From cosmologist Larry Krauss, our favorite spokesman for scientism, at the New Yorker: A long-form rant on a variety of subjects re the impending a-Trump-a-lypse, some of which intersect with items O’Leary for News has covered recently, including science education:
And the Trump Administration is on course to undermine science in another way: through education. Educators have various concerns about Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education—they object to her efforts to shield charter schools from government regulation, for example—but one issue stands above the rest: DeVos is a fundamentalist Christian with a long history of opposition to science. If her faith shapes her policies—and there is evidence that it will—she could shape science education decisively for the worse, by systematically depriving young people, in an era where biotechnology will play a key economic and health role worldwide, of a proper understanding of the very basis of modern biology: evolution.
One of Krauss’s concerns is that the husband of nominee DeVos once promo’d ID in schools.
Really, the vast underperformance of publicly-funded US school systems, relative to those of other technologically advanced nations, should be the only issue on the table down there just now. If DeVos is a charter school advocate, she probably understands the parents who are at least free to take their kids and flee. Many parents care but are not so free. Most of the latter are forced to pay taxes to support the flopped system as well (if they rent, they are probably paying the landlord’s business taxes for school assessment, at least in part), which is an added humiliation to them and an enrichment to him.
Krauss has a lot to say about Betsy DeVos’s private religious convictions. To listen to him, one would not think that the US First Amendment, forbidding discrimination on religious grounds, is any longer in force. Maybe it still is. We’ll check.
Of course, one could always fund think tanks on evolution and biotechnology during the breaks from serious reform initiatives… It’s interesting but it just isn’t critical on the ground right now.
Dr. Krauss believes that because DeVos’s husband once advocated “teaching the controversy” around evolution (2006), that’s somehow a threat to the US school system:
Similarly, students should be encouraged to understand that evolution is not some principle laid down on high by a conclave of scientists; they should explore the various empirical tests to which it has been subjected for more than a hundred and fifty years. More.
Larry, about those tests, check your mail. See in particular, Darwinism: Replacement or extension? And it’s all been getting hotter since then too.
The New Yorker used to be more up to date than this. What has happened?
See also: Cosmologist Larry Krauss explains a universe from nothing to an astrophysicist
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One hopes that the geniuses responsible for the physical plant of this school below will refrain from meddling in the intelligent design controversy at the US federal level: