The Forces of Darkness Win in Kansas - Another Blow to Scientific Literacy in
the United States
TheNational Center for Science Education, in the report "Discouraging news from Kansas", has revealed that the August 3 2004, primary election for the Kansas Board of Education is likely to result in the balance of power favouring the anti-evolutionists on the Board. This distressing news has prompted a correspondent on the NAiG Message Board, who is concerned about declining scientific literacy, to offer this timely warning.
This is terrible news! Another blow to the ever weakening scientific
literacy of my country. I posted this here [on the NAiG Message Board] a month or so ago but got not a
single comment from a creationist as to why this sort of thing shouldn't be
considered a serious problem.
Current creationist strategy is to "dumb down" the required science standards by such tactics as sponsoring bills (in Alabama, Iowa, Texas, Missouri, Minnesota, etc.,) to force science textbooks to include disclaimers stating that the Theory of Evolution is "a controversial theory", and allowing instructors to teach "alternate theories". This has a directly negative impact on students in several areas:
(a) It gives the false impression that there is a scientific controversy over the validity of the Theory of Evolution when in fact there is NO CONTROVERSY WHATSOEVER in the mainstream scientific community.
(b) It allows those pro-creation teachers to present to students their own personal biblical views, unsupported by peer reviewed science, without fear of being reprimanded.
(c) Most importantly, it undermines the CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS of students. By teaching that "all theories are created equal" without regard for positive evidence (or in creation's case, lack of any evidence), students do not learn how to critically analyze and make informed decisions.
(d) Even if the bills are defeated, the whole process takes valuable time and money away form the already stressed school boards and undermines the science curricula.
Item (c) is probably the biggest negative in this whole shebang. Without critical thinking skills we get a nation of ignoramuses who believe in astrology, reincarnation, biblical creation, etc. That's why creationist charlatans like Hovind, Gish, Ham et al. keep succeeding – people don't have the skill set to see the bullshit lies those creationists and organizations like Answers in Genesis (AiG) and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) are spreading. Ultimately, we'll have a nation of morons who can't think for themselves, but are willing to be steered by whatever sexy advertising catches their eye. This lack of intelligent decision making skills then ripples down into ALL areas of life – career choices, consumer choices, political affiliation, etc.
Does anyone care to give arguments why the four statements listed above should NOT be considered true, and why we should NOT be worried?