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The Florida state board of education voted 4-3 at its February 19, 2008, meeting to adopt a new set of state science standards in which evolution is presented as a "fundamental concept underlying all of biology." The adopted standards differ from those developed by the writing committee in adding the phrase "the scientific theory of" before mentions of plate tectonics, cell theory, atomic theory, electromagnetism, and evolution. According to the standards, "a scientific theory represents the most powerful explanation scientists have to offer."
As the Florida state board of education prepared to consider a final draft of a new set of state science standards, Floridians offered their opinions at a last-minute meeting held in Orlando on February 11, 2008. Over eighty speakers addressed the state commissioner of education, Eric Smith, and, via webcast, the board. A video of the entire meeting is available on the department's website.
At least nine county school boards in northern Florida have adopted resolutions calling for the state board of education "to revise the new Sunshine State Standards for Science such that evolution is not presented as fact, but as one of several theories," according to a January 23, 2008, report from Florida Citizens for Science. These resolutions represent a backlash to a draft set of new state science standards, which are presently undergoing revision in response to comments from the public.
As Florida continues to consider the draft of a new set of state science standards, there are reports about mounting creationist lobbying against the inclusion of evolution and for the inclusion of creationism.
Prof. who flunked Florida science standards says new ones are shooting for an A
Expert gave current statewide standards an F but new draft is "a dramatic improvement."
Support for the inclusion of evolution in Florida's draft science standards continues to amass. Writing in the Orlando Sentinel (October 25, 2007), Mike Thomas quipped, "We are moving toward intelligently designed science curriculum in public schools.
The Florida Department of Education released a draft revision of the state science standards on October 19, 2007, and the e-word -- "evolution" -- is not only included but also prominent. In contrast, the 1999 version of the standards received a score of 0/0 for its treatment of evolution in the Fordham Foundation's report The State of State Science Standards 2005, which observed, "The E-word is sedulously avoided. ...
On June 4, 2007, the Tallahassee Scientific Society adopted a resolution (RTF) [Link broken] on the teaching of "intelligent design" as science, in response to the recently initiated review of Florida's state science standards.
Kent Hovind, the evangelist who styles himself "Dr. Dino" and runs the Creation Science Evangelism ministry as well as Dinosaur Adventure Land, a small creationist theme park in Pensacola, Florida, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison on January 19, 2007. In November 2006, a federal jury found Hovind guilty of fifty-eight charges, including failing to pay payroll taxes for his employees, structuring financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements, and "corruptly endeavor[ing] to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws" in a number of ways.
"Keeping Science and Religion Separate in Schools: The Vigil after Dover" was a free public forum held at Florida State University on May 17, 2006, to discuss the implications for science education posed by the December 20, 2005, federal ruling in Pennsylvania on the nation's first court case involving "intelligent design" -- Kitzmiller v. Dover. Featured at the forum were NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott, Georgetown University theologian John F. Haught and Michigan State University philosopher Robert T.