Partial Win for Sunshine State
Florida's State Board of Education this week approved newly revised science standards after a long process that, in its final stages, turned contentious over the subject of evolution, a recurrent problem topic for Florida as for several other states. The 4-3 vote enshrined evolution in the Sunshine State's curriculum. But as part of a last-minute compromise made to mollify Darwin's detractors, the wording of the standards was changed to specifically present evolution as a "scientific theory." Board member Kathleen Shanahan said, "Do I believe the theory of evolution? Absolutely. But I believe there's more to explore." The new wording will, presumably, allow such exploration to take place. We're uneasy about that possibility. Students need to be taught science in science class, not encouraged to conjure up their own theories about the origin and development of species. Evolution enjoys unanimous support among serious scientists and should receive similar support in school curricula.
"Evolution joins curriculum," by Ron Matus, St. Petersburg Times, February 20, 2008