Monday, January 24, 2005

"Intellient Design" (ID) proponents have a plan -- more robust and influential than you think -- to introduce god into the classrooms. In some locations, they've already succeeded. Their plan is to first force schools to acknowledge that evolution is "just a theory" and then use that wedge to introduce god directly.

Don't be mistaken, the ID folks have precisely zero interest in "being honest" about science. They have an agenda.

I actually have no problem with this at all because it's true, evolution is just a theory. So is gravity, quantum mechanics and all that Newtonian stuff. "Theory" put a lander on Saturn's moon, Titan.

Art is just theory. Physical Ed and how to be healthy is just theory that will be refined ad infinitum. History is arguably most open to debate and least "truthful" from an objective standpoint. Literature is pure theory.

So I, an atheist (ok, empirical agnostic), will gladly stand with the Intelligent Design people so long as it is done consistently. Each subject should begin with the same warning. If the ID people want each class to begin with such a caveat, then every class should begin with the same caveat. If the ID people want science books to have stickers in them, then all books should have such warnings.

History is not fact, it's merely theory and a highly biased one at that. I'd sure welcome minority voices to be given some time in the class.

How to keep yourself healthy is only modern theory, not fact, and certainly subject to revision. Just ask the Atkins people. So let's start health classes, gym glasses and lunch with a warning too. All carbohydrates served at school lunch should come with a sticker indicating that significant doubts exist over whether the government's food pyramid is really the best way to go.

I don't know if they still teach "typing" classes but let's have warnings on those books too. After all, the QWERTY layout is almost certainly not the most efficient.

Computer classes should begin with a short speech about how some people (such as Richard Stallman) feel that software that is closed-source (such as Microsoft Windows) and not freely tinker-able and distributable is immoral. To some people, buying software you can't examine of like buying a car you cannot fix. Is that really a good thing for society? Well, that's' a good question that's open to theory and debate.

I'm not saying this to be sarcastic. Teachers starting their material with a "we're not entirely sure that we're correct" is a fairly leftist, radical way of approaching students that goes directly against the grain of an authoritarian system like ours.

What's ironic is that the last place in the world you'll see such a "We're not sure if this is 100% correct" warning sticker is on a Bible.

1 comment:

m-angelo said...

Oh yeah! Finally an American who uses his brain.

I think the most important thing would be to teach critical thinking to children, as Sagan pointed out in his Demon-Haunted World.
And of course, to teach the difference between theory and hypothesis. :)