Who will be the fittest?

Evolution debates are lighting up the opinion pages of Florida newspapers. On one side are supporters of proposed revisions to the state's science standards, which, if approved by the Board of Education early in 2008, will include the "e-word" for the first time in 11 years. On the other side are creationists and their allies, of which board member Donna Callaway is one. She recently told a newspaper that evolution "should not be taught to the exclusion of other theories of the origins of life." On the state's science-standards website, thousands of people have posted comments on the proposed revisions. One read, "I am so sick that people have become so brainwashed into thinking that evolution is true." Evolution is not a belief of the brainwashed. It's a widely accepted scientific theory; indeed, it's the basis of modern biology and much else. If creation debates take place in philosophy classes, well and good, but science classes need to stick with scientific topics, not speculative religious ones. Especially now, when everyone is worried about America's lagging scientific prowess, it's foolish to retard scientific understanding. In 2005, we gave Florida's science standards an F, and their omission of the "e-word" was part of the reason for the failing grade. Serious science standards must include evolution. Just ask any scientist.

"Debate over teaching evolution moves to Florida," by Bill Kaczor, Associated Press, December 8, 2007

"Push against e-word sets schools back," by Fred Grimm, Miami Herald, December 9, 2007

"Ignorance has no place in curriculum," St. Petersburg Times, December 10, 2007

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