Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A modest proposal

Creationists in America carry on their battle against Darwin in the classroom. Biblical literalism was struck down by the courts. Intelligent design, with an unnamed designer, was the next ploy to be deemed unconstitutional. The latest trick to sneak God into the science curriculum is "critical thinking."

The Louisiana state legislature has passed overwhelmingly a law that gives teachers license to supplement the existing science curriculum with material that they feel "promotes critical thinking skills." The language seems innocuous, even praiseworthy, but no one doubts the law's real intent. Teachers are free to introduce "creation science" along side of evolution and give it any spin they want. A new stealth attack on scientific biology.

You want critical thinking? Here's what I would do. I'd bring into the Louisiana state legislature a year's worth of Science and Nature, the two most widely read and respected weekly international science journals. I'd pass them out and ask the lawmakers to count the number of articles that evoke evolution or natural selection and the number that refer to creationism or intelligent design, then divide up curriculum time accordingly.

Put on your critical thinking caps, honorable ladies and gentlemen of the assembly, and tell us why our children should learn as science ideas that count not a single appearance in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.