Re: The Washington Post "Dissing Darwian"

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Fri Jun 03 2005 - 13:22:26 EDT

> >>> Rich Blinne <> 6/3/2005 12:07:41 PM >>>writes:
>I think you can get some Darwinists to admit this point. If the goal with
>respect to the public schools was true neutrality with respect to all
>metaphysical conclusions you might get a consensus. Change your wedge and
>split the Gouldians from the Saganites. Right now the current strategy gets
>the two camps to ally with each other against a common anti-Darwinist
>Most of the current educational proposals, however, have a much more
>Gouldian flavor and the Gouldians are asking for religious allies. Even if
>we cannot stomach such an alliance at the very least we should encourage
>that from the outside.
>Ted replies:
>The "wedge" strategy is not of my making, and I don't endorse it. I accept
>the general validity of MN, and I agree that public schools should aim for
>true neutrality, though I do not believe that we can really achieve that
>without allowing parents to pick their own educational philosophies,
including various religious ones.

Ted, Rich,

Your posts high-lighting the "neutrality" goal for public schools
caught my eye here.

This goal is the heart of the problem. Is it really possible for
education to be neutral? I don't think so. Thus, education is always
grounded in some kind of worldview/religious expression.

Perhaps a more pluralistic view of public education is in order. One
model is that there could be government funding of all sorts of
schools--Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Islamic, New Age, Secular and
that these identities would be clearly defined so that parents could
choose the school that most fit with their personal worldviews.

The vision for public education in the 20th century is built in part
on a liberal humanistic worldview (think Dewey here). The goal was a
homogenization of the immigrant roots of our society into a common
vision. This has fragmented significantly in the past several decades
with the rise of post-modernism.

Perhaps it's time to re-think the whole enterprise.

A project from the 80's from the Calvin Center for Christian
Scholarship along these lines resulted in the book *Society, State,
and School: A Case for Structural and Confessional Pluralism* by
McCarthy, Oppewal, Peterson, and Spykman (Eerdmans, 1981).

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801
Received on Fri Jun 3 13:23:36 2005

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