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Gov. Bush [Florida] oddly evasive on evolution
Miami Herald ^ | 09 October 2005 | MARC CAPUTO

Posted on 10/09/2005 11:50:56 AM PDT by PatrickHenry

Jeb Bush, the self-styled straight-talking education governor, is having trouble speaking clearly about one of the hottest education topics these days: evolution.

Bush isn't sure if the religiously inspired ''intelligent design'' concept belongs in public school science classrooms.

''I don't . . . I don't know,'' he said Thursday. ``It's not part of our standards. Nor is creationism. Nor is Darwinism or evolution either.''

He's wrong about that: Evolution is required. The Sunshine State Standards want high school students to understand ``how genetic variation of offspring contributes to population control in an environment and that natural selection ensures that those who are best adapted to their surroundings survive.''

Bush blamed his education commissioner, John Winn, for telling him that evolution wasn't in the standards. Winn's department didn't return phone calls.

It's no shocker Bush blamed an error on an underling -- politicians often do -- or that he got one fact wrong; after all, the governor's wires are bound to short-circuit once in a while, considering the way he devours and discusses massive amounts of policy, news and legislation.

What's tough to figure is Bush's waffling -- or this circumlocution: ''I like what we have right now,'' he continued. ``And I don't think there needs to be any changes. I don't think we need to restrict discussion, but it doesn't need to be required, either.''

Of the candidates who want to succeed Bush in 2006, the two Democrats, Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua and U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa, said intelligent design belongs in religion -- not science -- class. But Republican state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher doesn't oppose it in science class, a spokesman said. Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist couldn't be reached.

Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican who chairs the state House Education Council, said he supports teaching intelligent design, which posits that life on the planet is so complex that something other-worldly must have guided it.

LIKE HIS BROTHER

Baxley guessed Bush will come out in support of intelligent design, just like the governor's big brother, the president. ''I don't think he wants to be pushed into a box over it,'' Baxley said. ``He probably wants this, but it's not the right time.''

Next year, Baxley said, the issue is bound to surface when the state revisits its education standards. Commissioner Winn has, so far, refused to discuss the subject publicly. However, Florida's new K-12 chancellor, Cheri Yecke, has told newspapers she wouldn't make intelligent design an issue.

Yecke, a conservative think-tank contributor, caused a stir in 2003, when, as Minnesota's schools chief, she wanted a science-standards committee to consider mentioning alternatives to evolution, according to press reports. The language making it easier to teach intelligent design derived from Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum's failed amendment to President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act.

FILLS GAPS

Whether it's Santorum or Baxley, proponents say intelligent design fills in evolution's gaps and should be taught to broaden kids' perspectives -- a type of postmodern all-things-are-equal viewpoint that conservatives once decried.

Now liberals and moderates are close to arguing against this inclusive approach. Intelligent design is an evolved form of creationism that doesn't posit an Earth-created-in-six-days model.

The debate is playing out in a courtroom in Santorum's state of Pennsylvania, where the Dover Area School Board required intelligent design in biology class.

Eight families sued, saying the policy unconstitutionally mixes church and state. Echoing the overwhelming majority of scientists, one teacher testified last week that the concept is not scientifically valid and doesn't belong in science class.

In Florida, your tax dollars are already paying for students to learn Bible-based creation concepts at a number of private religious schools that take former public school students who are poor, disabled or undereducated.

Using public money for private schooling is a cornerstone of Gov. Bush's A Plus education plan, which has been declared unconstitutional in every Florida court. It now awaits a Florida Supreme Court decision.

Some wonder whether there's a contradiction in Bush's push to spend hundreds of millions of tax money on the high-tech Scripps Research Institute for science while also funding religious schools that question one of biology's basic tenets.

When asked about this, Bush was again uncharacteristically evasive.

''That is so loaded. That's like, you've already written the article, why do you want me in it? It's not fair,'' Bush told a reporter when asked.

So that's a ''no'' then?

''No, that's nothing,'' Bush said. ``That's no comment. The governor refused to comment. That's what it is in the article: The governor refused to comment.''

When will he?

