Friday, April 07, 2006

Battle in the Classroom Redux

Rehash on Wednesday’s post.   I got a comment from someone who got the impression that I would throw out Darwinism in schools for the sake of Intelligent Design (ID) and that the “Ouch” is for teachers who don’t adjust to a methodology of teaching that allows any and all quirky theories on how life originated and develops.

Not so, and I think that I probably didn’t spend enough, or any, time discussing this at greater length in order not to be misunderstood.  You might be confused as to where my “ouch” came from.

I am conservative, but I definitely don’t want something taught in schools that doesn’t have some solid foundations in logical thought and scientific fact.  However, I think that too much faith is often put in some areas of science, and taught in school as so much dogma.  Yes, I’m talking about Darwinism here.  However, I’ve often made the point, once or twice on this blog, that I wouldn’t mind not including ID in public education (as ID is more of a theory on origins of life than changes over time) as long as it was made clear in science classes that Darwinism is only theory and not fact, which is too often how it’s presented.  Darwinism has its place in science, but it also has definite drawbacks and pitfalls.

I was encouraged to hear that students were challenging their teachers on this point.  The point of the piece I linked to was that teachers should be able to defend what they are teaching, and if they can’t either they shouldn’t be there or what they are teaching should be re-evaluated.

I was also displaying my not too hidden angst at popular evolutionary theory proponents who insist that life evolves and that nature is in a constant battle where only the stronger species survives, but in their actual practice do everything they can to stop the process.  What I mean by this is that liberal practice today means that you have to act to keep the environment in some static state (whether in a form that existed before “white men” came, or in some form that never really existed), or society must act to promote equality amongst people, regardless of their ability or desire to compete in the economic and social environment they find themselves in.  Welfare, affirmative action, minimum wage, and complaining about corporate executive salaries all work to drive equality of lifestyle, when this country was founded on equality of opportunity, which is all you can really hope to successfully implement.  Marxism hopes to achieve equality of lifestyle, but they’ll never achieve it.

For those of you who’ll freak at the examples I used above, I think that affirmative action and welfare have their place and have had their uses.  Affirmative action was necessary to bring about equality of opportunity for a segment of the population in the 60s and possibly 70s.  Limited welfare might be achievable if you place strict limits on it to help those who are temporarily out of luck and just need a short boost to get going again.  Neither should be permanent parts of society.

Anyway, my ouch is the irony of a teacher getting replaced by a better “species” of teacher that is more able to thrive in an environment of free ideas and inquiry.  Even if some of that inquiry involves challenging dogmatic memes by students.

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