Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Freedom of Speech or Separation of Church and State?

Image: Human Evolution

This week the Florida State Board of Education approved the new Florida Science Standards which presents macro evolution as “the fundamental concept underlying all of biology, and is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence,” according to a press release by the Florida Family Policy Council.  Additionally, the board rejected a proposal to include a sentence that would protect teachers who point out weaknesses of the theory from discipline or reprimand.  So, for the state of Florida, the theory of evolution has become state dogma that cannot be questioned in any official sense.  It seems to me to be more a case of competing ideologies than protecting the separation of church and state.  Taken to its extreme, it could even begin to infringe upon other constitutional rights such as the freedom of speech.  Yet another reason to avoid the public school system!




James Wilder said...

Great post. That's exactly what it was...Science has left its first estate as trying to understand the things "in the box" and has instead attempted to answer the question of "how" the things got in the box. That's philosophy and not science.

Projects like The Truth Project, Expelled, RZIM, Lee Strobel's conferences and a host of others are a doing a great job pointing these things out.

Marjorie said...

Or the number one reason to get involved (re: public education)...just a thought my friend!

Steve said...

I'm not sure it can be saved even with involvement (re: public education). I have a friend who is a speech-language pathologist in the public school system and he tells some stories that just leave me shaking my head. One teacher was informing her students that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a medical doctor, but he had his "doctrine degree." When my friend spoke up and said, "That's doctoral degree" she answered, "Really? How do you spell that?" True story...

The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan had some interesting things to say about public education in his article, Defining Deviancy Down." He concluded that there is good money in bad schools, lessening the incentive to improve them. What's more poignant was this came from a democratic senator.