In “The Darwinist’s Dilemma” (The Best Schools, November 10, 2011), James Barham comments,
I used to teach a section on “evolutionary ethics” in an Introduction to Philosophy course at a well-known American university. In this section, I always presented some of the many widely discussed conceptual difficulties with the theory of natural selection, but I breathed not one word about religion. And yet, if I were to teach a similar course in a high school in the state of Pennsylvania today, I might be prosecuted at law, pursuant to the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision. (I wonder how many years you get for mentioning tautology. I hear they really throw the book at you if you bring up petitio principii.)
The absurdity of a state-enforced scientific doctrine is a scandal that scientists ought to be the first to protest. We are talking about science, for goodness’ sake—that most corrigible of all fallible human endeavors! Scientific ideas change—and generally improve—over time. On the Origin of Species was not inscribed on stone tablets and Charles Darwin was not Moses. And yet, when Kitzmiller quashed all discussion of the many problems with natural selection in the public schools, presumably for all time to come, the professional Darwin lobby congratulated itself on a great victory.
But Darwinism is at odds with education generally, if education means teaching people to think.