Marc Caputo is a reporter in The Herald's Capitol Bureau.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: crevolist; jebbush; scienceeducation
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This may be important, because Florida has a Senate race next year, and Florida is important in Presidential politics.
1 posted on 10/09/2005 11:50:57 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
EvolutionPing
A pro-evolution science list with over 300 names.
See the list's explanation at my freeper homepage.
Then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
See what's new in The List-O-Links.

2 posted on 10/09/2005 11:52:22 AM PDT by PatrickHenry ( I won't respond to a troll, crackpot, half-wit, or incurable ignoramus.)
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To: PatrickHenry
Jeb must have taken a waffling lesson from you know who.
3 posted on 10/09/2005 11:55:11 AM PDT by ml1954
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To: PatrickHenry

Curious the dems are against ID and the republicans are for it. I think both parties blow with the political winds.


4 posted on 10/09/2005 11:59:37 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: PatrickHenry
He's wrong about that: Evolution is required. The Sunshine State Standards want high school students to understand ``how genetic variation of offspring contributes to population control in an environment and that natural selection ensures that those who are best adapted to their surroundings survive.''

Huh?

A Governor governs.

To even think about delving into such a discussion would place him into the category of inability to do so for personal reasons.

A leader bringing hope for change is one thing, but to dictate outside the realm of duty would label a leader as a dictator.

5 posted on 10/09/2005 12:01:20 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: PatrickHenry
When will he?

Perhaps over coffee with a friend or family member.

6 posted on 10/09/2005 12:03:15 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: PatrickHenry
want high school students to understand ``how genetic variation of offspring contributes to population control in an environment and that natural selection ensures that those who are best adapted to their surroundings survive.''

Wonderful. Make sure every student can parrot that sentence, and hand him his diploma. Yea for government education!

7 posted on 10/09/2005 12:06:48 PM PDT by Tax-chick (When bad things happen, conservatives get over it!)
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To: PatrickHenry
Why does Jeb's opinion matter. Its up to the LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS to decide such things.

Jeb's doing the smart thing. Keeps the Creationist/ID freaks at bay and allow them to destroy themselves through the initiative process. Florida has a history of voting middle to the left on social issues during the initiative process.

Remember how the Schiavo folks were going to "vote all the murderers out?" The incumbents were still reelected.

In short, ID will go NOWHERE in Florida. The only place where the ID folks have any traction is in the Panhandle, and even there they are often mocked.

8 posted on 10/09/2005 12:08:47 PM PDT by Clemenza (Gentlemen, Behold!)
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To: PatrickHenry

I attended public school in Fla(way back when),and we were taught about evolution,Darwin,etc with the understanding that some believed in creationism.It wasn't a big deal to us.


9 posted on 10/09/2005 12:10:34 PM PDT by Thombo2
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To: PatrickHenry
You don't need to know much science to be a governor but you need to know a lot of science to be a scientist. The Florida education system produces plenty of creationists as it is. A good governor shouldn't be making decisions that will cripple the state's education system's ability to produce more scientists
10 posted on 10/09/2005 12:34:02 PM PDT by shuckmaster (Bring back SeaLion and ModernMan!)
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To: Clemenza
Jeb's doing the smart thing. Keeps the Creationist/ID freaks at bay and allow them to destroy themselves through the initiative process.

Agreed! This whole ID thing is making a joke of that wing of the conservative movement.

11 posted on 10/09/2005 12:37:41 PM PDT by Paradox (CDC in Atlanta is reporting an outbreak of HPD (Histrionic Personality Disorder) at FreeRepublic.com)
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To: PatrickHenry

Thanks for the ping!


12 posted on 10/09/2005 12:46:34 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Paradox
Agreed! This whole ID thing is making a joke of that wing of the conservative movement.

Somehow we need to make the country realize it's "that wing of the conservative movement", not "the conservative movement".

13 posted on 10/09/2005 12:48:30 PM PDT by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: my sterling prose)
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To: jennyp

"Somehow we need to make the country realize it's "that wing of the conservative movement", not "the conservative movement".":




A very good point. I think what we need to do is to be as proactive as the creationist and ID folks are being. When this comes up in your school district or state, make yourself known as a conservative AND an opponent to non-science in the classroom.

I suspect that all the officials are really looking for is a little support from the right. Once they get that they'll feel OK about bagging the whole thing.


