Florida poll


The Orlando Sentinel asks the same old stupid question: Should Florida schools be required to teach intelligent design along with the scientific theory of evolution?

Yes. Intelligent Design provides an alternative explanation to evolution, which is just a theory. It’s healthy to give students a choice. (3 responses)
17.6%
No. Evolution is a time-tested scientific theory, like gravity. Intelligent design is inspired by religion and has no place in a science classroom. (13 responses)
76.5%
Not sure. I don’t know enough about either subject to make an informed choice. (1 responses)
5.9%

Aaargh. “Just a theory” again; and the claim that ID is an “alternative explanation” is about as true and as relevant as claiming that the “my socks are so grungy, they evolved intelligence, built a time machine, and flew back to the Hadean era to seed life on earth” explanation is a reasonable alternative.


Forget the grungy socks. Maybe this is the alternative we need to teach in the classroom.

Comments

  1. says

    Be careful PZ. Johnny-Boy seems to be on rampage and he might not like you pointing to an online poll to vote on it.

    You know that is exactly opposite what online polls are for.

    Right?

  2. Brownian says

    So far, it looks like 76.5% of Orlandonians (Orlandoans? Orlandoites?) think sensibly. What’s the issue here?

    In other news, how’d they ever land a Disney theme park with a population of seventeen?

  3. says

    I wouldn’t be too hard on Orlando Sun-Sentinel. They get it almost exactly right in the “no” section, and they were among the first to tell what a loser Expelled was.

    They have the disclaimer “(Results not scientific)”. No fooling.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  4. AmericanGodless says

    “It’s healthy to give students a choice.” — Orlando Sentinel Poll
    “Dare to be Stupid!” — Weird Al Yankovic

  5. bc23.5 says

    I hope the Florida schools also teach the “Florida as the penis of the US” theory.

  6. SES says

    Aaargh. “Just a theory” again; and the claim that ID is an “alternative explanation” is about as true and as relevant as claiming that the “my socks are so grungy, they evolved intelligence, built a time machine, and flew back to the Hadean era to seed life on earth” explanation is a reasonable alternative.

    Not really… there is a chance that the grungy socks theory is actually testable.

  7. amstrad says

    This is related to a bill (SB 2396) that State Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, has filed:

    http://www.flsenate.gov/cgi-bin/view_page.pl?Tab=session&Submenu=1&FT=D&File=sb2396.html&Directory=session/2009/Senate/bills/billtext/html/

    that added the phrase “A thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution.” to the list of required courses of study.

    I seem to be okay with that wording and I welcome any sort of critical analysis of any scientific theory.

    Maybe he thinks that the only kind of critical analysis is the accepting of ID?

  8. Autumn says

    I live in Georgia where “Respect The Creator” is a character development lesson taught in the public schools here. This is the place where they put stickers in science textbooks warning that Evolution is just a theory. This state is in the bottom 5 in academics in the nation every year. No surprise there. I am a scientist and guess what? I home school! It is a lonely state to be a non-religious homeeducator but my kids’ minds are a pecious thing to waste.

  9. SLW13 says

    Respectfully, I have a alternative theory that the people who keep creating these stupid polls can suck it.

  10. Scott S says

    Either a lot of people are voting from here or there is hope for Florida.

    Should Florida schools be required to teach intelligent design along with the scientific theory of evolution?

    Yes. Intelligent Design provides an alternative explanation to evolution, which is just a theory. It’s healthy to give students a choice. (3 responses)

    1.0%

    No. Evolution is a time-tested scientific theory, like gravity. Intelligent design is inspired by religion and has no place in a science classroom. (288 responses)

    98.6%

    Not sure. I don’t know enough about either subject to make an informed choice. (1 responses)

    0.3%

    292 total responses (Results not scientific)

  11. Cowcakes says

    “Aaargh. “Just a theory” again; and the claim that ID is an “alternative explanation” is about as true and as relevant as claiming that the “my socks are so grungy, they evolved intelligence, built a time machine, and flew back to the Hadean era to seed life on earth” explanation is a reasonable alternative.”

    Well if Baldrick’s underpants are responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs then certainly PZs socks could have created life. ;-)

  12. Doo Shabag says

    my socks are so grungy, they evolved intelligence, built a time machine, and flew back to the Hadean era to seed life on earth

    I’m a convert to the grungy-sock theory of abiogenesis. I’m never washing my socks again, or we might cease to exist.

