For one brief moment, the editors of the Washington Post have rejoined the Coalition of the Sane:
NO ONE would think it acceptable for a teacher to question the existence of gravity or to suggest that two plus two equals anything but four. It’s mystifying, then, that a movement to undermine the teaching of evolutionary biology is attracting some support. Equally perverse is that this misguided effort is being advanced under the false guise of academic freedom….
What’s insidious about these measures \is that at first blush they appear so harmless. Isn’t everyone in favor of academic freedom? What’s so wrong about allowing all sides of an issue to be heard? Why should teachers be punished for speaking their minds? Those arguments might have standing if there were any doubt about the reality of evolution, but, as an official with the National Academy of Sciences told the Wall Street Journal, “There’s no controversy.” Consider, also, that there really is no such thing as academic freedom in elementary and secondary education. A teacher can’t deviate from the accepted curriculum to present alternative lesson plans or to offer his or her own notions. The Florida teachers association opposed the bills, though ostensibly they are meant to benefit educators. Clearly, the strategy is to devise an end run around legal decisions — going all the way to the Supreme Court — that restrict the teaching of creationism in public classrooms.
And don’t forget Ben Stein and Expelled:
It’s all part of a national movement emboldened by a new film from writer and actor Ben Stein that purports to speak out for free expression by educators.
Teaching children bogus science isn’t education, it’s called lying.
But is lying for Jebus really lying?
I think it would be great if schools taught the controversy. They would teach about how a group of fundamentalist christians have been trying to get public schools to teach their creation myth as science, but have been prevented from doing so by the US Constitution and by educated people all over the country. Teachers could point out all the lies the fundamentalists tell and debunk them one by one. I know it would reduce the time spent on learning actual science, but it should only take about a day anyway.
I think it would be great iof schools taught more civics. How does our government work? Why is it set up the way it is? What are the functions of the various branches? What’s good or bad about political appointees holding various positions of authority? How has the system been abused? What are the potential weaknesses of our type of government? What other models are there?
And kids should be educated about propaganda, advertising, and persuasion techniques.
The reason “teach the controversy” gets any traction is because people are under-educated in civics and in propaganda identification.
Also, the history of the “teach the controversy” movement could be taught, how it started with the tobacco industry, and how the same folks who tried to convince us that there was a “controversy” over whether smoking can lead to cancer are the same folks who “teach the controversy” over whether or not evolution exists, and they are the same folks who were also hired to propagate the idea that scientists do not agree that the earth is warming.
That’s right: there’s a small cadre of folks who realized that “teaching the controversy” was a saleable product in today’s legal environment, and have made quite good money misrepresenting issues when they knew they were creating disinformation, and knew that their case would eventually fall apart.
Apparently, they also know that clients will pay top dollar to create the appearance of controversies where none actually exist. They make a mint knowing full well their case is based on false pretenses, and they know there will be the next group that needs their services while they stave off needed reforms in their particular industry, or to push through pork-bloated policies in the halls of government.
The tobacco industry was the client for whom they developed and perfected their techniques.
How many folks know it’s the same people “teaching the controversy” in global warming and ID?
The problem is ignorance, and those who seek to exploit ignorance.