Warning: Think for Yourself

The Eclectic Econoclast responding to the recent flap over the stickers on biology textbooks in Atlanta (which he generally disagrees with) suggests that “This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered” stickers ought to be placed on most textbooks. I’d go further and put the warning in a great big banner over the schoolhouse door.

In TV worth watching, Boston Legal is quickly becoming my favorite TV show. Essentially the same subject was in the storyline tonight and it was suggested that scientists shouldn’t have a problem with suggesting critical thinking was in order with regard to any scientific theory. It is interesting that today’s scientists are as dogmatic in defense of their orthodoxy as ever the Catholic Church was in its persecution of free scientific inquiry during the Renaissance.

A newly minted Ph.D. in Political Science even recently suggested that “excommunication” from the academic community was in order for Condoleeza Rice for daring to hold conservative views. My response to her was that Condoleeza Rice would then be in the company of Galileo and Martin Luther King, which is much better than the company of most of academia. (Dr. Samuel says it was a tongue-in-cheek suggestion and I’d accept that it was hyperbole, not a truly serious suggestion on her part. The sad thing is that there are enough of her colleagues who actually hold similar views that she had to specifically say “I wasn’t serious.”)

As with so many things, it’s up to parents to educate their own kids and, as I have done, give the warning that teachers are only human, they make mistakes, sometimes they have an agenda other than just education and the best defense is to learn to think for themselves.

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