Last Tuesday, Americans United for Separation of Church and State Abolishment of Religion pressed the Florida Board of Education to resist the efforts of the Religious Right to balance science in Florida schools. But on Friday, they didn’t exactly get the news they wanted. Let’s look at the AU press release first:
The Board of Education is scheduled to vote Feb. 19 on “world-class” science standards that for the first time explicitly include evolution. Religious Right activists and their allies are intently lobbying the board to water down the standards in keeping with fundamentalist Christian theology. [emphasis mine]
Those words, “world class” tell you all you need to know. It’s no secret that because of America’s Christian influence, we lag behind the rest of the world in humanism, atheism, and evolution’s influence. But that doesn’t mean we trail in science standards and shouldn’t be a reason to adjust our standards to theirs. Other factors such as low standards and public school bureaucracy get in the way more than an inadequate focus on evolution.
Said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “Public schools must teach science, not religion, in biology classes. It’s up to parents, not government officials, to make decisions about religious training.
Precisely how I feel. It’s just that “evolution” doesn’t equal “science.” Unless, you are using world standards and not American standards. American standards used to be more of a biblical approach to education as a whole, including science. But that has since moved to the left. But I agree that public schools must teach teach science … just not solely evolution.
In a letter (pdf) to School Board Chairman T. Willard Fair, Americans United said the Constitution requires a separation of church and state and that the courts have repeatedly forbidden teaching religion in science classes.
Since Lynn is basing his argument on this “required” separation of church and state, his entire premise is flawed. There is no “requirement” of separation in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against a federal establishment of a single religious denomination. But that is not the same thing as what Lynn is basing his argument on.
Americans United warned that students’ religious liberty rights are at stake.
They don’t know how right they are. LOL!
“Any effort to introduce creationism in Florida’s public school science curriculum,” the AU letter insisted, “will harm the religious liberty rights of students and their families.”
In this quote from Lynn, you could substitute the word, “evolution” for creationism and it would become far more truthful. Look at it like this:
It just makes sense to teach both equally and let the parents decide which direction they want to tip the balance for their children.
Now, on Friday, AU got bad news when the Florida Department of Education proposed the words “scientific theory of” to be placed in front of the term “evolution” in proposed new science standards as a possible compromise. Both sides seem to agree.
“That sounds like it’s a significant step in the right direction,” said critic John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, an Orlando-based advocacy group.
“People are out there trying to mislead by saying it’s just a theory,” said Joe Wolf, president of Florida Citizens for Science. “This clarifies the issue. It states explicitly that we are talking about a scientific theory.”
Though this not necessarily what AU wanted to hear, it’s not really a win for creationists either. If the goal is neutrality, as Lynn proclaims, adjusting the state’s standards to world standards is certainly not it. Much like the effort to include intelligent design was viewed as a move too far the right on the science scale, too much focus on evolution is moving to far to the left. That is if neutrality is the goal. Somehow, I don’t think it is. No, the goal of the NEA and AU is indoctrinating our children with humanist propaganda and calling it “science.”
But even after 40+ years of control of our schools, evolutionists are failing miserably.
VIEWS ON EVOLUTION/CREATIONISM
God created humans in present form
Humans evolved, God guided the process
Humans evolved, God did not guide process
Surely after that long, evolution would have a higher percentage of advocates. Around the world, Ireland, Luxembourg, Hungary, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Norway, UK, Japan, France, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland all have greater than 75% of its citizens that believe evolution is true. And Florida is proposing using their standards.
If their goal is neutrality, as Lynn claims, they are moving in the opposite direction. If it is to create more believers in evolution, they are on the correct track. Just not the right track.