Science, long-thought of as a study for the rational, has become a sort of pseudo-religion, an offshoot of a new fundamentalism.
(1) An important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to becoming intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens;(2) The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy; and(3) Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.(b) The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.
It sounds alright to me. After all, isn’t science, for the most part, the study of the physical world which is in a constant state of flux? Are we not, as rational beings, supposed to question what we see and hear? Isn’t the Theory of Evolution just that- a theory? Does the bill ever say it will teach creationism, as its critics allege, or does it allow wiggle room for open discussion of ideas in science class, thereby freeing both the teachers and the students from the constraints of the politically verboten?
So what’s the big deal?
It frightens the believers. That’s what:
It seems that the greater part of this mainstream condemnation is rooted in intellectual one-upmanship and humanist snobbery. In highfalutin circles, being called a “creationist” is just one step up from being labeled a “racist.”Darwin’s On the Origin of Species laid down the unifying concept in biology and revolutionized the field. But as elite scientists’ ideas trickled down to worldly bandwagoneers over the last century and a half, pop evolution became the new evangelicalism. Academics and self-styled sophisticates float placidly in watered-down Darwinian notions. For them, evolution is a matter of faith, superior to all others by virtue of infallible science. Any public dissent toward their fashionable orthodoxy is met with ridicule and ostracism, as with the present outcry over Tennessee’s “creationist Monkey Bill.”Like the biblical literalists they hysterically criticize, many lay evolutionists are grossly ignorant of their own intellectual roots and mentally incapable of a nuanced worldview.
Snobbery is a word for it. There is nothing like perching yourself over others, even if you have no idea what you are talking about yourself.
Rarely have I seen things defended with such religious fervour as the Theory of Evolution and “global warming” to such virulent degrees that one can see spit fly in all directions, especially by those who scream “Flat Earther!” but can’t accept what’s in front of them. No, I don’t believe the earth is six thousand years old but I don’t believe HB 368 advocates teaching that, either. I do believe that there are worse things one can introduce into the classroom like the erroneous idea that polar bears are dying because of some sketchy belief in man-made temperature change or that pregnancy and childbirth can kill you. The accepted idea (read: semi-religious tenet) of global warming has made way for public policy changes that affect not just the classroom but facets of everyday life. If global warming is indeed bunk, as it certainly appears to be, how do we undo the damage willfully taught to grade school children?
Even asking such a question is blasphemy in the eyes of believers. It’s not just global warming and evolution. It’s any number of sacred cows the left holds dear. If one must be an iconoclast of the prophets, why not of the prophets of global warming and evolution? Question the lot. No holds barred. Forget one’s cocoon-like security in the beliefs of the anti-Bible Belt.
Or is that asking too much?