Florida reluctantly took a step Wednesday toward ensuring that the state’s education catches up with the scientific standards that govern a majority of the research across the world. The Florida’s Board of Education voted to teach biological sciences within the framework of evolution with a 4-3 vote.
The decision is a victory for science, business development and the students who receive their education in Florida.
Of course, concessions had to be made for those who favored intelligent design, creationism or other alternative sciences; Evolution must be explained as a ‘theory,’ a label commonly used by those in the scientific community regardless of the evidence supporting its validity. It just so happens that evolution is the most complete theory used by scientists and the driving force behind technology and research.
If another theory were introduced that more sufficiently explained scientific phenomena, particularly in the biological sciences, it would be assumed that the field would embrace it out of necessity. Florida’s acceptance of evolution as the guiding science in its classrooms is long overdue and the delay most likely has set the state back in the fields of the bioscience.
Business Week reported that Jeb Bush declared at a 2006 Biotechnology Industry Organization convention, “I want Florida to be on the cutting edge.” The magazine stated that a primary reason biotech companies would move to a new state would be because of the pool of available labor.
For the state to fully utilize the biotech industries that Jeb Bush tried to lure here, it needs to produce employees who come from within the Florida system. Those who receive adequate and up-to-date scientific training will be more capable of excelling within the scientific community.
By emphasizing evolution’s label as a theory, a victory in semantics will, hopefully, appease those who fought against the teaching of evolution.
If anything should truly be criticized concerning the past months of wrangling over the new standards of education, it is the absurd pressure applied by those who are not members of the scientific community. It is shameful that the board allowed layman theory and legal position to influence its vote when the education of every child in Florida was at stake. Apparently, progress isn’t made in leaps and bounds after all.