I support teaching sound science in our public schools

Dear Members of the Florida Board of Education:

I support the new science standards for public school students, and politely ask you to do the same. The theory of evolution has its place in the science classrooms of our public schools, while the pseudo-science of Intelligent Design does not.

Intelligent Design is an attempt by one religious sect to force its beliefs into the public school science curriculum. This attempt violates our Constitution, which requires that government, including public schools, refrain from endorsing one particular set of religious beliefs as “government-approved.”

Although there is no inherent conflict between religion and science, a conflict does arise when the government promotes one particular set of religious beliefs in public school science classrooms. Intelligent Design is only one of many religious beliefs that try to explain the complexity of life on earth. It’s okay to talk about Intelligent Design in public schools – such as in social studies, civics, or philosophy – but it should not be taught as if it is science. Science advances by developing testable hypotheses and subjecting them to rigorous experiments. Intelligent Design has no testable hypothesis and there is no experiment that can prove or disprove it. It just isn’t science. All the major scientific organizations in the country – without exception – reject Intelligent Design.

Injecting religious beliefs into the Florida science standards is a wasteful distraction from what the Department of Education should be doing: improving the quality of science education. As a Floridian, I ask you to support the new standards, which are based on sound science, and to keep religion out of our science curriculum.

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