Greg Laden, that romantic evolutionary gastronome has several good posts on the mess in Florida (and, by the way, here’s a map if you’re having trouble keeping track of all those counties). These are documents produced by the activist creationists down there, and they really reveal how inept and uneducated these wankers are.
First is a letter from Bill Foster, the city council member who has mayoral aspirations despite his lack of a brain. It does drone on, but here are a few choice excerpts.
Throw in the case that there is still no fossil record or evidence to support Darwin, and all you have left is a theory. If evolution were true, then there should be countless numbers of transitional forms (e.g., 100% reptile; 75% reptile-25% bird; 50% reptile- 50% bird; 25% reptile – 75% bird; 100% bird and many transitional forms between each of those). Our science labs and museums are loaded with fossils, and yet, none support Mr. Darwin.
We have great stony piles of transitional fossils — what kind of argument is this, that when someone brings up all the evidence, the other just simply denies it away? We shouldn’t take seriously someone so obtusely ignorant. We even have transitional forms for birds. Unfortunately, though, we will never have a complete, generation by generation fossil sequence for events that took place over tens or hundreds of millions of years; but one can’t just reject a theory because the evidence isn’t perfect.
But of course the evidence in our labs and museums supports evolution — that’s why the people who work in labs and museums tend to accept evolution. Again, it’s simply bizarre how Foster simply asserts his denial and ignores the actual state of affairs. Is this the kind of man St Petersburg wants for a chief executive?
None of Darwin’s theories can be replicated or proven in a laboratory, and yet, by blind faith, many still believe in evolution. The Religion of Darwin is the only one accepted in the public school, and the time has come to change that fact. Some people think that I am misguided to believe in the Genesis account of creation. I happen to share a similar view about people who believe that all species evolved or morphed from a single cell. The beautiful thing about this country is that we all have a right to believe in whatever we choose. I may disagree with your science fiction, and you may disagree with my Bible, but we should be free to discuss each others theories, and none should be excluded form the dialogue Such discourse is not a violation of the Constitution, but rather is encouraged by the First Amendment.
Ho hum. Theories aren’t replicated or proven; this is simply a complete lack of comprehension of the language of science. Evolution is not a religion. It’s a description of the world and how it works.
The rest is just paranoia. No one is knocking on Foster’s door and telling him what he is or is not allowed to think; no one is restricting the discussion of crazy religious ideas (look at this blog! I’m a loud and persistent biologist, and we talk about this crap all the time!), and no one is saying what anyone else is allowed to believe. This is an argument about what people can think and talk about at all — it’s about what is appropriate for the classroom, about what works, about what is sufficiently well supported by the evidence that we can reach an objective consensus. What an ignorant yahoo can rant about is not the same as what should be taught in a science class.
Another item that seems to be circulating among the Florida fire-and-brimstone crowd is the Grubbs and Gibbs memorandum. It’s painful to read: it’s a long, overblown document in pretentious legalese that purports to justify the teaching of creationism in the classroom, and it goes through the various Florida science standard benchmarks in agonizing detail, fussing over various words and occasionally tossing out grand pronouncements about biology. It’s hard to take it seriously when the clowns who wrote it persist in using “specie” as the singular of “species”.
The whole thing is a string of descriptions of complex biological concepts by a pair who don’t understand word one of the idea. Your jaws will all drop at this one little jewel of pomposity dropped near the end:
A worldview addresses, not only the field of science, but the philosophical purview of how to identify the four components of reality. The problem here is that Florida’s science standards now force upon students only one of several potential interpretive worldview systems without providing any, philosophical instruction as to how students may evaluate and distinguish between the various worldviews that inform and identify the four components of reality—god, life, matter and time.
There are precisely four components of reality? But their list leaves out energy! And it includes this nonexistent entity they call “god”! And life is actually just a special case of matter — should it be included? I’m so surprised that they left out Jesus and the Holy Ghost, too.
Look, they’re just making stuff up. That isn’t science, it isn’t even philosophy…it’s just two ideologues in a mutual masturbation session.