Thursday, February 03, 2005

Anti-science, again: Creationists ramping up

The Times of London reports how Bush's electoral victory has emboldened creationists who are seeking changes to the science curriculum in Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri, Mississippi, South Carolina, Montana and Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania and Georgia, some educational districts have already placed stickers in biology textbooks warning that evolution is a "theory" rather than a "fact."

As the Boston Globe puts it
Critics of Darwinism make much of saying it is only a theory. But it is one that has stood the test of intense scientific inquiry and brings together a wealth of observable phenomena. Among scientists, there is disagreement about the pace of species development and about the events that caused the extinctions of species. But biologists do not challenge the basic genius of Darwin's discovery.
All this raises an interesting point about the limits of democracy: if the majority of a local community wants to insist in teaching bunkum, should they have the right to do so? Most everyone would agree that there must be limits. For example, if a local community wanted to approve a history textbook that denied the Holocaust, presumably few would rise to defend this move on first amendment grounds.

But if they're not allowed to deny the Holocaust, why should they be allowed to deny the (at least) equally factual theory of evolution?

No comments: