THE MADNESS CONTINUES. Yes, Curmudgeon fans, the final week of Florida’s legislative session is at the mid-point, and the different creationism bills (one passed by the Senate, another by the House) haven’t yet been reconciled, nor has lightning struck the state’s capitol building for their failure to embrace the “science” of Noah’s Ark. Here are some of the morning’s news stories, beginning with one from a great and authoritative source:
Eugenie Scott’s National Center for Science Education has a long, detailed summary of the history of these bills and the folly of both houses of the Florida legislature. We’ve reported on the day-by-day details before, but it’s essentially all here in one fine article:
With drastically different House and Senate versions of what was once the same antievolution bill in the Florida state legislature, it remains uncertain whether antievolution forces will be able to devise a compromise bill to be sent to the governor before the legislature adjourns on May 2, 2008 — especially with a host of other issues crowding the legislative calendar.
From the Tallahassee Democrat we have Seeking ignorance in the name of God. Excerpt:
The problem with the Florida Senate’s so-called Evolution Academic Freedom Act, and a similar bill passed by the House, is that the logic supporting the effort fails to rise to the standards of its own lofty title. In other words, this bill is not truly concerned with responsible academic freedom. When debating the legislation, Senate Majority Leader Dan Webster encouraged his colleagues to vote yes to one simple question: “Could it be?”
“Can’t we ask that question?” Webster enthused. And the answer, of course, is yes, it could be; and not only can we ask the question, we should. Yet, not in our public schools, if for no other reason than the simple fact that there just isn’t the time.
If, in the name of academic freedom, we are going to ask whether creationism or intelligent design could be, then are we also going to ask whether unidentified flying objects or intelligent life on other planets could be? Similar to creationism and intelligent design, those interested in UFOs and extraterrestrial life could also boast of a few prominent scientists to support their cause.
From the Daytona Beach News-Journal we have Anti-evolution bills defy science. Excerpt:
So why should the state’s public-school teachers pretend there’s credible scientific debate about the origins of species on this planet? It makes no sense — unless you’re a member of the Florida Legislature or the religious fundamentalists pushing lawmakers on the issue.
Ironically, the squabble over the differences in the House and Senate versions might well kill any chance of passing anti-evolution legislation this session. If neither Sen. Storms nor Rep. Hayes backs down, Florida schools win.