Re: Final Textbook Insert

George Murphy (
Sun, 30 Nov 1997 12:37:20 -0500

Bill Payne wrote:
> Wed, 26 Nov 1997 07:47:13 -0500 Steven Schimmrich wrote:
> > If you think a textbook is so full of errors, then perhaps it shouldn't
> > be used.
> That idea was certainly considered in Alabama during the textbook
> adoption process. The concensus was that if only "acceptable" books
> were approved, then no textbooks would have been approved.
> > My guess is that the people wanting to place these inserts in texts
> > have no direct control over textbook adoptions so instead they do an end run
> > by placing this obnoxious insert in the texts?
> Actually, what you see in Alabama is the result of the democratic
> process. Concerned citizens elected State Board of Education
> representatives who responded to the concerns of their grassroots
> constituents.
> > The young-earth creationists
> > can't win over the scientific community so instead they attempt to turn
> > children against them -- the tone of that label is that modern evolutionary
> > theory is a pack of lies.
> The tone of the textbooks is that evolution is a fact, and that the
> fundamental beliefs of approximately half of the taxpayers of the State
> are fairy tales. Who's trying to turn the hearts of the children
> against whom?
> > The idea of glueing a "warning label" to the inside cover of a textbook is
> > repugnant to me.
> Now you know how ~ half of the people of America feel - the half who
> believe that "God created man pretty much in his present form within the
> last 10,000 years."
> > The idea of government getting involved in deciding what is
> > and isn't science based on the pressures of special interest groups
> > (young-earth
> > creationists) is a dangerous precedent in my opinion.
> Within this topic of origins, YECs are the largest single "special
> interest" group in the nation. The idea of an elite group of educators
> undermining the religious beliefs of children, using the tax dollars of
> unwilling parents, is reminiscent of Nazi Germany. During the Scopes
> trial in Dayton, TN in 1925, defense attorney Clarence Darrow said it
> was the height of arrogance to teach only one theory of origins. Today,
> we've come full circle with the evolutionists exhibiting the height of
> arrogance, and the YEC half of Alabama countered.

These appeals to democracy show the weakness of the YEC case.
Of course a large # of Americans reject evolution. They also take
astrology seriously, think relativity means "everything is relative" &
wouldn't be able to solve the easiest problem in an introductory
calculus, physics or chemistry text. Scientific illiteracy is a serious
problem in American society. There may be differing opinions among
competent people about how to deal with that problem, but letting the
general public vote on scientific issues is manifestly not a solution.
If we did that, we'd still be using Aristotelian physics. ("Of course a
heavy body falls faster than a light one!") & to anticipate a
predicitable response, if this be elitism, make the most of it.
George Murphy