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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 03:50 PM
Original message
Science Standards Will Call Evolution 'Scientific Theory'
Source: ABC News/AP

First Time Word Evolution Has Been Included in School Standards

Florida's State Board of Education has voted to use the term "scientific theory of evolution" in new science standards, the first time the word "evolution" has been included.

Florida's current standards require the teaching of evolution using code words like "change over time."

Adding the term "scientific theory" before the term "evolution" was a modified proposal at least one board member called a compromise, not standards proposed originally to the committee. The option to include "scientific theory" was made late last week.

The board narrowly passed the proposed change, voting 4-3, after more than an hour of public comment and additional discussion by the board.

Before the board voted, board member Roberto Martinez took issue with including "scientific theory" before "evolution" in the standards. He joked that the option "evolved very quickly" over the past "seven days." He quickly became serious, however, charging that the revision had been made to "placate" people who disagreed with the standards. He said they were also not vetted thoroughly as the original standards.

"We're watering down the best possible standards we could have," he said, calling the option "second-best."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4311046&page=...
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. As opposed to religious myth?
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melody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:06 PM
Original message
as opposed to fairy tales
This is crazy.
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EvolveOrConvolve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. The ignorant will love that the word "theory" is attached to the standards
Even though they have no idea what defines a scientific theory. These people mistake "theory" with hypotheses, assuming it means that the idea has not been proven, only proposed.
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is definitely a case of "be careful what you wish for." Now that the YEC crowd has
conceded that evolution is a scientific theory - there can be no objection to including a full discussion of it in the school curriculum and every objection to inclusion of any alternatives that are not scientific theories. I don't actually see any downside here at all.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yes, it's a scientific theory. Which is NOT the same thing as, say, a crazy person's THEORY that
they can fly or they are Napoleon.

The people who jump up and down and flap their arms excitedly over the word "theory" in these debates, as if it somehow weakens arguments pertaining to the factual truth of evolution by natural selection, generally don't understand what it means.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
30. Or that jesus/mithra/zues/____ exists.
Myths are killing human advancement.

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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. as a biologist, I'm perfectly happy with that term....
Evolution is indeed the "scientific theory" that is the foundation of modern biology, just as the "scientific theory of gravity" underlies much of modern cosmology.
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quantass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. But the problem i have with it
is that the word "theory" is so ingrained in everyday person that they believe it is just a guess and nothing more. This will never change with the general public. In science i can understand that theory is clearly more than this but for the public they will never see it that way. This is the only crux of Evolution for mainstream acceptance in america. If this word changed to something else like "law" then people would be more accepting of it instead of fighting with it. I mean, even to me, when the word theory is used about evolution i can totally understand why people would assume Supernatural is a theory too which is is absolutely wrong..but in general speak supernatural is a theory...so context is everthing and i feel it is only appropriate of science to see the possible confusion and maybe consider a global change of this word to something more appropriate for it.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. well, I'm just not willing to reward ignorance by accomodating it...
Edited on Tue Feb-19-08 04:38 PM by mike_c
...and if folks want to think that "theory" means "half-baked notion" in scientific contexts then the term we use to describe evolution isn't the real problem after all. Basic scientific literacy is the real problem in that case. It is the job of folks teaching science to make the point that "theory" means an explanation well supported by massive amounts of direct evidence, with broad acceptance among workers in the field.

on edit-- of course, sam sarrha makes the point far better than I did in reply #6. The MECHANISMS of evolution are scientific theories. Evolution itself is a directly observable fact.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #15
34. Yes, I agree that lay people and average joes should be able to set the standards for science.
The word "theory" is too confusing to average people, then scientists need to dumb-down their standards. And yes, maybe scientists should "consider a global change of this word". Let's make it global! :thumbsup:
:rofl:
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D23MIURG23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. I mostly agree, but I worry that...
It might be the only theory discussed using the term "Scientific Theory", which could give a misleading impression about its status relative to other scientific ideas.
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Deny and Shred Donating Member (453 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. To remedy that, we should always couple it with Theory of Gravity
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #5
28. Thank you...Evolution is indeed a "scientific theory"...
most people do not understand how theories work in the scientific scheme of things.

Theories abound, and it is a good thing they do, because it shows that people are thinking and working on problems, seeking answers to questions that mankind has had for a very long time. The evidence is overwhelming that "evolution" is a major part of the equation for life on this planet as it is today...but it certainly doesn't explain everything. Postulates aside, each time there is an "answer", there are more "questions", the only way we can come to conclusions is to look at all aspects of the situation.

I have spent many an hour discussing a 100,000 things that I question, this is how I learn, how people in general learn, truth from fiction.

I hold no grudge for those who wish to believe in "creation" as it is spelled out in religious texts, faith is a powerful driving force. But I want open minds in schools, minds that are not afraid to seek and learn. Far too often, people want "it all" in one fell swoop, I see each step as a step on the road to enlightenment.