  13. Andrew says

    Successful raid is successful:

    Yes. Intelligent Design provides an alternative explanation to evolution, which is just a theory. It’s healthy to give students a choice. (3 responses)

    0.6%

    No. Evolution is a time-tested scientific theory, like gravity. Intelligent design is inspired by religion and has no place in a science classroom. (493 responses)

    99.2%

    Not sure. I don’t know enough about either subject to make an informed choice. (1 responses)

    0.2%

  14. Kraes85 says

    Well I for one support the teaching of the theory of P.Z.’s grungy, time-travelling socks.

  15. Thomas Winwood says

    At least one guy was conscious enough to admit his ignorance rather than pass judgement on something he doesn’t understand the first thing about.

  16. CS says

    99.2% for NO.

    Either all traffic comes from Pharyngula or Floridans have suddenly gained the use of reason, which puts us in the uncomfortable position of having to consider seriously the occurrence of miracles.

  17. And-U-Say says

    Let me be first to welcome our PZ grungy, time traveling sock overlords to their rightful place of unquestionable leadership. May I express my hope in their wise and benevolent rule over the pathetic humans.

    May the stink be upon you forever and ever!

  18. says

    Even though online polls are stupid in themselves, they still ought to be worded well. I mean, at least they could get rid of all the biases in the wording of the choices, and just say, “yes,” “no,” or “idk.”

  19. says

    It’s healthy to give students a choice.

    My God, yes! We need both a scientific and an anti-scientific viewpoint in science class, so that students can be encouraged to decide against science if they so desire.

    I hope they soon teach how godless and unaffirming mathematics is in math class. Indeed, math, above most other subjects, is (so to speak) “only a theory,” and can change if we choose other assumptions, none of which has been shown to be “true” in any absolute sense. Empiricism has a tendency to hamper math as an independent subject, in fact.

    Yes, we need choices, like whether or not to use legitimate means for dealing with the empirical world, or if we will utilize wish fulfillment as our “tool of science” instead.

    The Onion article referenced in the last thread seems to have used the only hyperbole possible to make a satire on creationism, frankly choosing madness over sanity. No other satire does anything but equal their absurdities.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  20. says

    I’ve warned my socks never to tell it to PZ. They never listen! Creating a time machine, yes, but not listening to their creator! Disobient socks!

  21. caveman73 says

    But should we teach(IST) Intelligent Sock Theory along side science in school? This will give the kids 3 to choose from.

  22. Perry says

    thank you very much for posting that up. i am a high school student in florida and this is something that i have been watching since i heard about it and i just sent this around to my other skeptic friends to get them to vote NO on this stupid idea.
    PS the No’s are up to 1077 and the Yes is at a grand total of 4

  23. catgirl says

    I’m encouraged by the results of this poll. It seems that the crazies are not actually that common, they are just the loudest and crankiest.

  24. cameron says

    To be fair, they have presented each option from the perspective of its proponents. The ‘Yes’ option is a fair characterization of ID. The ‘No’ option is a fair characterization of reason and science. Online polls are silly, of course, but you can’t give them grief for mis-stating the propositions.

  25. Zombie says

    Wow, that poll got beat in the face in a hurry.

    Nice to know it was around 3/4 for “not stupid” before it got mauled by Internet bears, though.

  26. Brownian says

    What? Are you people thick?

    Socks? Time-travel? Hadean?

    First of all, you can’t time-travel with a Hadean; you need a DeLorean. But I waste my breath, as you materialists will promote any bogus idea, no matter how preposterous, so that you may deny the Intelligent Designer of Grunge: Kurt Cobain.

    I will pray for you, that I might bleach clean the soul you stained in utero, and you will come as you are to–ah, nevermind.

  27. Adez says

    I wish the theory of evolution would have been named something like “Darwin’s law”. It wouldn’t be so appropriate to call it that in the scientific sense, but there would be a hell of a lot less creationists around! Defaming it “just a theory” seems to strengthen their view on evolution quite a bit and is the one thing enabling them to raise discussion in the media.

  28. ¬ęb√łnez_brigade¬Ľ says

    goddidit (4 responses) 0.3%
    reality (1261 responses) 99.6%
    duurrrrhh (1 responses) 0.1%

    1266 responses

  29. says

    I’ll have to add the “grungy socks theory” to my list of alternative explanations for life.

