Florida’s Stephen Wise: Hidden Depths of Stupid

As you’re aware, there’s a sneaky creationist bill currently pending in the Florida legislature. You can see Florida’s First Creationism Bill for 2011 for details, but for convenience, this is a link to the bill: SB 1854: Required Instruction in the Public Schools.

The bill requires “A thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution.” Despite creationists’ denials, everyone knows that’s a mandate to teach creationism in science class. The bill is essentially a repeat of a similar effort from 2009 which, like this new one, was introduced by Senator Stephen Wise, chairman of the Senate’s Education and Pre K-12 Committee.

In today’s Tampa Tribune we read More conservative Legislature considers evolution bill. The article has two photos — one of Rapturous Ronda (see Buffoon Award Winner — Ronda Storms), and another of Stephen Wise. Wise gives every appearance of having recently — very recently — descended from some primitive form of life. Here are some excerpts from the article, with bold font added by us:

Science education advocates are alarmed by a bill before the Legislature that they say could force teachers to challenge evolution at the expense of settled science.


The critical analysis approach originated at the Discovery Institute, a think tank that supports the teaching of intelligent design, which holds that evolution alone cannot explain life, which is so complex that it must have had a creator.

This is a well-written article, and the author — Elaine Silvestrini — has done her homework. If you’re interested in this matter in Florida, you should read it all. We’ll just give you a few choice excerpts, for example:

Wise, R-Jacksonville, thinks his evolution bill may have a better chance this year because there are more conservatives in the Legislature and because he chairs a substantive committee. “Why would you not teach both theories at the same time?” Wise said, referring to evolution and what he called “nonevolution.”

Ah — “nonevolution.” Why doesn’t he say “creationism” or “supernatural design”? The sure sign of a charlatan who is trying to conceal his motives is that he coins his own terminology for well-established concepts. Let’s read on:

In 2009, Wise told WMNF radio he was concerned that students might be persecuted for wanting to talk about intelligent design.

“Why do we still have apes if we came from them?” Wise, a retired educator, said during the interview with the Tampa radio station. “And those are the kind of questions kids need to ask themselves. You know, ‘how did we get here?’ And, you know, there’s more than one theory on this thing. And the theory is evolution, the other one is intelligent design.”

We would ordinarily continue with a few more excerpts, but how can we find anything better than that? We can’t, but there’s also this from near the end:

And Wise denied he is trying to introduce religion into the classroom. “I think it’s a way in which people can have critical thinking,” he said of his bill. “If you just keep things away from folks, you don’t have a good debate … .

An ignoramus and a charlatan — the best possible qualifications for a creationist politician! The article also gives quotes from the other side, so click over there and read it for yourself. It’s good.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Florida’s Stephen Wise: Hidden Depths of Stupid

  1. That section that you quoted beginning with “Why do we still have apes …” is a delight Three of my favorites back-to-back. I suggest three articles at RationalWiki:

    1. How come there are still monkeys?

    2. And as to “how did we get here?” there’s Scientific storkism

    3. Scientific theory#Creationism is not a theory

  2. It’s nice to see a newspaper story that clearly pegs the Discovery Institute. Perhaps not all is lost in Florida.

  3. Gabriel Hanna

    Creationists are their own worst enemy. They simply cannot keep their intentions secret. That’s why these legal efforts are pointless. If Florida passes the bill, the creationists will run wild in the school districts, they’ll all get sued, just like in Louisiana.

  4. “Why do we still have apes if we came from them?” Wise, a retired educator, said….

    Are you f***ing kidding me?

  5. You can’t answer, can you, James F?

  6. Hidden Depths of Stupid

    I would argue with your title. It’s not quite that hidden. The stupidity is quite obvious to the most casual observer!

  7. Larian LeQuella says:

    I would argue with your title. It’s not quite that hidden.

    Not now, it’s true. But I didn’t realize until today that he was running around asking why there are still monkeys. So he kept it hidden, at least from me. What else is he hiding?

  8. Wise is a retired educator? According to his campaign website, he was a mechanic at Cape Canaveral and an elementary school gym teacher. His doctoral dissertation from the University of Alabama was on the plight of migrant workers. One of his colleagues calls him “very smart,” and he says that he wants “to make people feel good about what they’re doing with their lives.” Heaven save us. . .

  9. “an elementary school gym teacher.”

    Those who can’t do, teach.

    Those who can’t teach, teach gym.