14 posted on 10/09/2005 12:55:19 PM PDT by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: All
" a type of postmodern all-things-are-equal viewpoint that conservatives once decried."

Bull.

Postmoderns deny the law of noncontradiction - ie: they believe that there can be more that one truth.

They are the emotionally unstable mentalities that suffer the mental confusion resulting from holding polar opposite ideas, beliefs and attitudes simultaneously. (Cognitive dissonance)

Those who would give any weight to the opinions of such confused people (regardless of their "credentials"), are themselves incapable of cogent thought.

15 posted on 10/09/2005 1:04:25 PM PDT by Matchett-PI ( "History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." -- Dwight Eisenhower)
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To: PatrickHenry

Let's also get Gov Bush's opinion on the Theory of Relativity.


16 posted on 10/09/2005 1:05:35 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: PatrickHenry
Gerald Schroeder, The Science Of God
17 posted on 10/09/2005 1:05:48 PM PDT by onedoug
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The CrevoSci Archive
Just one of the many services of Darwin Central
"The Conspiracy that Cares"

CrevoSci threads for the past week:

  1. 2005-10-09 Gov. Bush [Florida] oddly evasive on evolution
  2. 2005-10-08 Famed author takes on Kansas: Rushdie bemoans role of religion in public life
  3. 2005-10-07 Descent of Man in Dover (Why acceptance of ID not inevitable.)
  4. 2005-10-07 Discovery Institute's “Wedge Document” How Darwinist Paranoia Fueled an Urban Legend
  5. 2005-10-07 Dover, PA Evolution Trial [daily thread for 07 Oct]
  6. 2005-10-07 Evolution and intelligent design Life is a cup of tea
  7. 2005-10-07 Let 'intelligent design' and science rumble
  8. 2005-10-07 The Las Cruces Fossil Human Footprints
  9. 2005-10-07 The Map that Changed the World [in 1815]
  10. 2005-10-07 University of Idaho Bans All Alternatives to Evolution
  11. 2005-10-07 Why Intelligent Design Is Going to Win
  12. 2005-10-06 Faith, Science and the Persecution of Richard Sternberg
  13. 2005-10-06 Scientist defends Big Bang and God
  14. 2005-10-06 Seeing Creation and Evolution in Grand Canyon (quote below is the most significant item)
  15. 2005-10-06 The Mouth of the South Side (Carl Everett on Gays, Evolution, Bush and Kanye West)
  16. 2005-10-06 U of I president:teach only evolution in {University}science classes (Connection to PA court fight)
  17. 2005-10-06 Witness: 'Design' Replaced 'Creation'
  18. 2005-10-06 Witness: Movement's roots in creationism (Dover trial 10/6/05)
  19. 2005-10-05 Professor, teachers to testify in intelligent-design trial [Dover, PA, 05 Oct]
  20. 2005-10-05 Supernova Storm Wiped Out Mammoths?
  21. 2005-10-05 The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2005 goes to Yves Chauvin, Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock
  22. 2005-10-04 A space station view on giant lightning (May play role in global warming!)
  23. 2005-10-04 Ancient Peruvians Loved Their Spuds
  24. 2005-10-04 "Cardinal backs evolution and ""intelligent design"""
  25. 2005-10-04 Potatoes came from Peru, US study finds
  26. 2005-10-04 Space Scientists Seek Sprites, Elves and Jets
  27. 2005-10-04 Spider fooled into sex by drop-dead male
  28. 2005-10-04 The Bottom Line: Darwinism Promotes Social Disintegration
  29. 2005-10-04 The Nobel Prize in Physics 2005 is awarded to Roy J. Glauber, John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch
  30. 2005-10-03 How Long Did It Take to Deposit the Geologic Strata? (Hint: Maybe it wasn't millions of years)
  31. 2005-10-03 Live from Pennsylvania: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
  32. 2005-10-03 Returning to Dover [evolution trial in Dover, PA: week 2]
  33. 2005-10-03 Systemic determinants of gene evolution and function
  34. 2005-10-03 The timeless truth of creation

CrevoSci Warrior Freepdays for the month of October:
 