    To give the Sentinel credit, they did imitate the position of creationists and scientists pretty well. And Zombie’s right, it’s somewhat encouraging that the majority favored evolution before the poll was pharyngulated.

  30. gilles says

    I have dirty socks somewhere. How long will it take for mine to evolve ?
    I want to make my part in the collonisation of mars .

  31. daler says

    An error occurred while processing your request.

    Reference #102.ab7a81d8.1236034375.8002ed

    We broke it :(

  32. says

    All this nonsense about socks time-traveling being responsible for human life is blatant anti-Shoemetism! How can you explain human intelligence apart from the presence of a sole, or love apart from the Loafer God made manifest?

  33. Tom Farrell says

    Funny how “No, it’s illegal to teach ‘intelligent design’ in science class” isn’t listed.

  34. Roger says

    Infidels. God didn’t like the results and, thus, broke the Intarwebs. Praise!
    (totally kidding)

  35. Marc Abian says

    Today in my college lie-berry I found out that we have some creatures Darwin brought back from the Galapogos, looked kinda like giant rats. And there’s also an original copy (as in original print run) of Origin of Species.

    Feel jealous everyone, ok?

  36. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Oh sweet! Check the Cosplay at MegaCon 09 :) (linked from the OS front page)

  37. Buzz says

    To be fair, they have presented each option from the perspective of its proponents. The ‘Yes’ option is a fair characterization of ID. The ‘No’ option is a fair characterization of reason and science. Online polls are silly, of course, but you can’t give them grief for mis-stating the propositions.

    But the very idea of polling on this is suggesting that there is a debate. There is no debate. We teach science in schools. Perhaps a better poll would be, “Should we teach science in schools” or, “Do you agree with the First Amendment of the US Constitution,” etc.

  38. Bill from Dover says

    Hey… enough with the socks jokes. I haven’t changed my lucky underwear since 9/11 and we haven’t been hit again. Got to admit that they’re pretty much nothin’ but just a couple bands of elastic now, but ya can’t argue against results. Post hoc whatever.

  39. Helioprogenus says

    “Monkey Jesus could have ripped off the Romans Arm’s and masturbated all over their bodies, but he chose love instead.”

    You mean that’s not how it really happened?

    Fucking brilliant though. Seth MacFarlane’s a genius. The SouthPark guys are jealous and envious of Seth, which is why there’s such an opposition within animation against him. So what if Family Guy has self referential humor instead of situational? Not all humor’s situational and Stone and Park should take that lesson to heart. Fuck you South Park and your conceited notions of right and wrong.

  40. SASnSA says

    Bill… I’m not asking you to get rid of your lucky pair of undies, but for the love of all that is good and not stinky, please… please, at least wear a clean pair over them.

  41. Hairhead says

    Okay, it is now settled:

    “STINK BE UPON YOU!”

    Is now the official blessing to be exchanged between Pharynguloids at all meetings.

    “May the stink be upon you!” is more formal.

    “Stink you!” is from the gutter, between good friends only, but still a blessing.

  42. Felix says

    #52 Buzz,
    very good. I want to see the poll: A) I agree that Intelligent Design should be taught in public school science classes as an alternative explanation for the variation of species.
    B) I agree to the Constitution of the United States.
    C) People who answer A) are wimps and people who answer B) are the enemy. Genesis is Law. Period.

  43. Kristian Grönqvist says

    I wish they would teach about how flat the Earth is, everybody has the right to hear an alternative theory…

  44. Fernando Magyar says

    Hehe! 97.9 % Unfortunately I’m pretty sure that is due to pharyngulation of the poll and not to the rationality of my fellow Floridian residents. Ill take it.

  45. Deadly Furby says

    Yes. Intelligent Design provides an alternative explanation to evolution, which is just a theory. It’s healthy to give students a choice. (4 responses)

    0.2%

    No. Evolution is a time-tested scientific theory, like gravity. Intelligent design is inspired by religion and has no place in a science classroom. (1605 responses)

    99.4%

    Not sure. I don’t know enough about either subject to make an informed choice. (5 responses)

    0.3%

  46. David Marjanovińá, OM says

    How can you explain human intelligence apart from the presence of a sole

    ROTFL!

    yes: 4 (0.2 %)
    no: 1662 (99.4 %)
    idk: 6 (0.4 %)

  47. JasonTD says

    Thank you all for Pharygulizing a stupid poll in my local paper. ;) (I teach chem and physics at an Orlando area high school) I think that I should write them a letter now. I’ll be keeping an eye on the bill and writing (maybe even visiting) my representative and senator.

