May 01, 2008

Discovery Institute: Florida Republicans Sabotaging Our Stealth Creationism Bill

The Discovery Institute's John West thinks that the Florida Republican Party might be in league with the International Conspiracy of Evilutionary Darwininsts®. They're trying to allow solid biological theory to be taught in the state that currently ranks dead last in K-12 science education, and heads will roll when "concerned citizens" find out about this! Somebody call the waaahmbulance!

The following "press release" comes from the DI's own Evolutionary News and Views website. It was posted just after midnight, so it's reasonable to assume that West must be losing sleep over this.

Are Florida's House Republicans Trying to Sabotage Evolution Academic Freedom Bill?

Florida citizens who support academic freedom legislation on evolution might want to ask some tough questions of House Republican leaders in their state. Rather than pass an academic freedom bill previously adopted by the state Senate, the Florida House earlier this week adopted its own seemingly tougher measure that would actually require critical analysis of evolution. But wait: the Florida Senate had previously rejected the House approach, and with only a week left in the legislative session, Florida House members had to know that it would be extremely difficult to hammer out a new bill that could pass both houses within the remaining time. If the Florida legislature adjourns without passing an evolution academic freedom bill--after both legislative chambers previously approved bills on the topic by strong margins--Florida's House Republican leadership will need to explain why they allowed academic freedom for Florida teachers to be sabotaged. I hope I'm wrong, but it's beginning to look like someone in the Florida House leadership is intentionally trying to kill the academic freedom bill. If so, that's outrageous, and I hope concerned citizens in Florida will demand some answers.
(Shaking fist at sky) That's outrageous! Outrageous! Do you hear me? Damn you, closet-liberal Florida House Republicans! Damn you to hell!

What's "outrageous" is that Florida's students finally had the opportunity to learn biology based on a set of world-class standards and a bunch of religious fanatics felt justified in getting themselves involved and subverting the governmental process of an entire state to begin with. When I lived in Florida, people who did this sort of thing in other domains were referred to as "carpetbaggers" (yes, that Reconstruction Era term is still used there). Why it should be different when John West and his cronies get involved is beyond me.

Nonetheless, I personally don't think that this is some conspiracy within the Florida House's Republican contingent to stop the DI from having its way with the state. More likely, it's just another example of the ideological pig-headedness that typifies Floridian politics in general, particularly among the most conservative elements thereof. That's the problem with ideologues, John West. They're notoriously bad at striking compromises, even when it's in their own best interests.

I suspect that the "concerned citizens" of Florida will respond to this come election time, though... largely by voting a sizable proportion of the "academic fifedom" bill's proponents out of office. In the meantime, somebody get poor John a Valium and a glass of water, please.

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