• Bookscrounger

      Amazing graphic. And frightening. Right now I’m reading Love & War by Mary Matalin and James Carville. Carville notes something that I had not heard before (but I don’t get out enough); that the polarization of the American public (and elected officials) is a result of cable news and fractionating of news sources. Previously there were only a few sources for news, and so we had to hear different viewpoints. Today, we can pick our news sources and never have to listen to anyone who disagrees. I want to work that observation into a future post.

  1. Ben Bailey

    This reminded me of a famous quote from Abraham Lincoln:

    “A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gal. So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey which catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the highroad to his reason.”

    Not sure that I agree that “Where in the management of our lives and our careers, or in our debate about national policy, do we ever need to choose between creationism or Darwinism?” Seems to me teaching in school that both theories are of equal value is dangerous. One theory is generally accepted by the vast majority of scientists, while the other is not. The consensus of the scientific community is part of what validates a scientific theory. Thus, if such theories that have clear validation are not accepted and taught to children predominately over creationism, then are we not teaching children incorrectly, and inefficiently? This in itself could lead to children becoming adults that do not believe in correct scientific thought, which can lead to people not believing in theories like Global Warming.

    • Bookscrounger

      I understand your comments, and agree with most of them. A couple of thoughts: when teaching both, I wonder if we need to assign a ‘value’ to either theory. I think that teaching kids to reason for themselves is more important than arriving at the approved conclusion. Because you are right, the vast majority of scientists fall decisively on the side of Darwinism, and dismiss creationism. But if you think about it, teaching one or the other will be lost on a lot of the kids: basically, they will believe what their parents have told them. So perhaps by respecting their autonomy, a few of them will take the cue. Same for global warming.

      With that, as we go I hope to advance some ideas, a fair amount of evidence — and even a rather remarkable personal story — that shows that the majority of scientists can most definitely be wrong. And in fact, that has pretty much been the history of science.

      As I have noted, philosophers and historians of science have seen paradigms rise and fall so frequently, that they have given up on the idea of definitive truth. To my mind, it is critical that kids understand that.

      • collin237

        And in doing so, they have given up their responsibility to protect human knowledge against fraudsters.

        Yes, it is critical that kids understand that philosophy has gone off the deep end.

        How can one teach kids to reason about how to interpret evidence, if one doesn’t believe that evidence exists?

        Do you really think that over a hundred years of examination of thousands of fossils using modern laboratory equipment, is in any way commensurate with a self-authoritative text that’s been copied almost verbatim since ancient times? Or are you just attempting to placate the masses?

        Scientific theories can be studied, learned, and appreciated by anyone, regardless of what gods they do or don’t believe in. Religious theories come with their own specific beliefs about gods and demean all others. What are you trying to achieve by pandering to religion on a subject that science has triumphed in?

        The most important things in life are forever out of reach of science. Science cannot tell us what it means to be alive, what a mind is, what’s morally right or wrong, etc. All of these are things religions have answers to. Yet religious leaders often leave unguarded — and open to all sorts of malicious distortion — the knowledge they’re appointed to defend, and instead fight dishonestly against knowledge guarded by others.

        • Bookscrounger

          I certainly agree with you about many of the problems of science.

          Various religions have offered solutions to some of these questions. They do not answer them all, nor do I think they can.

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