Thursday, August 04, 2005

Total Loss Of Balance

Yglesias says "don't worry, be happy!" and to leave those poor ID'ers alone. I think he's got it wrong.

The first reason is that something of practical importance does hinge on the teaching of evolution versus teaching ID. Yes, we are fine without everyone knowing general relativity or quantum mechanics, but this is a false analogy. They don't teach that stuff in basic high school science classes, and if they do, of course they don't expect everyone to remember it. But they also don't teach that little angels lift airplanes into the sky. The point is not wether we are teaching the technical details of complicated theory. The point is wether we're preparing kids to understand science at all, to be properly skeptical, and to be prepared not just for good colleges but for good citizenship(in the best sense of the term).

Second, while I dig the "What's The Matter With Kansas" riff, going up against ID isn't going up against social conservatives at all. Going up against ID is going up against a front organization who's stated goal is the destruction of science as we know it. The Discovery Institute is spending lots of money to disseminate crummy pseudo-science and trick people into teaching it to children. They are operating hand in hand with - and in some cases are - that same set of corporate managers pushing an agenda that will in the end make the general population less educated and therefore less likely to call things like corporate dominance into question. Hate to come all Vulgar Marxist(who am I kidding, I love coming all Vulgar Marxist), but the whole point of this exercise is to create a more pliant and thus more permanent lower class. That's why it's worth combating.

Update:Jesse at Pandagon sees things much the same minus the vulgar marxism.
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