Drive on FL! You're moving ahead, and for that we should all be grateful.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. sorry... Evolution is a FACT, the mechanism that drives it is theory. it is easily proved a fact.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Religion on the other hand is easly proven a myth..
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BadgerKid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. i.e., does religion offer testable hypotheses?
We're offering the same thought, yes? :)
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quantass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. No, it cant...
If religion could provide testable hypothesis then it would finally stand a chance to be peer reviewed and admitted into schools as scientific woethy material....For shame religious people for wanting to believe in myth al because of emotional need. Where is the objectivity. btw BadgerKid, i jsut want to be certian that i am not attacking you...my disappointment is in blind followers i likr yo call holy sheep
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BadgerKid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. .
Oh, no attack perceived, thanks. I'm actually on record as being in the rational, if not scientific, camp:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

;)

I can understand that some people need religion (it doesn't work for me) yet don't question it.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. yes they do... a lady called Rev Hegie an said she donated $500 and now whenever she goes
to walmart she always finds a parking spot right by the door.. i kid you not.. he can blow on people and heal them too.. Brother jim was just heal'n that fella in that hot tub when Tammy Fay Walked in and got all excited...
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ldf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. did she happen to notice
all those big markings designating that parking spot for the handicapped???

hmmm?

i thought not.
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quantass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Evolution is more than a FACT because...
I obviously agree with you but for other readers i just want to point out that a Theory is actually more than just a FACT...it goes way beyond it...it actually ecompasses a collection of observable, testable, proven facts..and in the case of evolution, over hundreds of years. Nothing has ever come along to disapprove evolution...Religion's mythical magic belief in supernatural has had no facts to prove it and resists to follow the same steps that a normal scientific theory must go through in its life time which to me is disgraceful.

Ultimately, truth prevails, and if American wants to continue to lag behind the rest of the world then so be it...only then will the American people open their eyes and realize that their economy has disappeared and been outsourced overseas.
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ChickMagic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Evolution is a very robust theory
So far, it has been able to explain and even predict what scientists find.
It's a unifying theory as well. Scientists don't seek to prove anything really.
In principle, scientific theories are always tentative, and subject to corrections.
The theory is so robust that it's as close as you can get to a fact in science.
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quantass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Precisely
Well said,, those pesky scientists are always never willing to say they are 100% certain of anything and so all they will say that they are certain to such a high probability that we believe this is what it will do or has done...
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quantass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. Science really needs to drop the word THEORY and replace it with LAW
Theory is not a guess in science but in fact is sciences best explanation of a collection of testable, provable facts...so in science Theory is more than a fact....that is why i propose that science change the word theory to law for the sake of the general public and their ongoing confusion of theory meaning just a guess....
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ngant17 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. It's hard to watch the genetic mutation of species genes
over, say 100,000 years or 1 million years. So you have to assume it is taking place even though you can't actually be there to witness it.

I suppose it's like the theory of electricity and electron flow. Can you actually see the electrons moving in the wires and relate that to voltage, current and resistance? What if it's really the "absence" of electrons that's causing current, rather than the actual electrons themselves? Either way, we can build electrical machinery based on the theory of the assumption of the flowing of electrons which produce current, voltage, and resistance.

There is no intelligent life form that makes the electrons work. It happens according to physical laws. Likewise the theory of evolution does not presuppose the existence of "God". It happens on its own.

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BadgerKid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. No problem...watch evolution in the lab
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The Croquist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #8
33. The word THEORY works very well thank you
Just because people misuse a word is no reason to change. It is a reason to educate and by calling Evolution a THEORY, over 1 million Floridians are about to educated in what a theory is.

Believing that we never landed on the moon is not a theory. It is a (stupid) idea.
Believing that Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim is not a theory. It is a (stupid) idea.
Believing that living things change over time to better adapt to their environment is a theory. It's called Evolution.


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sutz12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #8
35. No can do, because a LAW in science means something completely different.
Yes, a theory has a distinct definition, but calling something a Law is something else entirely.

Ohm's 'Law' is a truth that can be counted on in every situation, every environment, every case. The relationship between voltage, current and resistance is a fundamental law of nature. It is so strong that if it appears to be violated, one can be certain that there is a flaw in the circuit, or some external influence. Presumably, it is true inside the sun.

Theories like evolution have their own set of criteria, but one can't say that it is fundamentally true everywhere in the universe. Other biospheres may act differently.

We need to educate the general public, not insist that scientists dumb down their language.
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The Croquist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. Another difference between a law and a theory
is that a law is derived solely from observation and does not attempt to explain why. Newton never tried to explain why gravity works. Darwin tried to explain the "why" in evolution. That was to better adapt to the surrounding conditions.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
19. that these fights still go on in a suppsedly modern society is yet
another American embarrasment. Let's FLAUNT and try to MANDATE IGNORANCE.
:mad: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
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Prefer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. Works for me - gives creationists nothing to complain about
I think it is a gracious appeasement.
Appease those people and they are diffused.

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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
23. They weren't even allowed to use the word "evolution" before?
Kind of appalling that this milquetoast compromise constitutes an step forward from the primative level at which they've apparently been operating.
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pingzing58 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
25. Islamic wingnuts Christian wingnuts, hate, hate, hate and death Satanas is at work!
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
27. Florida = Laughing stock of the U.S.
Sorry, Floridians. It's out of my hands.

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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
29. Recommended reading "Science, Evolution, and Creationism" just published by National Academy of
Sciences and Institute of Medicine.

Free download at Science, Evolution, and Creationism
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 01:59 AM
Response to Original message
31. Eh, no biggie. Truth in advertising really. It IS a theory. A prevailing theory, but a theory.
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
32. Gravity is a "scientific theory" too.
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sutz12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:27 AM
Response to Original message
36. As long as they don't have to include the "Theory" of creation, or ID, I'm good. nt
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