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Teaching Evolution

February 4, 2012

I don’t care whether primary and secondary schools teach evolution.

Most people aren’t smart enough to understand science anyway. Certainly people don’t understand evolution, whether or not they claim to believe in it.

It does make sense to teach evolution in certain high school classes, or to certain students, but it’s not important whether people in general have any appreciation of it. In the US, the teaching of evolution isn’t really an education issue anyway, but rather an identity politics issue. Most of the people who ridicule evangelicals for not believing in evolution don’t want to know anything about the racial and gender differences which evolutionary theory has helped us to understand and model. They just want to use their putative acceptance of science as a stick to beat ‘fundamentalists’ with. And for evangelicals, rejection of evolution is an indicator of ideological commitment.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2012 2:49 pm

    But their assumption that scientists are in (ideology-driven) error on a number of topics leads to an anti-science public that rejects expertise.

  2. February 20, 2012 4:04 pm

    As I recall, not a single one of my teachers, nor our textbooks in High School, had anything more than a facile understanding of Evolution to begin with.

    The concept is so strikingly self-evident when it’s explained properly (it’s on part with 2+2=4 – even if the world were created, it would remain as true as Cartesian Coordinates), and yet I didn’t properly understand it until I read something by Dawkins in my early twenties.

    Most people, however, are too stupid to understand the inevitability of the most a priori of a prioris; I had debates with post-modernists on whether math is just a ‘cultural perspective’ *sigh*.

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