What’s the opposite of education?
Plans are afoot to build a creation “science” education center in Henning, Minnesota — about two hours north of Morris. They plan to push the simple-minded literalist creationist claim that the earth is 6,000 years old and peddle the same BS that the Creation “Museum” does — it’s stark raving mad. These quotes tell the whole story:
The aim, Schultz said, is to provide families and young people with information they can use to respectfully question differing points of view they may encounter, like at school.
“What we’re finding is, many kids are subject to ridicule, lower grades, being laughed at, just because they lay forth different arguments and different interpretations of the same information,” Schultz said.
The Rev. George Sagissor, who is working to help create the learning center, said he ran into similar reactions when he attended the University of Minnesota-Morris in the 1960s.
He recalled one lecture when he said he politely raised his hand to ask a question from a creation standpoint and was asked to leave the class.
“We don’t get a chance to let our point of view be heard because we’re put down and we’re asked to shut up,” Sagissor said.
I am pleased to see that my university has a long tradition of dealing with nonsense appropriately. I’m sure that creations was polite in his questions, but I’d like to know more about the instructor’s response: I’m sure whoever he or she was was equally polite, and addressed the question in a proper way…and if the student was actually asked to leave, it was because he was being disruptive and a distraction.
Students should be subject to lower grades when they give wrong answers. Schultz is wrong, because creationists do not deal with the same information — they are selective, ignore all of the evidence that contradicts their claims, and give very, very bad arguments for their position. They invite ridicule; stupid is as stupid does, after all.
Look, if someone kept asking questions because they believed in a flat earth, no one would look twice at their lower grades in a geology class. If they believed the Earth was the center of the Universe, they might politely be asked to leave an astronomy class.
Both of these tenets were once part of religious belief. Neither is a part of any major religious organization today. Why? Because no organization can long exist when it espouses facts that are in direct opposition to reality.
Here of the direct contradictions between what science has told us of the world and what those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible say, as told by those who believe that the Bible is literally correct:
|Sun before earth||Earth before sun|
|Dry land before sea||Sea before dry land|
|Atmosphere before sea||Sea before atmosphere|
|Sun before light on earth||Light on earth before sun|
|Stars before earth||Earth before stars|
|Sea creatures before land plants||Land plants before sea creatures|
|Land animals before trees||Trees before land animals|
|Death before man||Man before death|
|Land mammals before whales||Whales before land animals|
|Dinosaurs before birds||Birds before dinosaurs|
|Sun before plants||Plants before sun|
|Dinosaurs before dolphins||Dolphins before dinosaurs|
One side is based on data we find in the world around us. The other is filled with special pleadings in order to cram the facts in.
One side will be around 1000 years from now and the other will not. Groups that do not recognize reality seldom survive for long. The Catholic Church has known that.
The Catholic Church is even discussing alien civilizations. Like any other human institution, they must adapt to the facts of the world around us or wither away. The Catholic Church has been around 2000 years because it does recognize the need to adapt.
It is hard to attract thinking, rational human beings when your beliefs fly in the face of the world we live in.
When people refuse to recognize the facts that are in their face, when they willfully chose to remain ignorant of Nature, then they should not be allowed to get a good grade in any class that deals with our exploration of Nature. They should be treated politely unless their unreal beliefs disrupt the education of others who actually want to learn.
But, to my mind, people who have no real wish to understand the world around them should not be in a science class. And asking them to leave is not an example of persecution. Their ignorance prevents others from learning.
Perhaps the best thing would be for all of them to just talk with each other about their far fetched beliefs and leave the rest of us alone. Is that too hard to ask?
In what sort of society would we live if ignorance was elevated to the same level as education? What sort of civilization would revel in an ignorant view of the world?
It would not be a very successful one, nor one long for the world. At some point, being polite needs to be abandoned and outright ridicule should be adopted. We do it for Flat Earthers. We laugh at Geocentric tracts.