  48. Holbach says

    99.5% with my vote. Morons. But maybe this is just a theory, and perhaps should be taught alongside with idiocy for a balance of insanity.

  49. Gregory Kusnick says

    I kept hoping Monkey Dad would launch into a rant about how the banana is perfectly shaped to fit the monkey hand. Didn’t happen, though. Too bad.

  50. says

    Bobby: You can read about the meaning of the phrase Happy Monkey and it’s origins here. The tl;dr of it is that it’s a ‘Happy Holidays/Christmas’ type saying given to us Godless Atheistic Communist Satanists.

  51. Tobor Redrum says

    Has anyone seen my socks?

    I left them on the floor this morning and now there’s just this gaping hole in the space-time continuum.

  52. Anonymous says

    Horribly off topic, but I was flipping through boing boing (yeah I know, I know) and I saw this article:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/02/big-tent-atheism.html
    Going through the comments I noticed how it was being shown to be a ridiculous essay. However I don’t think its being skewered quite enough. Its isn’t just that the author doesn’t quite get atheism (because we are a singular group after all) but his prescriptions are off the wall stupid. Probably not of anyone’s concern but I have a feeling people here have a fetish for brain-dead (seriously atheists should go to church but not pray?) statements concerning the new mean atheism.

  53. JMC says

    The promoters of ID are such exploiters. I believe most of them know what a scientific theory is. They get their minions to buy into the “controversy” by exploiting the common use of the word theory.

    I believe scientists don’t help themselves by using the word theory in its common form as well as its scientific form. String “Theory” is not a scientific theory at all. Maybe a hypothesis but not a theory. At least they have the possibility of getting some data when the LHC starts up again. (A friend who works there says it is not very likely that the data they will get will show anything that will give insights into string theory.)

    I am a high school science teacher and I do my best to make sure the word theory is used when referring to Gravitational, Atomic or Evolutionary theory. I spend some time explaining how a theory is developed. I make sure any conclusions on lab activities are based on an analysis of the data only.

    I have no tolerance for creationists or IDers. I am an agnostic who finds the acceptance of old books as truth ridiculous. It does so much harm to the world. But like the movie “A flock of Dodos” scientists don’t work at the marketing aspect of their truth. Let’s keep fighting the good fight but make sure we don’t add to the places they will exploit. (Although it is probably futile because they will make stuff up anyway.)

  54. gilles says

    #53 BillfromDover
    (Hey… enough with the socks jokes. I haven’t changed my lucky underwear since 9/11 and we haven’t been hit again. Got to admit that they’re pretty much nothin’ but just a couple bands of elastic now, but ya can’t argue against results. Post hoc whatever.)

    Isn’t proof of evolution , au contraire, it proves things can regress then slowly diseapear… let us know when the elastic bands are gone.Please.

  55. ¬ęb√łnez_brigade¬Ľ says

    Surprisingly, in the last 4 hours, it appears that only one creationist has visited the Orlando Sentinel’s site (and voted, that is). Maybe poll-voting was something they gave up for Lent?

    Current results:
    ID (5 responses) – 0.2%
    Evolution (2608 responses) – 99.6%
    Not sure (6 responses) – 0.2%
    2619 total responses

  56. Gregory Kusnick says

    String “Theory” is not a scientific theory at all.

    No, it’s a mathematical theory, i.e. a coherent set of theorems about a particular class of mathematical objects, like number theory or set theory. Whether or not it describes the real world is irrelevant to this perfectly legitimate use of the word “theory”.

  57. says

    JMC (#75) pretty much says it for me, though I suppose I still have a soft spot for what used to be called the Good Book (your mileage may vary!)

    I agree wholeheartedly about the way scientists (and, more commonly) media accounts of science describe hypotheses or research programs as ‘theories’. ‘String theory’ is a research program within theoretical physics, but it has not yet advanced to the stage where we could consider it falsifiable, much less well-tested. Similarly, it is a routine irritation to encounter hypotheses within paleontology and evolutionary biology described as ‘theories’ on the basis of a single finding.

    Really, there ought to be professional guidelines for talking to the media, among them requiring reporters to sign agreements that they will not commit certain conceptual errors as a condition of granting interviews, or else face censure for bad faith.

    I can dream, can’t I?

