With all the creationist nonsense going on in Florida, you’d never think that there might be a Nobel Prize winner living in that educationally impoverished peninsula. But you’d be surprised. We’re not talking about a terrorist or a chubby, planet-saving Peace Prize winner. We’re talking about Harold Kroto, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for chemistry.
The Herald-Tribune (located somewhere) has an article with a Tallahassee dateline: Nobel winner battles plan to let teachers challenge Darwin’s theory. A few excerpts:
Florida lawmakers are frustrating the winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for chemistry. They want to change the way evolution is taught so that teachers are allowed to challenge Darwin’s theory.
It is the most absurd thing Kroto has heard since moving to Florida in 2004 to teach at Florida State University. His friends back home in England, where he was a professor in Sussex, have been sending him e-mails asking why he stays, he said.
“We’re the laughingstock of the enlightened world,” Kroto said.
Indeed. The article continues:
State proposals this year would undo a recent decision by the state Board of Education and allow teachers to “present scientific information relevant to the full range of views on biological and chemical evolution.”
Kroto and other scientists surmise such legislation would allow teachers to present as credible theories of creationism and intelligent design, basically beliefs that God or a higher being created humans.
Kroto is correct in his surmise, of course. Such beliefs are quite out of place in a science classroom. One more excerpt:
The bill’s Senate sponsor, Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, says teachers and students feel too frightened to even discuss intelligent design.
Senate Majority Leader Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, said the theory of evolution “had flaws.”
Republicans have voted for the plan to the point where it will be considered by the full Senate, and has only one more committee to pass in the House.
Very discouraging stuff. But it’s not too late for the legislature to let this monster die and thus head off what is sure to be an education and litigation train-wreck.