Monday, November 24, 2008

Motivation in Science Teaching

I'm finally getting around to reading Dinesh D'Souza's What's So Great About Christianity, and it's the sort of book I love. It has, of course, a strong apologetic component, and mixes in a good deal of history. I also appreciate D'Souza's wit and logic.

In chapter 4, he discusses the atheist agenda to indoctrinate our children with anti-religion, which begins in the science classroom. D'Souza quotes an editorial in The Economist,
Darwinism has enemies mostly because it is not compatible with a literal interpretation of Genesis.
D'Souza goes on to make the point that Darwinism has friends and supporters for exactly the same reason. Indeed, the whole reason for teaching Darwinism is in order to marginalize theism, and especially Christianity. (Go here to see how impractical and unnecessary is an understanding of evolutionary theory to actual scientific, medical, or pharmaceutical advance.) According to D'Souza, it might seem possible that
the Darwinists are merely standing up for science. But surveys show that the vast majority of young people in America today are scientifically illiterate, widely ignorant of all aspects of science. How many high school graduates could tell you the meaning of Einstein's famous equation? Lots of young people don't have a clue about photosynthesis or Boyle's Law. So why isn't there a political movement to fight for the teaching of photosynthesis? Why isn't the ACLU filing lawsuits on behalf of Boyle's Law?
He continues,
The answer is clear. For the defenders of Darwinism, no less than for its critics, religion is the issue. Just as some people oppose the theory of evolution because they believe it to be anti-religious, many others support it for the very same reason. That is why we have Darwinism but not Keplerism; we encounter Darwinists but no one describes himself as an Einsteinian. Darwinism has become an ideology.

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