Florida: Kansas of the South

Legislative geniuses leading Florida’s descent into creationist madness, from left to right: State Senators Ronda Storms (R), Lisa Carlton (R), Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R), Stephen R. Wise (R), and Larcenia Bullard (D):

Ronda Storms.Lisa Carlton.de la Portilla.Stephen Wise.Larcinia Bullard

IN 2005, THE STATE OF KANSAS went collectively insane by enacting state-wide teaching standards that made science identical to mysticism. Kansans became the butt of jokes worldwide, having disgraced themselves, their religion, and even the word “conservative.” A report of that descent into lunacy is posted at the website of The American Association for the Advancement of Science: AAAS “Deeply Disturbed” By Kansas State Board of Education Vote, which says [emphasis supplied]:

Advocates for intelligent design helped write the new Kansas standards, directly challenging the science of biological evolution, which is backed by extensive research, testing, genetic and fossil evidence. While the standards don’t explicitly promote intelligent design, they change the state’s definition of science to move it beyond the search for natural explanations of the natural world and to allow for supernatural explanations.

Fortunately, some remission of that mental disorder occurred, and a year later Kansas reversed their teaching standard — at least temporarily. That reversal is reported in this article, posted at the website of the AAAS (pdf file): Evolution opponents lose Kansas school board majority (pdf file).

Undeterred by that setback, the creationist Discoveroids at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture are tirelessly promoting what they misleadingly call their Academic Freedom Act, which protects teachers against “discrimination” if they teach “alternatives” to evolution. You, dear reader, can imagine what those alternatives might be. This has inspired Florida’s state Senator Ronda Storms to introduce a similar measure into the Florida legislature, which we call the Science Illiteracy Act.

Here’s the Florida Senate’s information on Ronda’s bill, which gives its text and links to amendments, voting history, etc.:
Senate 2692: Relating to Teaching Chemical and Biological Evolution.

And here’s the companion bill in the Florida House:
HB 1483 – Teaching Chemical and Biological Evolution.

Progress so far? The Senate Committee on Education Pre-K – 12 has just approved this foolishness by a vote of 4 to 1. Those disgracing themselves by voting for the bill are pictured above (after Ronda Storms, who isn’t on that committee).

How foolish are these people? As reported in the Tampa Tribune, Evolution Dissent Bill Advances:

… Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, made her views clear when she said she thought kindergartners should not be taught Darwinian evolution because “that may be brainwashing.” She also told the committee of her own experience in college, where she refused to answer a science exam question about evolution with the accepted Darwinian answer and instead copied down the creation story in Genesis, Chapter 1.

Florida should be proud of these Dark Agers. Soon the children of their state will have the academic “freedom” to be taught by morons in science class that the earth is only 6,000 years old, humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time, Noah’s Ark was real, and all scientists are frauds.

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