Cato: Arson still happens, so eliminate police, fire departments

Cato's Andrew Coulson actually applies that "logic" to a different government program, but it makes just as little sense. Yes, Americans tend to reject evolution, though not, as Coulson claims, 2 in 3; a survey by FASEB this month found that 6 in 10 support evolution. That doesn't mean we should give up on public education. It mean we should give public school teachers more support. A survey by the National Science Teachers Association found that

When asked if they feel pressured to include creationism, intelligent design, or other nonscientific alternatives to evolution in their science classroom, 31% of teachers responding said they did. … When asked if they feel pushed to de-emphasize or omit evolution or evolution-related topics from their curriculum, 30% agreed, indicating the most pressure is coming from students and parents (18% each).

A third of Americans reject evolution, and a third of teachers report pressure to drop evolution from the curriculum, and another third report pressure to teach bogus "alternatives." One wonders if there could be a causal link there, perhaps one more relevant than where school funding comes from.

While we're at it, I'll point out this egregious bit of bad rhetoric. He claims that the sorry state of American comprehension of biology persists:

generations after the scientific explanation of the origin of species became the only one legally permitted in public school biology classes around the country.

What possible reason could there be for teaching non-scientific explanations in a science class? If there were other scientific explanations than evolution, no one would object to offering them in biology classes. There aren't, so we don't. Is Coulson favoring intellectual affirmative action?

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Bob Reich is rarely wrong, and here he makes a very important point: Teachers are being laid off and new hiring frozen, after-school programs cut, so called "noncritical" subjects like history eliminated, schools closed, and tuitions hiked at state colleges and universities. It's absurd. We're…
The Ecological Society of America has just published an article that surveys the state of science teaching in the US. Some of the results are somewhat reassuring — the majority of our college-bound high school students are at least getting exposed to evolution to some degree — but they're also…
And continues to get more ridiculous as well. This Chris Buttars is some piece of work. It's frightening that someone this badly education could have any influence at all on how children are educated, but that's electoral politics for you. You'll recall from the other day that the Utah…

Holy crap he's making a dumb argument. Worse is when you look at the percentage of people who accept
evolutionary theory by nation
and then try and claim that the phrases "Free Market", "Parental Choice", or "Non-Government" apply to the school systems of Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, France, Japan, Britain, Norway, Belgium, Spain, or Germany.

Then there's the idea that a parent (Qualification: got lucky once) is more qualified than a teacher or scientist (Qualification: College graduate, demonstrated competency in their field) in the appropriate way to teach their children children.

Science stopped being fun? According to whom? Funny he should mention Carl Sagan who would have laughed at the suggestion that non-scientific ideas be taught in schools.

leernin wernt no fun fer me neether. dam seance teechers an there borin munkey stories are rooinin America and robin teh tax payers. We Americans dezerve to be tawt what we want not wHAT IS write.

By Free Market Schools (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink