one not overreact when this kind of oral diarrhea is constantly being expunged?

    Putting aside her fractured mental state, according to her, anything that causes controversy then is unimportant. How else can one describe how fucking stupid this idiot is?

  14. BaldApe says

    I’m about ready to say “Fine, bring it on, make it part of the curriculum. Let me have the kids evaluate goddidit on the basis of evidence. I’ll send ’em home crying.”

    Trouble is, I can’t count on the other science teachers I know to do the same. I once heard another biology teacher say (regarding abortion) that human life begins when the baby has a soul. I almost asked her how she hoped to measure that, since she can’t convince me that I have a soul, but it would just have pissed her off to no good end.

  15. firemancarl says

    Well, now I am gonna have to pester the Volusia County School Board and find out what their stance is. I hope that they all accept science and want to keep religion out of schools.

  16. Efogoto says

    Re #12: I disagree that we need more cdesign proponentsists in office. All they need is one court case decided in their favor to have a really regrettable precedent. Do you think there’s no possibility that an American court would ever decided that way? We should be fighting this somewhere other than the courts.

  17. MikeG says

    Dammit! I thought my county was better than that.

    Well, at least you all know there will be one vote for reality.

  18. Diego says

    Pinellas County is a strange place. It’s insanely crowded and developed. There are conservative forces who can’t deal with a trans-sexual politician. The Scientologists have a Mecca in Clearwater. And yet their county environmental management department is excellent and very pro-active and their are numerous liberals and odd-balls scattered about. Heck, the woderful Dali museum is in St Petersburg. So it’s a place of contrasts. And though I’d never want to live in such a populous county myself, I wish them nothing in the best in fending off the Creationists.

  19. MikeG says

    Ahhh… Most of the comments in that thread have somewhat restored my “faith” in my adopted county. It almost reads like a thread here: mostly condemnations of the IDists, several FSM mentions, and a few creationists making ridiculous assertions based on nothing (and generally getting smacked down for them).

    I promise, It’s really not a bad place to live…

  20. Bee says

    I blame it on the schools they attended themselves. My father misguidedly moved us to Florida for a year when I was a kid. I spent my Grade One year painting in the lovely modern art room, since they taught considerably less than I’d already learned in Grade Primary in my one room, nine grades, one teacher school in Nova Scotia. I spent months catching up with my peers when we moved home. If the education curve continued on that way, I’m not surprised at the disconnect between reality and Florida school boards.

  21. mothra says

    Loosing even ONE court case would be disastrous. A constructive use of the Dover Trial would be to bring up the cost of litigation at every school board election and at every meeting where an ID viewpoint is raised. Even ‘stealth’ cdesign proponentsists would get thrown out when they publicly espouse their costly lunacy. Nothing brings out sober rationality quicker than looking in ones’ own wallet.

    Obversely, there is still a tremendous propaganda war to win. Perhaps a start would be advertisements advocating rationality and impugning the Mega-churches’ for teaching an anti-science doctrine. Not only is such teaching, as Dawkins says, brainwashing and child abuse, it also undermines society by creating a discontented and unteachable class of people in a science based culture. Additionally, such churches are anti-patriotic as they encourage political loyalty of parishioners to themselves- a clique (church) rather than to the political unit that allows their ‘pursuit of happiness.’ 8]

  22. says

    It’s only a theory the earth’s shape is round;
    Some people still think it is flat;
    Until a definitive answer is found,
    Don’t teach it at all! (and that’s that.)

  23. autumn says

    Ya know, there’s a whole lot of languages besides English. English classes shouldn’t be teaching English as the only option. The English teachers should be forced to give equal time to all other languages in English class. Heck, they should teach computer languages in English as well. Shakespere in binary is quite lovely.

  24. The Ag says

    Incidentally, what is the purpose of the school board system? It seems that anyone can get themselves elected to make idiotic decisions about education. Isn’t the curriculum a topic too important to be left for amateurs to pore around in? It seems like the job should require some credentials.

  25. armillary sphere says

    And that, my liege, is how we know the world to be banana-shaped.

    Well, *something* has gone bananas here…

  26. C says

    “Careful there. A lot of the close ideological allies of the creationists want to do exactly that.”

    Exactly. The Paultards and other Creationist tools want to destroy the DOE and the separation of church and state (hey, only THEY know the true intentions of the Founding Fathers) and replace it fully with homeschooling and vouchers.

  27. Steve LaBonne says

    Yes, MikeG, that comment thread is way, way more encouraging than I would have expected. While not one of the more apropos comments, this is the one that made me laugh out loud:

    I have been touched by Jesus. It was at summer camp, and he made me promise not to tell anyone. Oops, I did not keep that promise :(

  28. prufrock says

    As a lifelong resident of Pinellas County (and by definition, a graduate of its schools), I have to express shame that we have elected these four idiots to the school board. I can only hope that it’s because school board elections are normally low turnout affairs that allow the crazies to sneak in, rather than a reflection on the wisdom of the greater Pinellas population.

    I’ll be watching this one closely. My son turned two in October, and will be attending school starting in 2011. If the four manage to implement the kind of idiocy they are preaching, I will make one of my wife’s fondest wishes come true and move our family to her home state of NY. I love this area. It’s home, but I will not expose him to that kind of poison.

  29. stogoe says

    It always amazes me that people completely avoid school board and municipal elections and then complain when complete fools and wacko religionists get elected in their area. Local politicians are as important to our daily lives as who we send off to get fat in the Senate or who gets to play fighter-pilot in the White House. If you want better local politicians, you have to at least read up on the candidates and vote. I know I certainly could do better at it, and I’m fairly certain all of you can, too.

  30. says

    Part of the reason that school boards can have such dimwitted members is that people ignore school board elections until it gets to be too late. In the November election in Mounds View I showed up to vote at 7:00 p.m. and I saw that the polling place was empty but for myself and the judges. In four precincts with 12000 people (approx 5000 eligible voters) 300 people voted for school board. Four places were available and only five people had bothered to pay the $25 fee. Four people on the ballot were incumbents running for re-election.

    I walked away thinking “I should have paid the filing fee, and at least given people another choice.”

    As far as requiring credentials to run for school board, that ultimately goes against the idea of the school board. The function of the school board is to review the policies and the budgeting of the school system; as well as to make curriculum decisions. It is intended to serve as a community watchdog over the school administration, not as an all-powerful legislative force.

    An overall education system is vital for a decent school board whose members can tell ID from Shinola; and voter apathy is the factor in the failure of the school boards to prevent creationism from being proposed time and again. It’s a circular problem. I will be running for school board on the Mounds View District elections in 2009; perhaps an avowed atheist on the ballot will draw people out in force.