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Monday, August 25, 2008

One Florida Teacher's Fight to Uphold Evolution

"Faith is not based on science. And science is not based on faith," Florida teacher David Campbell tells the high schoolers in his sophomore biology class. "I don’t expect you to 'believe' the scientific explanation of evolution that we’re going to talk about over the next few weeks. But I do expect you to understand it." In a Saturday profile, The New York Times chronicles the efforts of Campbell, an Anglican who helped write Florida's new science standards, to teach evolution to students who are raised, by parents and pastors, to believe the biblical story of creation is literal and that evolution is incompatible with their faith. The new standards, which explicitly call for the teaching of "evolution, "using the word itself for the first time, will begin to be phased in this fall—and Florida can thank teachers like Campbell for responsibly and respectfully promoting sound science education. Stay tuned for more science education news from Florida when the legislative session resumes and debate continues on the "academic freedom" bill that died in May when the last session ended and no compromise between the House version and Senate version could be reached. —Heather Wax