A bill that would allow school districts to teach Florida students alternatives to concepts deemed “controversial theories” — such as human-caused climate change and evolution — has been filed in the state Legislature.First, a concession: I sympathize with the sponsors of the bill about the political and religious indoctrination. The Department of Education is lock-step with the DNC platform and, as such is hostile to “alternative” political views and religious expression. They tend to support every left, liberal cause that comes down the pike to the point where some teachers that I know won't be members of the national organization because they know that is where their membership money is being funneled. This is one of very many reasons that we don't place our kids in public school.
The language of the bill sounds fairly unremarkable, requiring only that schools “shall” teach these “theories” in a “factual, objective, and balanced manner.” But the group that wrote the bill, the Florida Citizens Alliance, says the bill is needed because curriculum currently taught in Florida schools equates to “political and religious indoctrination,” according to their managing director, Keith Flaugh.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said that schools need to teach “different worldviews” on issues like evolution and climate change. He asserts that textbooks now skew toward “uniformity” of thought.
“Nothing is ever settled if it’s science, because people are always questioning science,” Baxley said. “If you look at the history of human learning, for a long time the official worldview was that the world was flat. Anything you now accept as fact comes from a perspective and you learn from examining different schools of thought.”
Secondly, though, this seems a whole lot like much ado about nothing. While senator Baxley might want alternatives to established scientific theories taught, the text of the bill provides no language for that. If anything, it gives teachers room to tee anti-evolutionary ideas up and knock them into the next fairway. Climate change is a bit more sketchy. It is a science in its infancy and, even fifteen years ago, researchers were warning of a coming big freeze (think The Day After Tomorrow, which came out in 2004). Some still are. There is a growing body of evidence that we are affecting the climate in some way, but it is still too early to tell how. There is no value in cutting off debate in this arena. The same cannot remotely be said about evolution, which now has over 150 years of supporting research behind it and is, in the minds of those who study it, almost beyond the realm of doubt.