Thoughts?

Is science in Texas going to be a thing of the past?

Go here for more on this.

I have some words to give on this subject, but I don’t feel like giving them right now. I’d rather hear what you readers think.

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3 Responses

  1. I’ve been thinking about this lately, in relation to the idea of a “good” person who holds slaves. What I’ve come to is that people you meet — that’s everybody, every last person you meet — believe that he/she is a Good Person. Actor Willem DeFoe once said, “Everyone is righteous.” And yet so many bad things happen.

    In order to do terrible things to people, you have to somehow view them as the Other — someone not all human, someone not part of your community, not like you.

    If you refuse to accept that we are made of the same stuff as trees, and that we are made of the same stuff as chimps and sea otters and anemonae and petunias and cockroaches (well, maybe not cockroaches), then the notion that we are masters of all, that God has granted humans dominion (according to Genesis but using the contemporary connotations of “dominion”) over everything, keeps its authority.

    However, if you bring up the uncomfortable truth that you and those crickets you’re stomping and those forests you’re destroying and those fish your munching are very distantly related to you, then it has to change how you relate to the world around you.

    Does that mean we must all be vegan and never walk on the grass?

    I don’t think so; humans need good protein, and we have to move around somehow. But understanding that we are related to everything that’s living means that we have to take a more responsible position in relation to the natural world, and we have to consider that there is a balance of which we are part, not just master.

    End of screed. Thankee.

  2. I hate to say that I am not surprised by this at all. Perry and the most recent legislature have an extremely narrow view of education. They see it as both indoctrination and product management. They do not see education as the teaching of thinking, but rather as the teaching of specific ideas that the students should memorize and accept uncritically. The idea is that then all the students will be able to pass a specific set of tests, thus proving somehow that they have had a good education.

    Since they do not see education as a process of teaching students how to think and learn on their own, Perry and the legislature seem to feel quite threatened by some ideas that are taught in schools. I think they believe that children will unquestioningly believe everything their teachers and textbooks present to them. I know many of these fine politicians have had children. I wonder if that has been their experience with their own children. I would be very surprised if that was so.

    I personally was taught evolution at school and creationism at church. My understanding of creationism was also reinforced by friends attending more stringent churches than mine. I have struggled with these two concepts for my whole life and have been thankful for that struggle. I am glad that my parents and my school did not conspire to try to give me only one idea about how the world came to be. I have had a richer intellectual and spiritual life by being exposed to both, each in their own context (one at a publically supported school and one at a private church.)

  3. Eliz – I like your screed, and I agree. Some people don’t seem to want to debase themselves by saying that they are in any way related to the animals (specifically chimps) in this world. To me, the thought that we have dominion over everything is a bit self-righteous and dangerous.

    We do, however, have the ability to kill and eat certain things on this earth, just as others have the ability to do the same to us. If we’d realize that we truly are in this big circle of life, I think we’d be a lot better off. But as it is, the prevailing wisdom seems to say that we should rule and, consequently, do as we please to Earth. Which is beginning to destroy it.

    Jo – That was my first thought: let science be taught at school and religion be taught in churches. Regardless of whether or not the Constitution actually says, verbatim, “separation of church and state,” I think this is a time when that idea should be enforced.

    I think that somewhere in the first link there is an excerpt that mentions that this man rejected a science textbook that didn’t point out the flaws in evolution. And this textbook was apparently used at Baylor. If it’s good enough for a Baptist college, why isn’t it good enough for Texas schools?

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