I have spent the last few blogs discussing the ignorance of a number of our politicians. One person running for president didn’t know that China had nuclear weapons. Another thought that Africa was a country. Another candidate was telling the American people some absolutely dishonest information about immunization shots. Yet another candidate, while we were engaged in a war in Libya, didn’t seem to know that we were or whose side we were on. The ignorance goes on and on. Where does it begin — well, in our schools, of course. Our candidates are not immigrants. They are pure blood 100% Americans. They were “educated” in the United States. Maybe, more accurately, I should say they just took up time and space in our schools.
One would think that the US congress as well as state legislators would be aware of the general ignorance of students graduating from our High Schools and try to make things better for their state and for our country. So let’s look at the educational landscape:
A bill is now advancing in the Indiana Senate that would require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life — including creation science. This will guarantee that Indiana will not be in the forefront of any future scientific discoveries. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette published an editorial that slammed the proposal on several accounts. It was called “scientifically unsound,” “theologically unsound”, “bad for business” and last, but not least, “unconstitutional”.
The Gazette editorial stated, “Good schools are a key to drawing economic investment because employers want a well-educated workforce and they need strong schools as an incentive to lure the best employees. How can a state which wants to position itself as a leader in the life sciences expect to recruit and retain top researchers in that field and others if it is perceived as an intellectual backwater?”
Will the proposal pass? Possibly, and the students of Indiana schools will suffer for it. Indiana is an intellectual backwater now, it has been an intellectual backwater through its history as an American state, and is grimly determined to stay there!
In dumbing down the schools, Missouri is attempting to at least equal Indiana. A summary of a Missouri House of Representatives bill would, if enacted, require the “equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design”.
In case you are unaware of the meaning of “Intelligent Design”, it is an attempt by Christian fundamentalists to slip the teaching of religion into the schools. It tries to make the case that anything as complex as the human body could not have come through evolution, but only as the design of an “Intelligent designer” (God, for example). The arguments sound plausible (that is probably always true when reading only one side of the story), but there are a lot of books which, in my view, thoroughly and decisively tear them apart. Read some of the books by Richard Dawkins. You have to concentrate but he tells you a lot! You should always remember that the evolutionists have time on their side. The earth is roughly 14 billion years old and, in that time, a lot of evolution has taken place.
Texas and Louisiana as well as other states and their boards of education have been trying the same tricks to water down science education. As it is, our students score lower than most of the industrialized nations of the world. So many of these political and educational leaders make statements to the effect that we need more “Conservative Christians” on boards. Yes, just what we need — more intellectual midgets.
Any hope that Congress will come to the rescue of the states’ lunacy? Well, John Shimkus (Republican – Illinois) is the head of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He does not believe in climate change because, in his words, “Only God can destroy the earth”. To “prove” this, he quoted from Genesis 8:21-22 (Never again will I curse ….”), and then Matthew 24:31 (“The earth will end only when God ….”).
The above information was gotten from the Toronto Star. The world covers the antics of The US Congress very well — and we look bad, very very bad!
The Discovery Institute is the major proponent and funder of Intelligent Design. It was originally funded by the Templeton Foundation — a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion. Templeton says that it asked intelligent design proponents to submit proposals for actual research, but none were ever submitted. Charles L. Harper Jr., foundation vice-president, said: “From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don’t come out very well in our world of scientific review“.
Interestingly when a former Australian Federal Education Minister, raised the notion of intelligent design being taught in science classes, the public outcry caused the minister to quickly concede that the correct forum for intelligent design, if it were to be taught, is in religious or philosophy classes.
In June 2007 the Council of Europe’s “Committee on Culture, Science and Education” issued a report, The Dangers of Creationism in Education, which states “Creationism in any of its forms, such as ‘intelligent design’, is not based on facts, does not use any scientific reasoning and its contents are pathetically inadequate for science classes.”
We may very well be the first country to have a political party representing “ignorance”. Why are we doing this to ourselves?