Op-ed says Texas school board should not kowtow to Darwinist biologists
. . . . biologists still . . . . have not established a persuasive educational argument as to why religion should be banned from discussions of science . . . .
. . . . Many questions remain unanswered by the biologists who seem most interested in trying to control curriculum. Why do biologists assume they are experts in curriculum when they are not? Why are biologists afraid to broach the exciting intellectual problems surrounding the relationship between faith and science? Why not discuss the history of biology as a discipline and how the field's approach to this problem has evolved over time? Why not discuss with students why biologists tend to operate within a naturalistic framework, including the benefits and limitations of the framework?
Establishment clause considerations aside, IMO religion should not be an official part of public-school science curricula -- with the exception of evolution disclaimer statements -- because (1) some teachers and students might feel uncomfortable dealing with religion in a science class and (2) teaching religion in a science class could degenerate into sectarian proselytization. However, the issue here is not just science v. religion, because some scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms (or weaknesses) of evolution are not religious at all. Teaching scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution serves the bona fide secular purposes of broadening students' education, encouraging critical thinking, helping students learn the material, and increasing student interest. Also, some scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution -- e.g., criticisms concerning (1) the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and (2) the genetics of propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction -- are so technically sophisticated that they can be properly taught only by qualified science teachers and should not be taught by laypeople, e.g, typical parents and typical non-science schoolteachers. This stuff is not just "poof"-type creationism.
The op-ed says,
Until these questions are addressed persuasively by biologists, state leaders need to look to a broad range of university specialists to find the leadership necessary to provide a well-rounded, liberating education to all Texas students.
On one point I certainly agree with the op-ed: the Texas board of education should not kowtow to dogmatic Darwinist scientists, who have their own ax to grind. And as I remember, the last time a government deferred to Darwinist scientists' opinions as to what is best for society was when the Nazis put people in concentration camps, gas chambers, and crematorium ovens.
Labels: Evolution education (new #3)