  58. xebecs says

    #74: Yeah, I just came from that article. Sad, but typical.

    I don’t feel like signing up to post on Boing Boing, so here is what I would have said:

    Typical Concern Troll. You clearly are not an atheist yourself, have no empathy for what it’s like to live as an atheist in a society where religiosity is assumed, and no understanding of the fact that whereas atheists share a lack of belief they are otherwise as diverse as any other group and more diverse than most.

    There is one perfectly good reason for a given atheist to stay quiet, to hide lack of belief, or even to attend a religious service now and then: because that person wants to. It is both necessary and sufficient.

    I, too, believe that atheists would benefit greatly from having a church-like community in which to gather, to seek fellowship and support. Indeed, such communities already exist: see American Ethical Union and Wikipedia article on Ethical Culture. Also, see Common Security Club.

    As was pointed out at Boing Boing, the article was just another drive-by, another Opinion that Has No Clothes.

  59. Ichthyic says

    I can dream, can’t I?

    I was about to say…

    ;)

    having dealt with the media in exactly that regard for years (communicating scientific findings and opinion), it is damn near 100% the case that what gets into the final print will surprise you, based on what you recall actually saying in the interview.

    If you can ever get a reporter that is willing to print your statements verbatim (or even without “embellishment”), do whatever it takes to make that person your BFF.

    …cause it’s a mighty rare thing.

  60. llewelly says

    Tobor Redrum | March 2, 2009 9:41 PM:

    Has anyone seen my socks?

    I left them on the floor this morning and now there’s just this gaping hole in the space-time continuum.

    Reports of this sort have been rising rapidly ever since dryers developed wormhole technology and have been using it to sate their unspeakable lusts. Nonetheless … it’s very strange that the raiding dryer apparently took two socks, rather than an odd number.

  61. Ichthyic says

    wait…

    dryers have unspeakable lusts?

    no wonder my clothes smell funny.

    back to the old laundry line for me.

  62. says

    only 3075 responses? even if we do have 99.9% of the vote. And if you (#71) are a Satanist, can you really be an atheist? I’ve always had a hard time with that…having been called both in the same sentence.

  63. Dr Zaius says

    As the foremost scientific and religious authority of our great civilisation, I must point out to you all that the sacred scrolls reveal that Apekind was created fully formed by the Great Ape, and no number of chimpanzees mucking about in the dirt will convince me otherwise!

  64. DLC says

    I never understood why all the Christians get so upset about all the Satinists. I mean, is it really any of Jerry Falwell’s business if someone likes soft, smooth fabric ?

  65. Richard Harris says

    How come Ray Comfort was speaking with an American accent in that clip? He’s a New Zealander.

  66. Muffin says

    “4083 total responses (Results not scientific)”

    Well, that’s what THEY say, and it’s obviously just a theory. My alternative explanation is that this poll is entirely representative, and I demand that the Orlando Sentinel give equal time to my explanation. Teach the controversy and let the reader decide for themselves, I say!

  67. says

    @ #84 Of course. As far as the bible-thumpers are concerned, anyone who isn’t thumping with them is thumping against them. Not Christian = Satanist. Obv.

  68. Nath says

    Fair is fair: if intelligent design is taught in science class along with evolution, then shouldn’t evolution be taught in religious class along with Genesis?

  69. Felix says

    The ID crown is rallying. They have managed to gather a whopping 2.4% of the votes. O Noes, they is armytizing!

  70. jb says

    You know these polls are actually scientific… I hear this one will operate as C = 2*A for a good portion of the day ;)

  71. Valis says

    The ID crown is rallying. They have managed to gather a whopping 2.4% of the votes. O Noes, they is armytizing!

    Nope, that was all me, hehe. I took the Yes vote from 5 to 115 votes in just a few minutes, using multiple tabs with cookies turned off. I did that just to show how useless these internet polls are and how easy it is to manipulate them. And I didn’t even use a bot!

    Hey, Jonny_Boy, are you gonna report me to the internet police now? LOL! I still can’t believe how the Greg & Jon WATBs are carrying on about their stupid poll being crashed by PZ. Grow up you two.

  72. says

    If you want some real fun, come on over and join in the discussion over on the Orlando Sentinel School Zone Blog about this topic. Apparently some commenters think that it’s mean to call religion belief in “supernatural magic”.

  73. Pierce R. Butler says

    Does ProfmyerZ let any of these polls go unpharyngulated as a control group?