My newspaper column and farewell to Hays

haysMy column was published in the Community Voices section of today’s Daytona Beach News Journal: Don’t mix science, religion in public schools. It’s a rebuttal to a previous column written by a Flagler County school board member. She supported the two very bad instructional materials bills currently languishing in the Florida legislature. My piece goes out on a limb with a fun analogy inspired by the bills’ senate sponsor. Sen. Hays is a dentist, semi-retired. I felt I needed to poke him a bit while I still could. Hays announced recently that he’s not running for reelection in the senate but is instead shooting for a supervisor of elections position.

He figured prominently in chapters 10 and 11 of Going Ape when he filed an Academic Freedom Act bill targeting the teaching of evolution. Here’s some of his greatest hits:

“You and I both know there are holes in Darwin’s theory. No one yet has found a half-animal of this or a half-insect of that. And they certainly haven’t found any half ape and half man.”

“I would submit to you that Charles Darwin did an excellent job of cataloging all the species. A good librarian could do the same thing.”

“What does this bill do? It allows the teachers to — without fear — expose the holes that exist in the scientific theory of evolution.”