In support of intelligent design
A majority of Pinellas County School Board members - including the immediate past president of the National School Boards Association - think that if Florida children are taught about evolution, they should learn other theories on the origin of life as well.
Board members Jane Gallucci, Carol Cook, Peggy O'Shea and Nancy Bostock (shown above, left to right) stopped short of saying that faith-based theories should be included in the state's proposed new science standards, which the state Board of Education likely will vote on in February. The new standards would include Darwin's theory of evolution and do not mention faith-based theories such as intelligent design or creationism.
But all four said such theories should be taught in public school classrooms.
"I think that students should be given the opportunity to view all theories on how man evolved and let their science background and their religious background take over as to which one they believe in," said Gallucci, the immediate past president of the National School Boards Association.
Bostock: "The entire theory of evolution is not scientific fact. Intelligent design balances it out."
Cook: "To teach one as if nothing else existed, I think we're doing our students a disservice."
O'Shea suggested that parents who object to evolution being taught to their children might be able to opt them out of that day's lesson. "I'd probably ideally like to keep it all out of the classroom," she said. "If it's going to create this much controversy, how important is it?"
See the whole story in tomorrow's St. Petersburg Times and on tampabay.com. Also tomorrow, the Gradebook will provide more in-depth responses from all the Pinellas School Board members on the issue. To see the board members' full remarks, click here.
- Donna Winchester and Ron Matus