Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Promoting bad science (or miseducation, anyway)

Pennsylvania's senior Senator Arlen Specter appears to be signing on to the Bush/Santorum push for teaching of Intelligent Design in the nation's schools. [See this for Santorum's previous promotion of ID as part of No Child Left Behind, this for some debunking of the theory's seriousness, and this for previous claims that Specter and Santorum are a bit more like two peas in a pod than many think.] Likely to be behind this announcement is Santorum's recent support for Specter's ideas on other fronts (i.e., investigating torture), which might be eliciting a return favor, and Bush's having ramped up discussion of this topic (Specter also owing the White House a bit of a bone over the torture business).

Anyway, as for Specter and ID, he claims that there's no problem in teaching various theories and letting the consumer decide.
"My own instincts are to teach everything and let people take their choices," the Pennsylvania Republican said, responding to questions on the topic. "My instinct is not to object to people hearing all sides of all issues, no matter how much I disagree with them."
This is a point on which I feel quite strongly -- see this post elsewhere about why students aren't the right people to assess the validity of scientific theories or any of the rest of the information that they are expected to master. Specter claims to be "with Darwin," but is willing to let good pedagogy fall by the wayside in the education of others. Sigh.

Anagram for the day: "Intelligent Design" --> "Listening, deleting"
(via Drinking Liberally, back in May)


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