But we digress. Our point today is that there is a limit to our understanding when it comes to politicians who espouse to the public that they are knowledgeable and capable enough to be given the responsibility of doing the people's business, and yet will stand on any street corner and argue with passersby that The Flintstones was a documentary. We speak, of course, about Florida. Regular readers of this blog accept the soft bigotry of low expectations...erm...we mean know that we have discussed Florida before. On several occasions. And yet, and yet...
Amid much controversy a year ago, the Florida Board of Education approved new standards that, much like other schools that take seriously their charge to prepare children to live in the 21st century, require public schools to teach that the scientific theory of evolution is the foundation of all biological science.
But don't think that battle is over. Not even close. Not while there's a breath left in those individuals, who, for some reason feel it's their god given right to assure that the next generation is just as stupid as they are. Must be a family values thing.
State Sen. Stephen Wise (not Wise), a Jacksonville Republican, said he plans to introduce a bill to require teachers who teach evolution to also discuss the idea of intelligent design. "Do I look like a monkey to you?" Wise (not Wise) asked reporters at the press conference announcing his bill. "Where do scientists get off telling us where we came from? There are no scientists mentioned in the bible."
Wise (not Wise), the chief sponsor of the bill, expects the Senate to take it up when it meets in March. He said its intent is simple: "If you're going to teach evolution, then you have to teach the other side so you can have critical thinking." When asked how students could develop critical thinking skills when they were asked to take Intelligent Design on faith, Wise (not Wise) replied that he hadn't thought about that, and the reporter who asked was being "overly critical" anyway.
Wise (not Wise) said that if the Legislature passes the bill, he wouldn't be surprised if there's a legal challenge. "Someplace along the line you've got to be able to make a value judgment of what it is you think is the appropriate thing." When asked if that wasn't exactly what the courts had been doing when they continually ruled against teaching creationism in science classrooms, regardless of what it was called, Wise (not) replied that "activist judges have ignored the bible in their rulings for far too long."
Wise (not) acknowledges it's a controversial subject. "I got a lot of hate mail last year," he said. "You'd think I'd never gone to school, that I was Cro-Magnon man, that I just got out of a cave or something. Well, I'm here to tell you folks, I am not Cro-Magnon. Homo Rudolfensis maybe, or perhaps a little Homo Cepranensis, but Cro-Magnon? No way."
What would you say to Homo Doofus?
"The thing we learned last year is that, No. 1, we must keep the discussion scientific." Rep. Alan Hays, a Republican from Umatilla said. "We want the students to know that the theory of evolution is only a theory, it has never ever been scientifically proven, and it should be accepted as that. Of course, for over 150 years evidence collected from fossils to microbes has supported the theory whereas the ID folks occasionally see the face of Jesus in their toast, but that's a minor detail."
Hays traveled to Virginia for a symposium at Liberty University School of Law on "Intelligent Design and Public School Curriculum." He was to be a guest speaker, discussing the legislative side of the issue. Hays said part of his beliefs come from his training as a dentist.
Or his addiction to laughing gas. One or the other, right Representative Wise (not Wise)?