Why teaching evolution is dangerous is the title of an unheroic blog entry. From the blog:
Ed Darrell points out the competitive advantage this gives the rest of the world and how local the problem of Creationism is.
I rarely label a statement as a lie even though I might believe it is and rarely use the term liar but will make an exception in this case. Many have peddled the lie linking increasing adherents to Intelligent Design to a loss of competitive advantage for America vis a vis the rest of the world- in the educational, scientific and economic spheres. In the past I've gently corrected these misapprehensions by pointing out some simple facts.
Michael Behe's landmark book Darwin's Black Box was published in 1996. The Dover PA case took place after the twentieth century was history. Most papers published, which argue for intelligent design, were published within the last decade. The decline in objective test scores among American students began decades ago. The relative academic and economic performance of the United States was much higher in the middle of the 20th century than it became during the final half of that century. If you're into spin you can try to link those believing in Intelligent Design to a decline. But you have to rely on the ignorance of readers to do so. That leads me to another option- stupidity. Perhaps it is not really mendacity but stupidity and ignorance which embolden people to link a relatively obscure belief system, that has come about within the last few years, to a long term decline in America's academic and economic standing. It naturally couldn't have anything to do with the alarming rise of single parent families and the consequent poverty that often brings. And surely Obama and McCain and their considerably talented teams of analytical advisors would have noticed the link between Intelligent Design and America's woes and raised the political stakes accordingly. Readers beware. Your position on Intelligent Design- pro or con- does not really matter much to the larger world where impactful causes and effects are a concern.
And there are other quotes:
You cannot bludgeon kids with truth (or insult their religion, i.e., their parents and friends) and hope they will smile and believe you. Yes, NOMA is wrong, but is a good first tool for gaining trust.
In other words you have to manipulate others.
You have to bring them over to your side, gain their trust, and then hold their hands and help them step by step. And on that slow journey, which will be painful for many of them, it is OK to use some inaccuracies temporarily if they help you reach the students.
You not only manipulate, you must lie too.
If a student, like Natalie Wright who I quoted above, goes on to study biology, then he or she will unlearn the inaccuracies in time. If most of the students do not, but those cutesy examples help them accept evolution, then it is OK if they keep some of those little inaccuracies for the rest of their lives. It is perfectly fine if they keep thinking that Mickey Mouse evolved as long as they think evolution is fine and dandy overall. Without Mickey, they may have become Creationist activists instead. Without belief in NOMA they would have never accepted anything, and well, so be it. Better NOMA-believers than Creationists, don't you think?
What I think is that teaching integrity is more important than teaching biology or anything else for that matter. Short term lies have a tendency to backfire and surely do when students discover you are deliberately misleading them.
But there is one human trait where the two ideologies differ. That is Obedience. For conservatives, this is a positive human trait. For liberals, it is viewed quite negatively. Why?
Because the two ideologies view time and history differently.
Another self-indulgent fantasy. I can predict arguments and behavior of politicos with uncanny accuracy- both liberals and conservatives. It does not take much study. Most march lock-step with the prevailing ideological norms within their camps. They also obediantly make ideological adjustments when required. A brief review of history suffices to make the case.