September 7, 2008

Evolution and Indoctrination...From a Christian Studies Scholar

The "teaching the controversy" canard that many anti-evolutionists roll out concerning fairness is something that irks me to no end. I always fall back on the point that disagreeing with a viewpoint is not a controversy, and now a Christian and religious scholar from Butler University has brilliantly put my thoughts in his own words.
Is it "indoctrination" if we teach the history of the Holocaust and do not give equal time to the deniers of the Holocaust?

Is it indoctrination if we teach astronomy and make no mention of astrology?

Is it indoctrination if we teach the heliocentric view of the solar system without giving equal time to geocentrists?

Asking for equal time for "alternatives" to evolution is in exactly the same category. It is asking that a point of view with nothing but questions and complaints to offer be treated as the equal of a scientific field of research that has been remarkably productive and consistently confirmed by all sorts of evidence not available when the theory was first formulated. The media makes much of being "fair" in trying to always hear another side of the story, and there is something indeed laudable about checking to see if there is an opposing viewpoint. Too many of us forget to do that, and forget too often. But not every opposing viewpoint has merit, and the reason we have education standards is to ensure that educators do not waste time on nonsense to the detriment of things that are truly important, valuable, and (ultimately) true.

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