2003-10-09 antiRepublicrat
2004-10-10 Antonello
1998-10-18 AZLiberty
1999-10-14 blam
2000-10-19 cogitator
2001-10-21 Coyoteman
2004-10-26 curiosity
1998-10-29 Dataman
2000-10-29 dila813
2005-10-07 Dinobot
2001-10-14 dread78645
1998-10-03 Elsie
1998-10-17 f.Christian
2002-10-08 FairOpinion
2001-10-26 Genesis defender
2000-10-09 Gil4
2000-10-08 guitarist
2004-10-10 joeclarke
1998-10-03 js1138
2001-10-24 k2blader
2000-10-08 LibWhacker
2002-10-25 m1-lightning
2001-10-10 Michael_Michaelangelo
2001-10-09 Mother Abigail
2004-10-25 MRMEAN
2004-10-03 Nicholas Conradin
1999-10-28 PatrickHenry
1998-10-01 Physicist
1998-10-25 plain talk
1998-10-12 Restorer
2005-10-04 ret_medic
2001-10-23 RightWingNilla
2004-10-09 snarks_when_bored
2002-10-22 sumocide
2004-10-21 WildHorseCrash
2001-10-23 yankeedame
2002-10-20 Z in Oregon

In Memoriam
Fallen CrevoSci Warriors:


ALS
Area Freeper
Aric2000
Askel5
bluepistolero
churchillbuff
ConservababeJen
DittoJed2
dob
Ed Current
f.Christian
followerofchrist
general_re
goodseedhomeschool
gopwinsin04
gore3000
Jedigirl
JesseShurun
Kevin Curry
kharaku
Le-Roy
Marathon
medved
metacognative
Modernman
NoKinToMonkeys
Ogmios
peg the prophet
Phaedrus
Phoroneus
pickemuphere
ret_medic
RickyJ
SeaLion
Selkie
Shubi
Tomax
tpaine
WaveThatFlag
xm177e2


Bring back Modernman and SeaLion!

18 posted on 10/09/2005 1:05:51 PM PDT by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
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To: Junior

Nicely done.


19 posted on 10/09/2005 1:09:35 PM PDT by PatrickHenry ( I won't respond to a troll, crackpot, half-wit, or incurable ignoramus.)
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To: All

"...Darwin meant by evolution the process whereby life arose from non-living matter and subsequently developed entirely by natural means. This is a form of scientific materialism that Freeman Dyson decries in "Science and Religion Can Work Together." (APS News, November 2000.) Richard Dawkins, famed author of "The Blind Watchmaker," has said that Darwin made it possible to be an "intellectually fulfilled atheist."

Scientists and teachers ought to make it clear... that evolution and cosmology are working assumptions, not established facts.

Unlike physics, evolution and cosmology are sciences in the sense of forensic science.

The evidence for evolutionary transition of humans from apelike ancestors is not abundant enough to conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it has occurred. That is why the overwhelming majority of Americans still believe in a Creator.

The foundation of modern science was laid down by devout Christians (Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Maxwell, Planck, etc.) who studied nature to know more about its Creator.

It was the extension of the evolutionary ideas of Darwin to an atheistic world view that accentuated the false antagonism between science and religion.

Such mixing of science, philosophy, and theology must be openly discussed.

What people object to is the teaching of an atheistic world view in the guise of science. Students of faith ought not to come out of biology classes with the notion that there is no God. Otherwise, theology and not merely biology is being taught in such classes.

Clearly everything evolves. However, it is not self-evident to me that the fundamental question of origins is a truly scientific question.

If not, then the answer must be sought in the very same places where we seek answers to questions regarding meaning, values, and purpose. One must never forget that an explanation of the totality of the human experience may lie outside the realm of science.

The honest pursuit of an answer to the question of origins may lead ultimately to an Intelligent Designer.

Max Planck, Nobel laureate and father of quantum physics, said: "God is at the beginning of every religion and at the end of the natural sciences." Let us not forget that our nation is founded on the creed that our freedom and unalienable rights are endowed by our Creator. ~ Moorad Alexanian, Professor of Physics University of North Carolina at Wilmington http://origins.swau.edu/who/moorad/cmoorad98.html

Source: http://www.asa3.org/archive/asa/200012/0055.html


20 posted on 10/09/2005 1:12:02 PM PDT by Matchett-PI ( "History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." -- Dwight Eisenhower)
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