Critical Thinking As a Threat to Science
Macht at Telic Thoughts has an effective and amusing reply to the hysterical piece in the Washington Post arguing that science and medicine will be "decimated" if students are encouraged to apply critical thinking skills to the theory of evolution. The Post piece is the usual collection of misrepresentations and straw man arguments.
The Post piece makes me worried about science in America because the writer seems to suggest that students should be taught to blindly accept the theory of evolution and not think for themselves. It also worries me that a person who is apparently a scientist cannot seem to be logically consistent. He closes with this:
Nations that value open inquiry and use scientific criteria in education, research and industry will outperform those that do not.
So which is it: Open inquiry or blind acceptance? I vote for open inquiry in all areas, even on the "holy ground" of evolutionary theory.
Then there is this blogger who thinks patriotism demands that kids be taught to blindly accept evolution and not evaluate it critically:
Those who wear their patriotism on their sleeves must support teaching only science in science classes or admit how empty are those flags they wrap themselves in.
Hmmm. That's a new twist on the old "flag-wrapping" metaphors. Based on his approval and lengthy quotes of the Post piece, we can only conclude that "teaching only science in science class" really means banning any science that does not comport with the majoritarian view of what is science, and/or banning any scientific evidence that tends to undermine Darwinian theory. The patriotism angle is at least a new argument, even if it is ridiculous.
By the way, you should check out Telic Thoughts. Yeah, it's this great blog about bunny rabbits, but sometimes they go off topic to discuss teleology.