What seemed like one or two isolated schoolboards in Florida flirting with the creationism seems to have blossomed: according to Florida Citizen’s for Science reading of press reports, no less than twelve school boards have issued resolutions supporting the idea that “alternatives” to evolution need to be taught in science class, all with suspiciously similar language. As with most of these challenges, the boards don’t quite seem to get the clever coyness of appeals to intelligent design as science, clumsily mixing openly traditional creationist ideas and claims with the PR methods that ID has pro-typed and field tested. It’s not going to end well for them, I’m afraid.
I mean, I find it difficult to understand how anyone can defend the brash ignorance of some of these statements. One claims that the school needs to take “an approach that does not unfairly exclude other theories as to the creation of the universe.” Yes, that’s right: apparently biologists are now in charge of creating the universe.
These people, who would clearly flunk a quiz with the single question “What does the theory of evolution purport to explain,” are in charge of the education of children??? That’s just embarrassing, even if you completely reject evolution as sound science. It’s literally no different than a board member complaining that children “don’t speak English enough good.”
In any case, PZ Myers smells some sort of organized, bankrolled effort behind it all. The evidence is still circumstantial, but it certainly seems plausible enough. However, the common reaction may all have simply been sparked off by Florida’s proposed new statewide science standards, which would make it difficult to maintain the status quo of many schools in simply not seriously covering evolution in science class.
We’ll see if the coincidences in timing and language continue to increase.