Thursday, January 13, 2005

Oh no, a STICKER!

See, this is what I'm talking about.

Evidently U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper has ruled that a sticker placed on science books in Cobb County Georgia is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU.

Wow, it must be a pretty bad sticker. Let's see what it says:
This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.
What do we have here? Two self-evident facts, and advice to be open-minded use critical thinking.

What's wrong with this? Let's check with Mark, the Moderate Liberal:
The only reason for those stickers are religious ones, not scientific. Let the scientists teach science and the ministers teach the gospel.
Ah ha! Even though what the stickers say is true and reasonable, if an idea comes from religious people, it must be destroyed! I'm sure Kevin Drum would agree.

Actually Mark's paragraph is half right. And one of the most fundamental things about teaching good science is to keep students keenly aware that theories are only theories, not facts, and critical thinking is necessary to the advancement of science. Mark even gives a wonderful example of a progression of theories, from Newtonian mechanics to relativity to quantum theory. Each refutes important parts of its predecessor, and would not exist if not for critical thinking.

Hey Judge Cooper and the ACLU, stop trying to crush dissent. Stickers stating that theory is a theory are not heresy. What's next, the Spanish Inquisition?

(Reuters link via Wizbang)