Aaand Here We Go Again

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Sunday, February 8, 2009 | Published in

Looks like word of the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case hasn't reached Florida yet, because State Senator Stephen Wise has decided to try to force Intelligent Design into the class room.

State Sen. Stephen Wise, a Jacksonville Republican, said he plans to introduce a bill to require teachers who teach evolution to also discuss the idea of intelligent design.

Intelligent design is the concept that life is so complex that it couldn't occur naturally but must have had an intelligent force working to make it happen.

Wise, the chief sponsor of the bill, expects the Senate to take it up when it meets in March. He said its intent is simple: "If you're going to teach evolution, then you have to teach the other side so you can have critical thinking."

Ah, yes. The old "Teach the Controversy" chestnut. I thought that thing had been sacrificed at the altar of the Flying Spaghetti Monster but it looks like a zombie that just can't be stopped.

Wise said that if the Legislature passes the bill, he wouldn't be surprisedif there's a legal challenge.

"You just never know. They use the courts all the time. I guess if they have enough money they can get it in the courts," he said. "Someplace along the line you've got to be able to make a value judgment of what it is you think is the appropriate thing."

Yes, that is how these things usually work. If you write a law that is clearly unconstitutional and has already been knocked down once in federal court then people will challenge that law again and again. That's how the judicial branch works. You'd think a state senator would understand that. Apparently Wise isn't the only senator without a clue though:

Rep. Alan Hays, a Republican from Umatilla, sponsored [a] "critical analysis [of evolution]" bill in the House last year and said he would support a similar effort this session. He thinks it's likely to pass this time in a close vote.

"The thing we learned last year is that, No. 1, we must keep the discussion scientific. I don't know of anyone who is in favor of teaching religion in public," he said. "We want the students to know that the theory of evolution is only a theory, it has never ever been scientifically proven, and it should be accepted as that."

*Head desk head desk* Why won't this meme die!!! How many times do people have to go over and over again what a scientific theory is? Theories are the closest things to fact in science. They aren't just "something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.” They are very well tested models on how systems work. Theories are facts. It's time for the National Center for Science Education to start an advertising campaign to explain what a scientific theory is to the American people. Because it seems like most of us have already forgotten our third grade science classes.

And yes, if this does actually get passed by the Florida legislature and becomes a law it won't last very long. The very first school board that tries to teach from Of Pandas and People will get hauled into federal court. The federal judge will rule that intelligent design isn't science but a religious idea and the law will be stricken from the books. Yes, again. It's like these people never learn. They should have gone with the "academic freedom" gambit instead. At least that one has shown some success in the last couple years.

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