The board of education in Florida has approved new standards that will strengthen the teaching of evolution in public schools. Evolution-backers proposed the new standards because they objected to the previous phrase “changes over time.” The board not only voted to add the word evolution but also declared that it is the “fundamental concept underlying all of biology.”

In an attempt to compromise on the wording, the board added the word theory to each mention of evolution. On the surface this seems to downplay evolutionary dogmatism. In reality, the word theory describes more than a guess. It is a “well-substantiated explanation of data.” So adding the word was virtually meaningless.

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