Do you believe in ‘individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace’? These are some of the CATO Institute’s principles, and if you agree, then you may well agree with Andrew J. Coulson’s latest pronouncement regarding mandated school policies, not the least of which is prohibiting the mere mention of alternate scientific theories of origins, and not allowing the theory of Darwinian evolution to be questioned in the least.
CATO is a libertarian think tank that promotes individual freedoms, and favors limited government. At least to the degree that federal judges have been allowed to dictate curriculum, I agree with his critique. In a philosophical policy statement, CATO cites the Tenth Amendment, which says that the ‘people’ (or individual states) have that authority, and not the government. Coupled with a proper interpretation of the First Amendment, there just may be a basis for a legal challenge (Dover, et al)
Given that a majority of US citizens at least question Darwinian evolution, it’s really simply a matter of exercising democracy, or is that a thing of the past?! Andrew’s essay:
“In a study released this week (“Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict”), Cato’s Neal McCluskey suggests that America could end its thus-far intractable public school wars (over sex ed, school prayer, evolution vs. creationism or “Intelligent Design”, etc.) by adopting well-designed state-level school choice programs.
The most intense opposition to this proposal comes from people who want the theory of evolution taught to all children regardless of parental wishes. Anything less, they argue, would doom America to a new Dark Age of scientific backwardness.
As someone who agrees wholeheartedly that a natural process of evolution is the best explanation of how human beings came to be, allow me to suggest why the ram-evolution-down-their-throats approach is illiberal, undemocratic, divisive, ineffective, and counter-productive.
It is illiberal because it makes the government the sole arbiter of absolute truth, and this is wholly at odds with a founding principle of our nation: freedom of thought and belief. If we accept the principle that government is in possession of absolute truth, and that this truth is derived from the application of scientific methods to natural observations, then where would we draw the line? Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ ” more
Andrew J. Coulson is CATO’s Director of the Center for Educational Freedom, and a former systems software engineer for Microsoft. Betcha that CATO and Andrew would like some feedback (email / blog).