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Those Pesky One-Sided Facts 13 Feb 2008

Posted by Jessa in Non-Science, Science.
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The Florida State Board of Education is set to vote next week on new standards that would require teaching evolution in public schools. Predictably, this has stirred up a lot of opposition. There were over 10,000 comments on the proposed standards, many of them critical of the plan.

One of my favorite comments, as published by the Orlando Sentinel:

“I have no problem with them hearing about evolution. I just don’t want them to hear a one-sided fact,” said LeVon Pettis, a Panhandle father who may look for private schools for his daughters if the standards are adopted as is.

One-sided facts? This is obviously news to Mr. Pettis, but facts don’t have sides. They’re not liberal or conservative, religious or irreligious, bad or good. They just are. Your interpretation of them may be one-sided, or you may use them to bolster a one-sided opinion, but don’t confuse such an action with the facts themselves.

P.S. Here’s another gem from the webcast of the public comment section of last week’s meeting:

Now I have in my hand an orange. I was about to eat this orange yesterday, but before I did I sat down and read about this evolution stuff. I learned that this orange is actually my first cousin. I didn’t want to eat the orange no more. So now I’m going to give it to you people on the committee, and you can eat it if you want. But if you do decide to eat it, it shows that you don’t believe in this evolution either. And we shouldn’t be teaching our kids something no one believes.

Wow. I don’t think I could even make up a statement as ridiculous as that.

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