Friday, June 07, 2002

Surprise: the educational system sucks Since we're beating one of my favorite dead horses, the creationism/evolution debate (you guys are going to be so sick of me): Reader Allen Thorpe writes regarding my posts on the slowly withering Science Fair about the Santorum Amendment, i.e., the creationists' latest weapon:

I wouldn't worry. Most kids don't learn anything in school anyway. With all the other indoctrination they get in political correctness, it's amazing if any of them come through with any critical thinking skills at all.

Oh, but Allen, that's precisely why I'm worried. The beautiful (ugly) thing about creationism/intelligent design is that you don't have to learn critical thinking to get it. In fact, critical thinking is the enemy of creationism/ID, in which you simply have to believe what you're told -- either that things are the way they are because God made them that way, or that things are the way they are because somebody-who-is-probably-God-but-good-God-don't-say-His-name-in-school-because-it's-unconstitutional made them that way. The Santorum Amendment is right about one thing: kids need to learn critical thinking. But what the amendment does is to encourage precisely the opposite by "inadvertently" (let's be honest, it ain't inadvertent, the language of the bill was written by ID proponents) promoting the teaching of a crackpot religious theory disguised in the garb of critical thinking. Allen, if kids were getting taught critical thinking in schools, I wouldn't constantly rail about their being taught nonsense; I'd be perfectly happy to let them think their own way through the nonsense. But we all know they're not getting a scrap of instruction in critical thinking in any of their classes, science or other. And I say this as someone who didn't learn critical thinking until I left my creationism-happy high school in Georgia and went to college, where I blessedly (ha) majored in biological anthropology and never looked back.

Principles of Population Genetics
Genetics of Populations
Molecular Evolution
Quantitative Genetics
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Evolutionary Genetics
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution
The Genetics of Human Populations
Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits
Epistasis and Evolutionary Process
Evolutionary Human Genetics
Mathematical Models in Biology
Evolutionary Genetics: Case Studies and Concepts
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 1
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 2
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 3
Statistical Methods in Molecular Evolution
The History and Geography of Human Genes
Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory
Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory
Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
Evolution and the Genetics of Populations
Genetics and Origins of Species
Tempo and Mode in Evolution
Causes of Evolution
The Great Human Diasporas
Bones, Stones and Molecules
Natural Selection and Social Theory
Journey of Man
Mapping Human History
The Seven Daughters of Eve
Evolution for Everyone
Why Sex Matters
Mother Nature
Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
R.A. Fisher, the Life of a Scientist
Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology
Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics
A Reason for Everything
The Ancestor's Tale
Dragon Bone Hill
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
The Selfish Gene
Adaptation and Natural Selection
Nature via Nurture
The Symbolic Species
The Imitation Factor
The Red Queen
Out of Thin Air
Evolutionary Dynamics
The Origin of Species
The Descent of Man
Age of Abundance
The Darwin Wars
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Of Moths and Men
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How We Decide
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In Gods We Trust
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Origin and Evolution of Cultures
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Prehistory of the Mind
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Born That Way
No Two Alike
Survival of the Prettiest
The Blank Slate
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Keepers of the Keys of Heaven
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Europe After Rome
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God's War
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From Plato to Nato
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Children of the Revolution
When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World
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Power and Plenty
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Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations
A Farewell to Alms
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