When we saw this at the website of our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), we were a bit surprised. Their headline is A second antiscience bill in Florida.
Egad! It was only ten days ago that we wrote Florida Creationism Bill for 2018. Now they have another one? We groaned and started reading. NCSE says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Florida’House Bill 825, prefiled on November 28, 2017, would, if enacted, require “[c]ontroversial theories and concepts … [to] be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner,” while allowing local school districts to use either the state science standards or alternatives “equivalent to or more rigorous than” them.
That sounds a lot like SB 966, the Senate bill introduced by State Senator Dennis Baxley, the undertaker, that we had just written about, so we looked at the text of both bills. We didn’t check every word of each bill, only most of them — the parts that concern us — and they appear to be identical. So this isn’t a whole new bill — it’s the same bill being introduced into the House.
The legislature’s main page for House bill is here: HB 825. The genius in the House who is sponsoring the thing is Charlie Stone, from Ocala — that’s his page at the legislature’s website. His occupation is “Business Owner,” whatever that may mean, and he’s a high school graduate. Very impressive! His write-up at Wikipedia says his business is “Stone Petroleum Products, a wholesale distributor of petroleum products in Ocala.”
This is the relevant existing part of the existing law, with the proposed addition by both bills shown in bold font:
Science standards must establish specific curricular content for, at a minimum, the nature of science, earth and space science, physical science, and life science. Controversial theories and concepts must be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner.
So when the new session of the legislature starts in January, the hearings in both houses will begin. The funeral director’s bill in the state Senate and the high school graduate’s bill in the state House are ready to go. Stay tuned to this blog!
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