It’s been a while since we paid attention to that enchanted region we call The Florida Ark. The what? According to the Curmudgeon’s Glossary:
The Florida Ark is that concave stretch of coast — an arc, get it? — starting at the Alabama border and then sweeping down the shore of the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Tampa, and a bit beyond. This blessed region is home to a great number of creationists.
There’s an interesting school board race in Pinellas County, Florida. The largest city there is St. Petersburg, Florida. The news is in the Tampa Bay Times, published in that county. It’s part of the Ark.
Their straightforward headline is: Pinellas School Board candidate Ken Peluso wants creationism taught in public schools. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
“I think creationism and evolution should be taught side by side and I don’t care what classroom,” Peluso said Thursday in response to a question at a school board candidate forum held by the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg.
That’s quite an answer. What was the question? We’re told:
Candidates were asked whether they favored teaching creationism. If they did, would they allow it to be taught in a science class? Peluso was the only candidate to say yes. His two opponents for the District 4 seat, Beverley Billiris, former mayor of Tarpon Springs, and John Nygren, a retired math teacher, said no. So did candidates in the other four School Board races.
You gotta admire Peluso’s courage. He’s the only candidate to admit that he’s a flaming creationist. Later in the story it says:
A retired chiropractor and former chairman of the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas, Peluso has raised the most money in the District 4 race.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! A creationist chiropractor. We can’t recall running across another of those before. Oh, wait — there were a couple. See Canada’s Science Minister: Creationist Chiropractor, and also Creationist Wisdom — Example 84. Hey, get this:
He [Peluso] also has endorsements from the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association, Pinellas Educational Support Professionals Association, and the Pinellas Realtor Organization.
The Realtors, okay, but the Classroom Teachers Association? What’s going on in Pinellas County? We’ll skip what the other candidates said. They all seem normal. Is there any more good stuff here? Let’s read on:
Florida’s science standards, which were adopted in 2008, call evolution the “fundamental concept underlying all of biology” and say it is “supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence.” Creationism is not in the state standards, despite an effort to include it years ago.
That was quite a battle, as we recall. The article continues:
Peluso said students should “know the facts” and decide for themselves.
We’ve heard that from creationists before. If only they took their own advice. Here’s one last excerpt:
The election for the non-partisan seat is Aug. 26. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, a run-off race will be held in November.
That’s less than three weeks away. We’ll be watching.
Update: The Tampa Bay Times now reports Pinellas School Board candidate Peluso reverses his comments about creationism
Pinellas School Board candidate Ken Peluso said Friday that he doesn’t support teaching creationism in public schools, despite comments he made during a public forum. He was caught off-guard and gave a “quick response without thinking,” he said..
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here are a few more quotes:
“In hindsight, that was probably a poor choice of words in response to a question that caught me off guard,” he said Friday. “My personal beliefs have nothing to do with it.”
Peluso said Friday that creationism versus evolution is “probably the most controversial education issue of all time.” Despite his comments, he said that he wouldn’t teach creationism alongside evolution in a science class. He could see a place for it in a world religion class with other views, he said.
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