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Florida State Board of Education Receives Minority Report That Covers Evolution Objectively

Rob Crowther recently discussed the fact that the proposed Florida Science Standards take an extremely dogmatic approach towards evolution education. The proposed standards assert that evolution is "the fundamental concept underlying all of biology," and they claim that it "is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence." There are no mention of any scientific problems with neo-Darwinism anywhere in Florida's proposed standards. Notwithstanding the extremely well-organized efforts of the Darwin-only contingent in Florida, Fred Cutting, a member of the Framing Committee for Florida's science standards, has written and submitted a Minority Report to the State Board of Education that would introduce objectivity into the evolution curriculum.

Some time ago, Mr. Cutting inquired with us for information about solid evolution education, and we were happy to supply it, along with input on his draft Minority Report. Mr. Cutting has submitted an excellent proposal, which we hope will be considered seriously by members of the Florida State Board of Education. (By the way, we constantly receive inquiries from students, teachers, school board members, and other educators from all around the United States who want information about how they can teach evolution in a more objective fashion, and we help out whenever we can. If you need information or suggestions about supporting a teach-the-controversy approach in your own state or school district, feel free to contact us at cscinfo@discovery.org.)

It's important to highlight that the Minority Report filed by Mr. Cutting does not require the teaching of any alternatives to evolution, like intelligent design. One revealing aspect of Florida''s proposed standards is that their section on the Nature of Science states that students should "use critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain all the data presented." As Mr. Cutting writes in the Minority Report, "Somewhat inexplicably, there is no indicator in the proposed standards that applies this philosophy of science education to biological origins."

Cutting's Minority Report further warns that "If Florida students are to remain competitive in science, students need to see how scientists debate important topics, such as Darwinian evolution or the chemical origin of life. " The Minority Report thus proposes, the following:

"Students should learn why some scientists give scientific critiques of standard models of neo-Darwinian evolution or models of the chemical origin of life."